Monday, March 13, 2017

Microgreens and Migration

Each season brings new learning and growth to our school farm. The first small shoots of our seedlings have popped up producing microgreens. Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches long and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular in recent years as garnishes with chefs. Researchers have found that the nutrients in microgreens were 4 to 40 times greater than in mature plants. Since microgreens are harvested right after germination, all the nutrients they need to grow are there and that is why they are so concentrated. So, we through in a health lesson, thinned our radishes and nibbled on these tasty microgreens. Ask your kids about it. They all tried them.

Migration was a hot topic this week since our feathered friends the Purple Martins were sighted on the farm. Last year was our first year to host these amazing birds. They come to North America to raise their young ones and then travel back to South America. Purple Martins are native songbirds in the swallow family. East of the Rocky Mountains, Purple Martins nest almost exclusively in human-supplied housing. They are dependent on us for their survival. They are one of America’s most well-loved songbirds for many reasons; their chattering song, aerial acrobatics, insect-eating habits and their tolerance of humans. We are thrilled to have them home on the farm! 


Monday, March 6, 2017

The Beauty of Bugs

Our Winter is ending on a very warm note. This year in Texas, we have had record warm weather and our farm is growing about a month ahead of what it normally is. So the bug life cycles have sped up too. This week, we searched for ladybugs, worms, milkweed assassin bugs, slugs, rollypollys, grubs, ants and anything that wriggled and wiggled. We found bugs under tree stumps, in the compost pile, under leaves and in the garden beds. The kids worked together and shared their findings. The teamwork was wonderful.
We even found a snake!
Farming forms friendships and connects learning to the earth. We love our school farm! E I E I O...,

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spring Planting & Agriculture Lessons

The future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands dirty. We have an entire school population who dig in every week to learn from the soil, plants, animals and each other. This week, we planted lettuce, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage. In addition to these new crops, every class bed has potatoes, onions and garlic growing in them. Now is the time that we observe, troubleshoot and tend to the garden with hopes of a big harvest in May.

6th graders had the opportunity to hear from Susie Marshall of Grow North Texas. She is working with others in our area to increase food production and access for all. She will be featured in our urban agriculture project that 6 grade has been working on this year. The project will be completed and showcased at Earth Day Texas and A Peep At The Coops Urban Coop Tour this spring. You will want to see it!

5th graders are learning about local food with our Whole Kids Foundation Innovation Grant. This week, they learned about the Incredible Edible Egg. #Yum

Our farm continues to grow and bloom! Thanks so much for your support! Check back to watch us grow.

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