Cider Stories @ FMA

Cider Stories @ FMA
Posted on 11/03/2015
Can you believe we're already finished with cider? This year 13 classes pressed cider at FMA. With the help of a volunteer group from Breckinridge Capital and an extra apple order from Melissa Honeywood, we were able to press extra cider for the apple cider oatmeal served for breakfast. Believe it or not, cider is not the only thing happening in the garden. This fall we harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatillos, arugula, tot soi, potatoes, sunchokes, basil, and more. JK students in Ms. O's class even helped harvest marigold seeds, which we'll plant in the spring, completing the whole life cycle. Other students have been helping prepare the garden for winter. Ms. Astrove's class planted rye, and Ms Basu's class planted winter wheat, which will not be ready to harvest until the summer-- talk about patience!

The work in the garden is not just about caring for it. Many teachers and students are using it strategically to reinforce important classroom skills. Kindergarteners in Ms. Basu's class have been practicing comparison with Ms. Coulson. They've used all their senses to compare greens including arugula, basil, and tot soi. First graders in Ms. O'Donnell's and Ms. Swedberg's classes have been practicing close observation with lots of scientific sketching, scavenger hunts, and a study of pumpkins. They're learning the difference between drawing from your imagination and drawing like a scientist, noticing details they may have missed at first glance. Second graders in Ms. Leonard's and Ms. Sullivan's classes launched their soil unit with a study of soil in the garden. After their investigation they'll be making recommendations for how to improve our FMA loam.

Though the days are getting shorter, we're working hard to stretch the season for as long as possible. Thanks to a donation of new planters from Whole Foods and Brick Ends Farm, we have colorful mums surviving the first nips of cold. A hoop house on one of our beds will also keep some plants warm enough to survive at least into December. In the next few weeks we'll plant cover crops on all of our beds, and bury some garlic and other bulbs. We'll also harvest compost to add to as much of the garden as possible so that it has all winter to work its way into the soil.
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