Seed to Harvest Garden Update (September 24, 2013)

posted Oct 15, 2013, 7:47 PM by Kristina Fernandes   [ updated Oct 16, 2013, 5:35 AM by Ben Hem ]
We had a busy week in the Ben-Hem garden. On Wednesday, September 18, the Seed to Harvest (STH) team met with “15 Gardeners”, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardening group from Natick, who toured the garden and offered suggestions regarding the selection and care of plants in our perennial garden. They donated allium (big, cool looking round purple flowers) and crocus bulbs for students to plant this fall and enjoy as they bloom next spring.

Ben-Hem Night at Bill’s Pizzeria
We harvested over seven pounds of garden produce and herbs and shuttled it to Bill’s Pizzeria in Natick, where Ben-Hem families enjoyed pizza, salad, and socializing with other families that evening. We thank Bill’s for their hospitality and generous donation of $250.00 to the PTO. The crew at Bill’s is gearing up for the Bill’s 5K on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 9:00 am in Newton. Register online at: http://bills5k.com/roadraces.html They would like to set a record for registered runners this year – so let’s have a good showing from the Ben-Hem community. Dress up in a Halloween costume and enjoy free pizza at Bill’s in Newton after the race.

Check out these Carrots

Ben-Hem second graders enjoyed one of the last days of summer in the garden. They harvested carrots, peppers, long and wiggly asparagus beans, and tomatoes, and observed butterflies and insects in their habitats. They took home what they picked along with samples of parsley, basil, and lavender from our herb garden. Students marveled at the tall sunflowers and corn plants and checked out the zinnias, marigolds, and kale and brussel sprout plants. Some extracted and collected seeds from dead marigold heads to plant next spring. Another group planted lettuce, Farmer’s Market Blend mesclun, and arugula to harvest this fall and include in the second grade class’s Thanksgiving donation to the Natick Food Pantry. How cool is that? We talked about frost and the effect on plants and asked the students to guess when the first hard frost will hit this fall.

A New Look

Six colorful panels painted by Ben-Hem parent and artist Kate Clancy were installed Friday evening. Take a stroll along the service road in back of the school to see them. Many thanks to Kate, our corporate sponsor Folan Contracting for the materials, and the volunteers who helped with the digging and installation.


Volunteers and Supplies Needed
The Seed to Harvest team welcomes your ideas for garden related activities and will schedule a meeting for those interested in learning about volunteer opportunities. We are presently seeking volunteers for the following activities. Green thumbs are not a prerequisite!

Composting: We are recruiting a parent(s) to work with cafeteria personnel and teachers on composting with the third and fourth grade students during their lunch periods.

Thanksgiving Food Panty Donation: Second grade parents to help nurture, harvest, and deliver garden produce to the Natick Food Pantry in November.

Weed Control: While we won’t turn away any help with weeding, we are especially looking for someone with a weed wacker who could trim back the weeds along the garden beds after school or during the weekend.

Farmer's Market: Parent volunteer(s) to work with students on a mini Farmer's market at Ben-Hem. We don't anticipate a large volume of produce, but third or fourth graders may be interested in participating (harvesting produce, weighing and/or packaging and conducting sale transactions).

Donations: We are accepting donations of tulip, daffodil and allium bulbs to plant this fall. We can also use large garden tools --- shovels, a pitch fork, rakes, and sturdy broom or hockey sticks to stir compost.
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