Spring in the Garden

Spring is off to a busy start in the garden! Lots of Spring planting–sugar snap peas, tomatoes, peppers, greens galore, and lots of pollinator plants! The garden team is planning on some fun projects–a new greenhouse, a makeover to the native plant area with more benches for kids to work outdoors, and a food forest are all in the works.

Garden photo

Attack of the Killer Cabbage Moths!

Bad news: The pretty white Moths you might see fluttering around the Fall Garden Crops are a Garden Enemy!!!!
Good news: Cabbage Moth Caterpillars are no match for our Student Gardeners!  It was another great Garden Friday! With the help of two Kinder-buddy classes (Harris/Nazari & Goul/Relles) and Ms. Davis & Ms. Auge’s 1st graders we were able to quickly find and remove these hungry hungry caterpillars before they managed to eat all the Kale starts!

If you have a student participating in a Kinder-Buddy class we encourage you to come join us in the garden! It’s a beautiful thing to witness the 5th graders as they act as tour guides & educators to the Kindergarteners. It gives them the opportunity to impart their three years of garden knowledge on to younger students! They take great pride in these leadership roles and the Kinders are all excited to learn from their wayyyy older very cool peers!!

Have you had a chance to go check it out? We have the following Fall crops in:

Carrots
Broccoli Rabe
Sugar snap peas
Mesclun Mix Lettuce
Beets
Brussels sprouts
Potatoes

Do you know that Phoebe has its own Little Free Library?! We do! It’s installed in the Water Wise Butterfly Garden! They’re popping up all over the place- If you’d like to know more about this cool project click here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Free_Library#/search

Do you know that we have Student Art on display in the garden year round?! Look for:

Handprint Mural
Mosaic Birdbath
Mosaic stepping stones
Glass Bead Globe Sculpture

Garden Friday’s happen every Friday between 8:30-12:00 and the more the merrier! Come out and join us!!! No experience required.

We Plant. We Sow. We Learn. We Grow!
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Storm ready? We sure hope so!

What does the Storm mean for the Garden in General and the Chickens specifically? We are glad you asked! First we want to let you now that Chickens are storm/snow and generally weather proof! Did you know that the average chicken has 8,500 feathers? These feathers work together to create the chicken version of a down coat! They puff up to trap air between their bodies and their feather coat to keep warm! Aren’t these guys amazing? Pretty Hen-sational if you ask me!  In addition to their natural weather proofing- The coop is a warm and safe place and the incredibly sturdy run is built to last! In other preparedness news: When we came in today to move loose items into covered areas and do a quick once over ahead of the storm Desiree gave us the contact information for a Phoebe Grandma named Naomi who had already been out there! She helped to cover the chicken feed and tidy up! What a thoughtful lady!! Huge thanks Naomi- it was great chatting with you and we appreciate your concern and your efforts! We are looking forward to you joining us out in the Garden one of these Fridays!! Naomi is part of what makes Phoebe Great!!!!

Last but not least you may be wondering what happens Garden Friday? We plan to go on with our day as scheduled baring any weather related issues. If you signed up to volunteer and the weather permits- please join us! Generally speaking a light sprinkle won’t keep us down – but significant showers will!

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Who needed a little Re-Coop-erating?! :)

Many of you might have noticed that the head of our hen house- the one and only Mrs. Henrietta Eggan was missing!!!! So here’s the SsssCoop! Complete with a happy ending! The Friday before Thanksgiving Mr. Burkhouse noticed that Mrs. Eggan was having trouble moving and didn’t look very good! We decided to take her to a farm in Loomis where Phoebe Grandparents Bob & Karen Whitman offered to give her some R&R! After a three week stint of daily physical therapy, being hand fed kale fresh from the garden and the rest of the chicken spa treatment- she has Recovered!! She also learned how to play the violin and speak french…. just kidding but her recovery is still pretty egg-citing)!!!! We were able to welcome her back to the Coop Monday morning and again there are three! Thanks Whitmans for taking such good care of her- the students were thrilled to see her sweet return!  

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Native Habitat Garden Planting- Take Two!

Big Thank You to Mr. Burkhouse, Mr. Goul, Mrs. Warren and Mrs. Harris for bringing their classes out last Friday to participate in the Supplemental planting in the Habitat Garden (which is located adjacent to the vegetable garden)! Thanks also to the DFW for sending Colin to help us out!

Planted last year thanks to a Grant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife in conjunction with the efforts of Phoebe Parent and DFW Biologist Valary Bloom and Teachers Mr. Burkhouse and Mrs. Stowers- this space is dedicated to plants native to our area. These plantings require no fertilizer and very little water and help attract and support native pollinators providing: food, shelter and even breeding grounds for the birds, butterflies and bees and other essential insects. The plantings are designed to have an informal and inviting feel and attract not only insects but Students and their teachers! We love to see the boulders and the garden beds covered in Students working on their journals or documenting/tracking changes throughout the changing seasons. This project has been several years in the making and the original planting took place at the end of last school year just weeks before the hot, dry Summer. As expected the harsh weather took a toll on the newly planted natives and we experienced a die back of about 30%. Not to fear! The DFW Grant covered this aspect of the project and the supplemental planting last Friday was a big success! All the wet weather we have coming our way means that the Native plants should have plenty of water throughout the Winter and Spring to establish strong root systems and flourish.

While going over the benefits of a Native Garden many of the students were excited by the prospect of seeing wildlife on the Phoebe Campus! There were many students who were excited about the Deer Grass and One optimistic student wondered aloud if we might see Monkeys- attracted (of course) by the Sticky Monkey Flower!! We can now add imagination to the list of benefits of having a Native Plant Habitat Garden on our Campus!!

Ask your students what they have learned or experienced in the Native Habitat Garden! Did they help with the planting last year or the supplemental planting last week? For more information about this type of Garden please visit http://www.cnps.org/cnps/grownative/habitat/ or find Valary Bloom around campus!

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