Monday, November 27, 2017

Frost finally arrived!

Dear Readers,

This will be James' and Gianni's final blog until the new year. For this blog they formulated questions about frost and how it affects plants. Then they researched the questions and found photos to go with their writing. Enjoy!

P.S. Mrs. Minott will post a few garden/greenhouse updates between now and mid-January. Stay tuned...


What plants survive after frost?
















Leeks survive after frost. 
                                               Kale survives in the frost.


How do some plants survive the frost?
Plants from climates with cold winters have evolved to survive winter by going dormant. The lowered concentration of water in a plant's tissue acts like a natural anti freeze. It means it takes a deeper cold to form ice inside them.

How does the frost kill plants?
Cold weather, particularly frost, causes the water in plants' cells to freeze, damaging the cell wall. Roots are unable to take up water and plants die from lack of moisture. Periods of cold and frosty weather during April and May can also kill blossoms and damage fruit. 



Why do plants die so quickly in the frost?
Frost-damaged plants are easy to spot, because they become limp and roots are unable to take up water (same as above).

How fast does it take a plant to die after the frost?
Does it differ depending on the type of plant?

Water in a plant's cell can freeze at any temperature under 32 degrees and can damage the plant. Whether that cold air actually damages plants in your garden will depend on how low it gets, the species of plant, whether it is in a sheltered spot in your yard, or how long the low temperature lasts and many other factors.  







Some of the plants in the MDES garden, after our hard frost.






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Oxygen and Late Fall Flowers

Gianni's Blog

Plants give us oxygen. When we talk we give them CO2. Oxygen is made in the leaves of plants. Trees, big plants, small plants, all green plants make oxygen.  



Gianni's Question: How do we share CO2 with plants?

Mrs. Minott;s Answer: CO2 is a waste product we breathe out. Plants absorb CO2 through tiny pores in their leaves.




James' Blog

I love how this morning glory looks, and I love the colors and how it only partially opened this morning. It only partially opened because we have not had too much sun. 




This flower is beautiful. It’s magenta. (Mrs. Minott adds that this is celosia.)




I think the third flower is a petunia, because I had cherry cheesecake petunias that looked similar to them. 



James' Question: What is your favorite fall flower?


Mrs. Minott's Answer: My favorite fall flower is a purple aster.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Early October Flowers and Greenhouse Fun


This is what we do if we go into the greenhouse at MDES School!




Orange reminds me of Halloween, and so does this flower. These are marigolds. (Gianni)




This flower is a cosmos. It reminds me of my favorite color, pink, and I like how it has leaves that stick out from the center. (James)


Inside the flowers is nectar. The butterflies land on the flowers and eat the nectar. They go to another flower and spread pollen. Pollen is what plants use to make more plants. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

About the pictures
James and Mrs. Minott created a welcome sign for the greenhouse. We tried to make the sign look like the garden, because we put green for the grass, blue for the sky, and other colors for the flowers.
Morning glories are my favorite flower, and I like how they are big and grow up vines. Morning Glories got their names because at night they close up then in the morning they open wide.
A hydrangea is a flowering bush that comes in white. As the flowering bush gets old the blossoms turn pink. Mrs. Minott planted the hydrangea for Mr. Sargent. because he saw one at another nursery and wanted one here at MDES.

This week’s question
This week's question was What is James’s mom's favorite flower?
Jame’s mom's favorite flower is an African violet, but she also likes the bullseye rose. She loves gardening, and it's her favorite thing to do.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fresh Herbs All Winter

Last year we had the opportunity to purchase a grow light for our garden and greenhouse program.  It was used last year to grow seedlings for our garden, but having the greenhouse now, we no longer needed the grow light for that purpose.  Instead Chef Emily and I decided to set up the grow light in the cafeteria and grow fresh herbs all school year long. Now Chef Emily has easy access to the herbs for cooking all of our wonderful school lunches!  Also, it is pretty cool to have the herbs growing in the cafeteria for all the students to see.  Under the grow light you will find mint, parsley, cilantro, rosemary and chives.





Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Seedlings in January!

Over the holiday break our first planting of seeds sprouted in the greenhouse and we will soon have a few crops of lettuce and spinach varieties available for our cafeteria salad bar.  Just before we went on holiday break, I was able to pull out two groups of seventh graders, and also the entire fourth/fifth blend of approximately fifty students, to plant the different varieties of seeds in our greenhouse growing space.  We were concerned about the seeds sprouting, because of the solstice and very small window of sunlight that Maine receives right now.  But with the greenhouse reaching almost eighty degrees some days, and the extra amount of sunny weather we had over the break, the seeds sprouted nicely and are growing great!  It is such a wonderful feeling to know that we are growing fresh greens for our cafeteria in the middle of January!



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Soil!

        Last week we were finally able to order our garden soil for the raised beds inside the greenhouse.  Luckily the temperature has been extra mild this late fall, and we had the perfect weather for the soil delivery on Friday from A.C. Parsons garden and landscape center here on the island.  We had them mix the garden soil for us using three fourths garden loam, and one fourth organic compost.  During the last period of the day, Mr. Cote was able to bring out some of his middle school students and with the help of Mr. McFarland, and using only five gallon buckets, they were able to move almost all four yards of soil inside the greenhouse and into the raised beds!
        This week we will be planting a crop of spinach and a mesclun salad mix for the cafeteria's salad bar. We will also have the middle school science class and the fourth and fifth graders who will be doing some seed and soil experiments in the greenhouse soon.