Lettuce Growing Companions

GFPlettucechallengeWe have exactly two weeks remaining in the Lettuce Challenge and are looking forward to the 2016 Buttercrunch Awards, Wednesday, June 15, 4 pm at the GEC.  Last year the GEC hosted a showcase in our gallery of student lettuce plants, and we hope to see you there again this year.

The theme for this year’s Buttercrunch Awards and gallery is Lettuce Growing Companions.  Expect to see a colorful representation (and perhaps a potluck of tasting samples) of Lettuce Companion plants (carrots, radish, runner beans, cucumber, and strawberries) featured in the gallery alongside our lettuce because as it says on our favorite image of companion planting “A Diverse Garden is an Abundant Garden”.

companion-plantingWe hope to have a large cheering section for our young gardeners, their families, and teachers!   In the meantime, don’t forget to send us photos or questions to share from your lettuce growing adventures, innovations, experiments, and art projects.  Then check out our own growing notes and Buttercrunch spotting challenges below.

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This year, we are doing a little experiment exploring companion plants.  Can you spot the three Buttercrunch plants hidden among the Endive lettuce, African Blue Basil, Kale, Parsley, Rosemary?  This planter was arranged and planted by a fifth GEC volunteer, we can’t wait to see it grow.  We are curious to see how the parsley and lettuce grow together, as they are traditionally listed as poor growing companions.  Pictured below are some photos submissions of lettuce experiments with sub-irrigated pop bottle planters for lettuce and microgreens, closeups of spotting and removing aphids from Buttercrunch leaves, and an example of a vermicomposting experiment, compost was added around lettuce peat pots.  Good luck growers!  We look forward to seeing more photos from your school and student gardens

 

 

 Want to help with the Lettuce Challenge Buttercrunch Awards?

Please take a minute to answer our anonymous survey.  CLICK HERE so we can better reach our goals (teachers, community members and parents, we want to hear from you, whether or not you participated this year)

GOAL 1:  Encourage novice gardeners by challenging them to grow something edible, and take steps towards good nutrition
GOAL 2:  Have a showcase for our garden growth:  a celebration day (with awards!) for our new skills, and a venue to share the challenges and benefits of gardening in schools
GOAL 3:  Help school communities improve their gardening, and enrich their curriculum by connecting them to gardening resources and local partners

We also have a volunteer task list for those who want to help organize/decorate the gallery, prepare awards or welcome judges, provide/serve healthy refreshments, or collect feedback for Garden Fairchild Challenges at the GEC in the future.  Please email us at youth.director@gecgreenwich.org if you would like to be more involved.

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Here’s a different planter to practice spotting Buttercrunch lettuce:  two of our familiar plants are hidden among Endive Lettuce, Basil, African Blue Basil, Kale, and Thyme

 

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Lettuce Challenge Registration

Greenwich 2nd graders can register to adopt and tend to lettuce plants for six weeks, as part of the Fairchild Challenge at the GEC, and participate in community showcase at the Garden Education Center in Cos Cob, CT.

Be sure to check our NEWS & UPDATES PAGE for Buttercrunch Awards 2016, CLICK HERE.

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Timing for Greenwich Lettuce Challenge 2016

  • Final school enrollment deadline will be Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 5:00 pm
  • Two ways to register:
    • School online registration, NOW OPEN, click here to register online.  
    • In-person school registrationlettucechallengecalendar.  We will be available to help you and answer questions on March 23, 3:30-5:00 pm at the GEC, 130 Bible Street, Cos Cob.  Please RSVP to youth.director@gecgreenwich.org
  • Plant plug pickup for pre-registered schools, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at the GEC, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
  • Finalists, deliver three plants per school to the GEC, June 15th, 9am-1pm, with entry forms
  • Showcase and Buttercrunch Awards, Wednesday June 15, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in the Garden Education Center Gallery.
  • The GEC is seeking 2016 Buttercrunch Awards sponsors and volunteers, please email youth.director@gecgreenwich.org for additional information.

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During the Lettuce Challenge, you can always click on the Lettuce Challenge logo on our front page to go directly to our news page where you will find registration links and common questions, and sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.

 

 

Seventeen Syllables to Show Your Support

If you missed May Market at the GEC, you may have missed our big announcement!  Our “find a Poem in the Pinetum” Scavenger hunt walked you through our green space with a challenge to create a haiku – seventeen syllables about “Playing and Growing Outdoors.”

The big news?  This is a fun way for us to announce our upcoming year as Satellite Partners of the Fairchild Challenge.  We’ll be launching four challenges for schools during the 2015-2016 school year.

We’re asking for your support for this new program.  Your $10 donation, within the next 12 hours, comes with a fun haiku contest, and the chance to win $50 cash prizes.  It’s a way for you to show your support and say,

Fairchild Challenge at
the GEC is great news,
Congratulations!

If you’d like to walk a virtual scavenger hunt of April Nature Play, here’s the Prezi.  YOUR PREZI MAP

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Here’s how to make your $10 donation count right now
Simply go to http://gecgreenwich.org/familynatureplay.html and choose April, so we know you support the Lettuce Challenge and The Fairchild Challenge at the GEC.  If you want to enter our Haiku Contest too, you have until 8pm to make your donation, just enter your haiku in the comments.  Please spread the word!

Have fun with it!

tell us a story
which outdoor games did you play
when you were a kid?

Or to show your support, you can copy and paste:

we like Nature Play
in the garden, the greenhouse,
and the pinetum

your support is key
thanks for following along
on this adventure


The Fairchild Challenge was designed and initiated by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables (Miami), Florida. FTBG and the Montgomery Pinetum are sister gardens.

For full official haiku contest entry requirements and information CLICK HERE.  Also included are some details about our Summer Introduction to the Fairchild Challenge at the GEC. We’ll be presenting an introductory challenge over the summer with summer school students and teachers (that’s a separate big announcement – more details to come!), and launching the Fairchild Challenge at the GEC in the Fall.