October 10th, 2009 by Sidney, Kimberly and Marilee

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Opening Circle: Mackenzie shared a beautiful, new song with African lyrics. The English lyrics are as follows:

Welcome to my village
You are part of my village
We are all one village

Today we passed an invisible “talking stick” and shared the name of our favorite veggies. We also shared the progress of our seed jars. Most of the seeds had quickly germinated and in some cases had multiple leaves, or the seeds remained dormant with mold growing on the moist paper towel.

We discussed that the newly emerging plants were initially feeding on the nutrients within the seed and then each new plant grew toward the sunlight. Sidney shared a seed dispersal experience describing how a neighbor’s dog collected and distributed seeds which had caught onto his fur.

Mackenzie introduced our special guest today, Suzanne Mills, her mother from San Diego. Suzanne was busy helping everyone today with the experiments, cooking, clean up and sharing stories about growing up with Mackenzie. Thank you Suzanne!

Garden Chores:

The front yard was cleaned up with old growth tomato plants taken away to the compost pile.

Large Compost Bin

Tomato Plants Become Compost

Science Project:

We talked about the 3 elements; sunlight, water and soil and how they relate to plants.

There were 3 experiments. Mackenzie prompted the investigation with a question about one of the elements and then we created our scientific guess, sometimes referred to as a hypothesis.

Q#1 What happens to roots with various amounts of water?

Hypothesis: Plants need water

Method: 5 cups of soil were given varying amount of water and ability to drain water.

C1 – no water

C2 Water once with cup drainage holes

C3 Water once with no drainage holes

C4 Water several times with cup drainage holes

C5 Water several times with no drainage holes

Q#2 What does soil do for plants?

H: Quality soil gives us bigger leaves

M: 3 pea seeds using 3 methods were planted in the garden

P1 Peas with water and sun

P2 Peas with poor soil with water

P3 Peas with good soil, sun and water

Q#3 How does light affect plantʼs growth?

H: Plants donʼt need light but they grow better with light

M: Put 3 cups filled with seeds and soil into 3 areas of varying light

C1 Inside without light (closet)

C2 Create a collar of foil around the cup to maximize light capture

C3 Put cup outside with no foil collar

Garden Senses Exercise

How Does the Garden Feel?

Senses in the Garden:

Everyone had fun searching the garden and acting like a detective finding 18 different

textures, smell, sounds, colors, tastes. The “brightness” of each individual piece was

enjoyed.

Cooking Project:

Cooking 3 different dishes using Polenta; Polenta crust pizza, soft polenta with olive oil, soft polenta with tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella cheese, and apple upside down cake.

Polenta is a dish made from boiled cornmeal. When boiled, polenta has a smooth, creamy texture due to the gelatinization of starch in the grain.

Polenta Pizza

Let's Eat!

We watched Talia finish up cooking a pot of soft polenta. After adding the polenta to boiling water she stirred the mixture for over an hour. Her patience paid off as the batch passed the thickening test with her mixing spoon standing straight up from the mixture.

Owen, Kevin, Kimberly and others sliced and diced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to decorate the top of the polenta crust.

Everything was delicious.

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