By Andria Hollis
Kid Power’s winter began in December when students prepared their school gardens for the upcoming low temperatures by winterizing each garden bed. They finished whatever ripe vegetables were left by munching on carrots and string beans straight out of the garden. They also tested each bed for overall soil health -- pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium levels -- while learning about why each of these elements is important to plant growth. Finally, they covered the beds with leaves to protect them until the spring.
While it’s too cold to work outside, VeggieTime has been the lucky recipient of two very special awards: the 2012 Healthy Sprouts award from the National Gardening Association and a VeggieU Package from Chipotle. With the Healthy Sprouts Award, Kid Power received seeds, tools, textbooks, classroom activities, and gift cards. The VeggieU package provided curriculum, seeds, and a grow lamp. Students have already started using some of the lessons from VeggieU. They sampled purple cauliflower, different colored potatoes, popcorn shoots, and beets.
Students also learned all about worms. Did you know that worms don’t have eyes or ears, but have five hearts instead? Or, that worms eat dirt and turn it back with added nutrients? Kid Power students do! With this knowledge, students built mini worm habitats using gravel, soil, lettuce, and newspaper inside plastic bottles wrapped in black construction paper (as students would tell you…worms don’t like the light!). The worms will live in these homes until springtime when they will help Kid Power gardens thrive!
Students have also been using their portable kitchens to make everything from kale chips to chicken and pepper quesadillas! They have also hosted parent cooking nights and workshops on healthy living. VeggieTime is truly thriving this winter.