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


        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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


    Last week we finally harvested our two pumpkins that we grew with Mrs. Garrity's second grade.  The pumpkin seedlings had been a donation from one of our second graders last year, and he and his class had a blast harvesting and weighing them.  The students spent a class period out in the garden, and cleaned out the pumpkin bed, transferred all the pumpkin vines and plant materials into the compost, and harvested the two pumpkins which were a dill variety.  The dill variety of pumpkin is named after Howard Dill of Nova Scotia and are most commonly used to grow giant pumpkins. The pumpkins usually end up weighing between 50 and 100lbs when harvested.  Mrs. Garrity's class borrowed the scale from the nurse's office and we weighted each pumpkin.  The first pumpkin weighted 38lbs and the second weighed 63lbs.   
     This week we decided to carve the pumpkins with the second graders, so we could display them in front of our new greenhouse for our annual school Halloween parade on Friday afternoon.  Unfortunately when we began carving the pumpkins, we quickly found that they were very thick and extremely difficult to carve.  We quickly changed our plans, and had the second graders decorate and draw faces on the pumpkins with markers.  The students had just as much fun decorating the pumpkins instead of carving them. If you are walking past the school anytime soon, you can find them sitting on some hay bales outside our new greenhouse for the parade tomorrow!