Lettuce Challenge Update | Plants for the new compost bin | 3.30.2015

“Hello lettuce plants!”  I say it every time I enter my dining room, because I’m trying the windowsill lettuce challenge at home.  In fact, many Green Schools volunteers also took home plants to care for, and we are all novices, taking notes on what makes this challenging, fun, and educational.  Two weeks left until the plant and poster pickup for Buttercrunch Awards entries on April 9/10.  Please take a minute to let us know what’s happening on your windowsill:


How’s it growing in your classroom?

For what they are worth, here are some reports from my home experiment and GEC classroom windowsill to yours.

Remember, I’m an amateur gardener, which means to say, I do it for pleasure and enjoyment, and I’m building my skills.  When three brothers visited my home over the weekend, I asked them to check out my windowsill lettuce, because I have fun with these plants, but I also stress about them.  My father and two uncles grew up on a farm in Minnesota, we all get together and talk about soil, and I was lucky they enthusiastically shared their lettuce advice, in case you can relate:

"Your soil is too wet, you need to let it dry out so the roots can get proper air."
“Your soil is too wet, you need to let it dry out a little, so the roots can get proper air.”  <I’ve also heard the advice, lettuce love a lot of water… so you know, it’s a learning process balancing their needs>
image
“you need a shoplight, right close to those plants, they are not getting enough light from the window. Their leaves are too light green, but after a couple weeks under the lamp, they’ll darken right up.” <look who went out and bought herself a shoplight, Uncle Larry!”>
"You need to wait for those leaves to turn into a buttercrunch head.  it takes time..."
“You need to wait for those leaves to turn into a buttercrunch head. it takes time…” < I was feeling impatient and anxious for my little plants.>

Hope you enjoy the photos.  I welcome yours too. If any guest parent gardeners stop by your classroom and offer advice, please share 🙂

Meanwhile, in the GEC Classroom, look at this windowsill kale!  Volunteers help with the watering, and toddlers and caregivers help water and prune them on Wednesday mornings as part of Mushrooms.
Meanwhile, in the GEC Classroom, look at this windowsill kale! Volunteers help with the watering, and toddlers and caregivers help water and prune them on Wednesday mornings as part of Mushrooms.
These swiss chard plants have had time time to grow some wonderful colors.
These swiss chard plants have had time time to grow some wonderful colors.
The great news is, we had some yellow leaves, and got to feed them to our vermicomposting bin last week.  FUN!
The great news is, we had some yellow leaves, and got to feed them to our vermicomposting bin last week. FUN!
If you have plants that don't make it, it's not the end, by any means.  We'll pick up the soil and soggy or dried out leaves and serve them to our worms in our classroom bin, or put them in our brand NEW Volunteer-Master-Composter-built pallet bin.
If you have plants that don’t make it, it’s not the end, by any means. We’ll pick up the soil and soggy or dried out leaves and serve them to our worms in our classroom bin, or put them in our brand NEW Volunteer-Master-Composter-built pallet bin.
Either way, they'll get turned into fresh compost, by a community of nature's recyclers, and they'll be a great addition when we start up more lettuce seeds.  You can even compost the pots we planted them in.
Either way, they’ll get turned into fresh compost, by a community of nature’s recyclers, and they’ll be a great addition when we start up more lettuce seeds. You can even compost the pots we planted them in.
I love a fresh start, don't you?  Here's a sprout in our greenhouse vermicomposting bin
I love a fresh start, don’t you? Here’s a sprout in our greenhouse vermicomposting bin.  Can you spot the red wiggler worm?

If you are interested in borrowing a worm bin to see how it all works, contact me at youth.director@gecgreenwich.org.  I can bring you a presentation on vermicomposting, or you can just borrow a bin for a week and see what happens!

Thanks for answering our poll above!

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