Should We?

Blame your science teacher?  There are many people in government who have no idea about the science of this pandemic.  Is nature telling us something?  Many people suggest that they just were not good at science.  Go back and read the first sentence.

In the past too much theory was taught to science students and not enough practical application was used.

I believe that hands on learning will stimulate a love for science.  Maybe save the planet.  The following article is important to demonstrate how horticulture in school will stimulate an interest in organic understanding, grow / buy local and how to get back to nature by removing dangerous chemicals from our environment.  In addition:  these students enjoyed their independent studies.

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Sharing the Harvest–Hingham High School Greenhouse Program Gives Back

 

Foster Elementary Students Compost

Let the students teach their parents.  We were taking a walk and I wanted to see how the composting project has developed at our local elementary school.  Parents should follow the environmental leadership of students.

Kids at Foster compost.  Although school is out because of the pandemic, there is an opportunity for all of us to facilitate composting projects and start growing vegetables in our own backyards.

The kale that students grew in the fall has weathered the winter.  Kale is hardy and when grown in composts the results are amazing.

Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset is the guiding force to these gardening projects.  By the way you can log on to their website to find out how to order local and freshly grown produce every Wednesday.

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Food Security

People talk about food security and I use to say to myself that Americans will never be interested.  Today thousands of people are waiting in line at Food Banks.

Peter Jensen, is a Peace Corp. trainer in Africa.  This is a quote that he sent along today:  “This… right now… is the time to focus on small scale, high yield, nutrition focused, intensive, organic, home gardens. Right now!”

So you are home schooling.  And what are you teaching at home?  What could you be teaching?  I believe that we can best teach children science, math and technology through horticulture.  Teach the children because this pandemic is a hard lesson.  This may not be a one time lesson.

You can grow vegetables in a container.  You can grow a Square Foot Garden on a driveway.  Read Mel Bartholomew’s book on SFG.  Sunlight is important.

Don’t complain on Facebook how the kids are driving you nuts.  Teach the children.  They will love watching things grow.  They will love it and you might learn something about yourself as well.

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Last night Mark Zuckerberg  and his wife Priscilla Chan were on CNN.  Priscilla said that Mark had just come in from gardening.  If a billionaire many times over thinks gardening is good for him and his family, it might just be a skill suited for you and your family.  Priscilla learned about gardening at Quincy High School when preparing for a State Envirothon competition.  The theme for the school’s project was: Food Security.  She and her peers made elevated raised beds for older people who could not bend over to garden. One of the places we visited in preparation for the competition was Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset, Massachusetts.  Holly Hill is a great place to purchase food but also just to visit.

 

Curiosity through Composting

For some parents a week with the children home probably feels like a month already.  On-line classes are good and the technology involved is probably more of a learning experience for parents than for children.  I talked to a physics teacher yesterday and he believes that Google Classroom is a useful tool.

But in my opinion science learned through practical application can be fun and it sticks.  How many people do you know that say, “I hate science”?  That makes sense too because right now in the United States not much of the Federal executive decision making is based on science.  I guess they didn’t pay attention in class.

There is a lot of science in garbage.  We all know that trash is expensive to get rid of, single stream recycling is no longer cost effective, reusable is in and manufacturers have a lazy eye when it comes to packaging.   Our learning curve needs to accelerate.

The children in Honduras are an inspiration when it comes to composting and gardening.   Food security is not a given for them.  When Kathy and I do horticulture / science projects in their classrooms, they are attentive and curious.  They helped me define a composting area behind the school.  The little children were caring cement blocks that may have weighed more than what they weigh.

Michael Imhoff the horticulture teacher at Quincy High School shared the following video with me which is excellent.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4JssQPTYF8.

Please be mindful that a perfect compost pile is not easy to develop.  But, “Just Do It”.  Get started and learn some science along the way.

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The Organic Key

Making compost is a sustainable process.  Students at our Honduras Hope Dorm are developing organic gardens.  They make compost and are growing food to be used as a nutritional base.

Their next project will be to bring this technique to their mountain village and teach their families to grow without chemicals.  The students at the Dorm are champions.

The Smart Gardener

My neighbor Leo Gallivan has valuable experience as an environmentalist / gardener.  He and his wife Holly spend six months in Florida.  Springtime is when most people are preparing their gardens.  Not Leo.

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Leo isn’t at home in the spring and he does’t need to be.  Because as a smart gardener, he prepares the garden in the fall.  He mulches all the green material around the existing plants.  The nutrients that he uses come from the existing plants reusing the organic materials.  You can be a Smart Gardener too.