STH Meeting - February 24, 2016

posted Feb 24, 2016, 7:08 PM by Kristina Fernandes
Attendees: Vanessa McGrath, Ann DeKruyff, Kathy Schnair, Krissy Fernandes

Topics of Discussion: This evening we continued the conversation from the previous meeting and also got our newer attendees up to speed.

Everyone was on-board with the grade-level approach.  It was suggested that we run the plan for which plants to assign to each grade by the teachers before we finalize.  This way they have the opportunity to request a different plant if it fits in better with their curriculum.

We talked a little bit about the opportunities for communication in the STH garden.  The bulletin board was installed last season, but not really used.  This year we would like to put information about the garden in it:
  • Map of the garden (with indicators for which ones are reserved for classroom activities)
  • Information about Seed to Harvest (how it got started, this year's goal, how to volunteer, contact information)
  • Garden rules (pick only what you can eat, don't stand on beds, don't pick from reserved beds, etc.)
  • Information about how plants grow
  • Garden sponsors (we hope to expand this this year)
We also talked about the bed signage and other opportunities to put information about the plants around the garden.

We signed into the Farmers Almanac garden planer and looked at the garden layout.  We talked about some of the maintenance that will need to be done this year:
  • Thin out the strawberry bed
  • Finish assembling the potato planter
  • Thin out the raspberry patch and find someway to prevent weeds and leave a walking path
  • Amend the soil in almost all beds with compost and more soil
  • Fix the stone paths to reduce weeds
  • Give the tire seats a fresh coat of paint and re-cement the one that popped out
  • Attach the greenhouse gutters to the rain barrels
We will continue to add to this list as things come up.  We also talked about some of the more immediate things that had to get done:
  • Purchase potting soil and pots so that classes can begin planting seedlings
  • Seedlings need to be planted between mid-March and the end of April
  • Shade cover needs to be put back up in the Living Lab
  • General Garden clean-up (raking, turning over soil, weeding)
  • Pick up the soil, compost and manure for the gardens (Kathy and Vanessa have access to trucks that we can use)
By having each classroom plant the same thing, we are going to wind up with a lot more plants than we can use.  We talked about having a plant sale to get rid of them in the community and make a little money to pay for some of the needs this year.

On the topic of the grade-level and general curriculum, we discussed the types of things that should be built around each plant:
  • Fact sheets about the plant
  • Activity sheets (at least 3) that are grade-level, or are targeted more toward grades K-2 for the general areas.  Activities should be in the following areas: plant facts (growth info, nutrition, etc), literacy writing topics, and math topics).  Ideally we will be able to get some feedback from the teachers on ways to build activities that fit in their existing curriculum.
  • Experiments (at least 1)
  • Books that fit with the plant and grade-level
  • Craft project
We also discussed asking Ms. Lanagan if we can have a section in the library dedicated to books about plants and gardening.  We can donate our existing books to the library and have them tagged so that they can be checked out.

So far, based on everyone's schedules, Tuesday during the school day seems to be the best time to meet, so we will start scheduling the remaining committee meetings for the season.

If I forgot anything, we will add it in as someone remembers.