Every day the garden seems to provide us with more and more! Zucchini, pattypan squash, beans, and cucumber are some of the items that have been offering the most produce this summer. Late spring in garden class students were busy laying down compost and planting seeds, all in hopes of seeing a flourishing garden once they return to school in August. With a popsicle stick, every student labeled the seed they planted so that once school begins they will be able to see how much their seed grew over the summer. It may be hard to find the popsicle stick now, as the plants have take over the garden beds not leaving room for much else!
Garden turnover: Kids welcome new teacher
By Brandon Halama
Salazar Elementary School’s garden teacher, Liana Sonne, left her job in February, but Paige Hopkins has joined the staff at the school.
Sonne is going to Taos, N.M., and then Wisconson. “I’ll miss you guys,” she said.
“We have an awesome garden, and I liked working with you guys.” The garden blog that she started is still active at www.salazargardenverde.com.
Hopkins arrived at Salazar in March and said she has plans to add to the garden. “I’ll continue to do the school blog,” Hopkins said. She’s worked with kids before and has been in schools for about a year. Hopkins has already stared working with classes at this school.
Fourth-grader Nick Adkins in Ms. Sanchez’s class is sad that Sonne left. “She is a good, very good teacher,” Adkins said. Hopkins has already made a good impression on him, he said.
This week Ms. Walker’s 3rd grade class had the opportunity to plant their own cabbage plants. Students had the opportunity to transplant the donated plants into their own, bigger pots. With these plants students are having a classroom contest to see whose cabbage plant will grow the biggest. They know that water and sunlight are important factors to ensure the growth of their cabbage. Students got very excited over the contest and quickly took ownership over their plant, by carefully transplanting the cabbage and even giving names to their new potted friends. Check back soon to see whose plant grows the biggest!
Before I give an update, I would first like to introduce myself. I am Paige, the new garden educator at Salazar. I am from Nashville, Tennessee and have moved to New Mexico to take on this job. I am beyond happy to be at Salazar and am so excited for everything we have coming up this year! I am patiently awaiting the growing season, as it comes a lot sooner in Tennessee than it does here in Santa Fe!
As Santa Feans know, we have had some cold days the past couple of weeks, but that doesn’t stop us at Salazar! Students have been busy learning about all aspects of farming in the U.S. and are starting to prepare for spring planting. Students have also been busy working on projects for the science fair this Thursday, the 23rd. I am looking forward to seeing all the hard work of the students pay off this week.
Last week kindergartners learned all about worms during their garden time. Students drew diagrams of a worm and then even had a chance to act like a one. Check out some pictures below of students trying to emulate the characteristics of a worm by crawling across the floor of their classroom. Thanks for reading our blog and please continue to check back as we get busier this spring as we begin to plant.
Putting the Garden to Sleep
By: Kaylene Rivera
A sad time for the garden is always when we have to put it to sleep, but a fun way to put it to sleep is with Salazar’s new teacher Liana Sonne.
For all classes and grades they had certain things to do in the garden, fourth through sixth graders pulled what remained in the garden after the fall harvest and leveled the garden bed soil.
“I think it’s always interesting to organize things with people because it’s a good challenge,” said Sonne.
Hairy vetch is one of the cover crops and provides nitrogen to the soil it is also part of the bean family. The winter wheat holds the soil together.
“It’s really cool because we have food growing in the hoop house, so we will probably harvest in February if there’s no crazy weather,” she said.
The hoop house next to the school is also a place where things can grow in the cold weather. Students planted peas, lettuce and radishes. The vegetable that’s having the most trouble in the lettuce, Sonne said.
Salazar also has a microfiber lab inside. The lab works like a summer day because it provides 12-15 hours of light.
“Next year I plan to plant some more cold crops and possibly some more summer crops,” she said.
“I think Liana orchestrated the cover crop very well by having all the classes do their part,” said Candace O’Hara, a third grade duel language teacher.
O’Hara says that cover crops are necessary because it’s so important and not many people know a lot about it. O’Hara’s class helped the garden by planting winter wheat and hairy vetch. Her class also helped by fertilizing the garden beds.
“She did really well because she was able to communicate the lessons very well,” said O’Hara.
“I feel like putting the garden to sleep was hard work,” said Izzak Maestas, a third grader in Ms.O’hara’s and Ms.Walker’s duel language class.
Maestas said he will miss seeing all the colors of the flowers in the garden. He also will miss his favorite part of the garden, which were the sunflowers. Maestas’ class drew pictures of the plants and also studied them with Sonne.
The garden and the seasons its at the affect of have finally greeted winter. Students have been in great consideration of these changes and seeking to understand and prepare when it comes to our food production. As such we had an exceptional food drive for Adelante and the many families at school that are and will be hungry this winter. We have been taking pride in our compost heap and its excellent amenities. Harvesting it and making our own potting soil. And starting new plants in our recently donated Grow lab, an indoor growing environ. The hoophouse has been keeping what we planted in !November! (eek) alive and well thus far. With single digits who knows what to come. As nature makes its way officially into slumber, students at Salazar continue to witness the cycles we often forget when one does not step outside and awesome opportunities of our winters in Northern New Mexico.
Videos of students in action:
The garden has been providing us with a wealth of deliciousness. There is splendid and abundant harvest. We have even learned that some plants will stain our faces white and our hands pink.
The Salazar garden is in full swing. The 19 classrooms have visited and expressed their oos and awes of the jungle that is their garden. Additionally harvest is in full swing, corn, tomatoes of many varieties, beans, peas, cilantro and on and on. ALL in preparation for our grand sharing of food on October 13th, our harvest festival. We have been learning of seed saving and food preserving and generally indulging in the goodness that the garden brings. Oddly enough we had one very interesting find of Huitlacoche, a smut fungus and delicacy in Mexico. It seems to only occur after prolonged droughts that are followed by heavy rains and voila we had one, really ugly fungi. Please join us for the harvest fest and we hope you enjoy.