Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gross and Cool - Soldier Flies

Yesterday we were walking around Marion Street Intergenerational Garden, checking on plants and compost, and I was quite revolted to see about 400 of these things furiously crawling up the insides of our compost cans. Luckily, Zachary from Clagett Farm was on hand to drop some knowledge on me - these are soldier fly larvae! And believe it or not, they are not as bad as they look. According to some research, soldier flies are big helpers in the compost bin, and they can withstand the heat a bit better than earthworms (who we still want to hang around). This site I found, Black Soldier Fly Blog, is dedicated to promoting soldier fly composting. As a part-time entomology buff, I was happy to get to know these hard working little buggers and I hope they will continue being our neighbors at Marion Street.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Basil Bonanza

The Biggest Basil Potluck Ever! Come and pick some basil and prep a delicious dish for neighbors and friends of Marion Street Garden. Pick the basil Monday, August 23 4-7pm or Wednesday, August 25 4-6:30 and then eat with everyone from 6:30 to 8:30 on August 25th. We are looking forward to lots of new recipes using basil in ways never imagined, as well as a really good pesto or two. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lola at

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

More reflections on gardening with children by Kevin and David

This summer our SYEP interns have gotten a LOT of practice working with young children and learning how best to communicate information about gardening and community to young minds. The lesson this week involved the interns reading stories to small groups of children and then checking for comprehension by having the children draw pictures of their understanding of the book. Here are some more reflections from our beginning teachers - enjoy!

Kevin Smith -
Today I realized that it is extremely hard to get the kids' full attention. This time around it was very difficult to explain my lesson because the kids' minds were everywhere. They were watching other kids play and were just looking around everywhere. What was also different about this time was the kids' understanding of the book I read. The kids were aware of the fruits in the book and were able to tell the difference between them.

David Holmes - It wasn't similar to last week - it was kind of better. The kids paid attention more, and I think every week that gets better. They draw very well and paid closer attention to what they were drawing this time. I think I made the story/learning activity a better and more fun experience for them by using their language/ way of talking about the things that they like.