We dug out our biggest load of compost yet; dank-smelling, black, fluffy soil teaming with life and wiggly with worms. Students couldn't believe what could happen when we trap biodegradable school waste and let FBI go to work.
Last year's lessons on amending nutrients to soil turns out to be spot on. We reviewed how various classes had gathered and added human hair, cow manure, ash, cooked and crushed chicken bone, shredded paper, molassas, egg shells, and banana stalks in purposeful attempts to put all those needed nutrients back into the soil. Maybe weird to humans, but for microorganisms that stuff is a treat! We ammended compost so microorganisms could go to town eating plenty and recycling waste.
We are talking about about microorganisms this year in terms of FBI - fungus, bacteria, invertibrates. Fungus = mushrooms; Bacteria = microscopic worm food. Seeing worms means biodegrading bacteria is present. I = Invertibrates; visible bugs like cockroaches, roly polies, springtails, and the critters that eat them like spiders and centipedes. The wheelbarrow compost had diverse FBI for miles. It was an FBI party in there.
Gardeners carefully scooped compost and surrounded their favorite plant's soil area with compost. To tuck-in nicely the FBI, they covered the compost with a scoop of mulch. Worms and vital microorganisms were spread everywhere! The garden was sparkling with good vibes sprinkled in every corner. "Oh little worm!" "You are so cute." "Look! This worm's dancing!"
How can a garden keep from glowing with all this compost and love?
Twenty one kids went home from the last day before Christmas Break with edible potted plants bedazzled in beach glass soil toppings and glitter dusted plant lables. Kids were intent on making charming "gifts that keep giving." Wide eyed first graders and confident sixth graders and all grades inbetween met at the lunch area; grouped together by crafts where students get to choose two out of about ten holiday merriments. It's pretty significant that edible plants - chives, amaranth, spinach, or pineapple mint - are choosen concidering their competition - candy filled santa jars and sock-stuffed snowdolls. All chose to make the plants as gifts for others. Parent Rick Taylor arrived just in time with much welcomed expertise and a helping hand. Miss Sheyna even stopped by and made some potted gems for her mom. Children had a great time and the potted plants were beautiful.
Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono
Ms Krista says:
Everyday encounters with real garden sprites; tortuous panorama of the surf; old-growth collards; machete lessons; mantis rehab; pesto pasta. Days as a public school garden teacher on the Big Island are filled with unexpected gems of wisdom and infinite inspirations. Introducing my life as a school garden teacher...