Gardening: Nourishment from the Ground Up

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Our year long program provides a rich, multifaceted understanding of the gardens’ seasonal personalities, an annual cycle that we all loose sight of from time to time. Together, we will learn what a plant needs to reach its genetic potential. If it is true that “we are what we eat”, then we need to understand how to grow nourishing food from the ground up.

Sustainable ecosystems around the world manage to thrive without the use of man made chemicals, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. What can we learn from these ecosystems and apply to our garden.

Weeds represent a bountiful food source. We will learn about the mineral content of some popular weeds, how to extract and use them as a local, sustainable soil/plant food source. The idea that plants reseed and grow without having to be sowed is incorporated into our garden philosophy. Choose your weeds wisely. Less work, more food.

Mineral deficiencies in the soil translate to mineral deficient plants and finally, mineral deficient people. By measuring and amending our soils we can affect our own health. Soil/plant/human health principles will be taught in the classroom with hands on experiences in the garden. We will make a soil amedment rich in local, indigenous minerals and biology.

Some of the hands on activities experienced during the year

  • – Measure the soil’s present mineral content
  • – Measure the refractive index of our foods
  • – Define and conduct long and short-term mineralization strategies
  • – Extract minerals from local plants, bones, egg shells and fish
  • – Make soil inoculates using local indigenous biology
  • – Capture and stabilize local, indigenous soil biology
  • – Make a highly mineralized, balanced, living, soil amendment
  • – Build and maintain an apiary

Students will learn how to measure the quality of the fruits and vegetables grown, purchased and consumed using a refractometer. This measurement technique will also be used in the garden to measure the effectiveness of the mineralization strategies employed year-to-year.

Students will learn the annual cycle of bees by tending the schools apiary. Hands on hive building, introductory bee handling and hive observation will occur as the seasons and the bees dictate.

Monthly, we will explore the world around us by discussing “what’s happening” in the sky, in the coop, in the hive, in the woods, in the soil, in your back yard.