Fall is one of the most exciting times in a school garden!  Check out what our ESY Pittsburgh schools are up to…


15311393838_00ddeedf73_zSeed Saving: Each fall, our Garden Educators lead students in the ancient tradition of saving seeds from spent plants in the gardens.  We appreciate this lesson because it helps to connect students (and adults!) to the entire life-cycle of plants in a tangible way.  We save amaranth seeds for planting next season, dry beans for cooking in the classroom mid-winter, and eat our saved popcorn seeds once they have dried for a few weeks in the classroom.

10824915014_bb9cbbc504_zFall Salads: “For everything there is a season.”  While this phrase is a valuable life-lesson, it also applies to the produce growing in our school gardens!  In spring, we make salad with fresh leaf lettuce and crisp turnips.  In the fall, students include broccoli leaves, collards or kale as our greens and add edible flowers, cabbage, carrots and whatever else we can find!  Paired with a homemade honey dijon dressing, students eat it right up.


Apple Tasting: Students love to eat!  As often as possible, we provide opportunities for students to explore healthy food for themselves.  In our apple tasting lessons, students taste and compare 3 varieties of apples and vote for their favorite.  We use a bar graph to find the class winner.  Math CAN be delicious!


Work Days: We are so grateful to all those who volunteer with us.  Last month, we completed two big workdays at two of our school sites.  Thanks to all who came to help! Will and Connor (left) helped to remove old the belgian blocks from Pittsburgh Faison’s garden in preparation for our mini-orchard – coming soon! Jason, Chelsea and Alex helped us to build 9 raised beds at Pittsburgh Montessori and fill them with soil on Halloween – we were spooky productive!

IMG_20141029_121559355Affiliate Schools:  In the schools we partner with in and around Allegheny County, we have been helping teachers and students to harvest what’s left of the food in the garden.  We’ve been so impressed by the healthy carrots, deep red beets and tomatoes still ripe on the vine!  Before wrapping up for the season, students are planting garlic and flower bulbs and mulching their garden beds for the (hopefully not too long) winter. At right, a student at Carnegie Elementary stares in amazement at the giant carrot she just harvested.

We hope you are enjoying your fall harvest season as much as we are!