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Monday, August 1, 2011

LifeLab - Workshop Day 1

If you've ever considered gardening with students, LifeLab.org is a great resource.  This week about 10 teachers in our district are spending time with one of the trainers from LifeLab and we've been learning lots already.  For example, today we made "the perfect compost pile."  At least I hope it will be.  Thanks to the Food Lion on Skibo Rd. we had about 9 banana boxes full of greens that had just been pulled from their produce selection in the store.  This was a great start.  I learned that in NC we say straw and many of us think pine straw, but when you are composting you want straw that is the stem of hay producers like wheat.  So much for the 2 bags of pine straw I had gathered for our pile.  Luckily we have Southern Gin and Seed Co. about 2 blocks away from the school and they had plenty of straw bales available.

After lunch, Shauna Haslem (from the NC Coop. Ext.) shared with us some advice for fall and winter planting in NC.  This is great because that is the time when our students can best participate in harvesting crops.  She is a great resource for our district and we were excited to learn of opportunities to collaborate with her further.  Teachers learned that Shauna will come out to our schools and homes to help address gardening concerns.  We can also get our soil tested through their drop off program.

Later in the day we learned about the 6 plant parts and dressed one of our colleagues up as a plant.  We sang a little song and then made some edible art with the 6 plant parts. Check out our pictures from the day..

John Fisher from LifeLab in Santa Cruz shared some fantastic resources with us.  Attending a workshop or bringing a trainer in to do district training isn't always an option.  Fortunately, many of the resources from LifeLab can be found online.  They even have their own channel on Youtube.
If you like this, you should really check out the Banana Slug String Band for some great songs too.

Can't wait for day 2 when we will be planting in our community garden.

If you use any of these resources, I'd love to hear about your experience.  Leave a comment below.

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