Monday, February 20, 2017

It's All About the Chickens!

Chickens make us happy! They are definitely a beloved farm animal of all of our staff and students. This week we learned about the behaviors of our hens. Pecking order, chicken sounds, egg laying, egg production terms (cage free, free ranged and pastured), life span and the way that chickens are like a family group were discussed and observed in the coop for all classes. Our 5th graders continued their +Whole Kids Foundation  lessons on Hatching Healthiness, learning about the connections that chickens have on their diets, as well as how advertising impacts the labels that they have on chicken and their eggs. They learned that they can be deceiving. Hmm?

Chickens are the best and we showed our flock the love! Stop by the coop for some entertainment and check out our hens. #Peep

Friday, February 10, 2017

Time to Plant Potatoes

Typically, we plant potatoes around Presidents Day. This year, we put them in the ground a few weeks early. Our temperatures have been unseasonably warm, so we dug in and planted 65 pounds of spuds. The kids learned about seed potatoes and how travelers and explorers brought them on their journeys since they knew that they could multiply them at harvest. We learned about different varieties and planted red, white and blue ones. The kids dug deep holes and placed a potato chunk in the ground. Then they covered them up and will watch them pop up in the next few weeks. We are hoping for a big harvest and a healthy Potato-Palooza celebration sometime in May. Follow along as we share our progress.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

It may be Winter but.., We are Busy!

 Spring-like temperatures have geared up activity on the farm, and we like it that way! After a successful MLK day where we had over 65 kids and adults show up to dig in, our classes were able to get back to learning in the dirt. 

Fifth grade received a Whole Kids Foundation Innovation Grant. With this funding, the fifth graders will learn about local agriculture from experts in our community, visit the Dallas Farmers Market to shop from a farmer and it will all culminate with a seed to table meal that they will prepare from the food that they plant this spring.

 Vermicompost (aka worm poop) is magic in our garden. Ask a 5th grader what they did to amend their soil.

Another exciting initiative is a sixth grade curriculum developed around the Lexicon of Sustainability Project. During the 1st semester, the students learned about agriculture terms and our food system in the United States. This semester, they will put this knowledge to work by learning from local agriculture experts. There will be 4 guest speakers who will come during their farm lessons and 6 opportunities for the kids to make site visits to organizations in our community who are supporting the local agriculture movement. This project ends with an informational art exhibit that we will share in the Spring at our school, Earth Day Texas and A Peep At The Coops Urban Chicken Coop Tour on May 7th. Sixth grade's first guest speakers were our beloved Master Gardener team, Lois Diggs and Patti Brewer. These two ladies have been involved in the garden from the start and tirelessly volunteer to keep our garden program growing and blooming.

We also made our first site visit to the Texas Worm Ranch. Heather Rinaldi knows her worms and how they contribute to the health of the soil, food and people. We can't wait to share more about what we learned from her. We were in awe!


If that wasn't enough exciting news, this week we planted onions- Lots of Onions! Over 1000 onions went into the farm fields. We look forward to a great big Onion Fest in May! Pick some up today and get them in the ground! They are easy to plant and will grow anywhere.