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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's sleeping under that straw?

Straw is a great mulch. Well, it's not the best, but it is a pretty warm blanket for sleeping seeds and future plants. The first graders had a chance to learn about garlic this month. They took a close-up look at a head of garlic, and split it into individual cloves. If you were going to plant a clove of garlic, which end do you think should go down and which end should go up? These 1st graders are pretty plant-saavy already! They could use their skills of observation and see that those little stringy things on one end looked a lot like roots. That end goes down. Right!
    So room 5 came outside and planted some garlic. It takes a long time for garlic to grow. Did you know that? Like, 6-8 months! And we are lucky because we got some early-maturing garlic that should be ready before school is out. This is going to be great! We can learn about all the different parts of the garlic plant and other alliums (that's the fancy name of the family garlic belongs to along with onions). 
       Ever heard of garlic scapes or garlic whistles? Well you will be seeing some of those come Spring and the 1st-graders will get to taste them. Be ready for some stinky garlic-breath!

This, is our garlic. Sleeping peacefully and snug under it's blanket of straw.

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