Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rocky Boy Elementary Gets Creative Growing Food in Windowsill Gardens

Teena Thompson is a FoodCorps Service Member in Rocky Boy.


As the frosty Montana Winter settles in, days spent outside in the garden seem to be distant memories. Snow falls every year here in Rocky Boy usually starting by October 2. Unfortunately, that did not allow enough time for me to reach each and every class in Rocky Boy Elementary, let alone secure the space and actually start planting a school garden. But that won't stop us from learning AND growing throughout this long, cold winter! 

A Halloween touch to Rocky Boy Elementary's windowsill gardens!


Fortunately, our wonderful principal has approved planting some windowsill "gardens." And that is how my "monsters" creeped their way into the classroom. The monster garden boxes are a simple recycling project that result in personal greenhouses. I began with an enthusiastic group of second graders who were eager to do some hands-on learning! For their classroom crop I choose fast-growing English radishes. With their beautiful red and white coloring and refreshing crunch, I knew they wouldn't disappoint. 

Although their teacher initially (and legitimately) worried about messes and attracting critters, she too was so excited to see little radish sprouts just one week after planting! In just a few more weeks, the second grade class will be tasting their radishes dipped in a scrumptious yogurt sauce! Now that the windowsill gardens have become a popular feature in the classroom, I have a feeling the minute we harvest the radishes, there will be eager requests for new crops!

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