Cale School Garden

Flowers, fruit and vegetables grown by the students at Paul H. Cale Elementary School.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Today, A Calendar, and the Future

It's almost time to bid adieu for this school year.  We were looking at the calendar at the end of Garden Club this afternoon and realized there are only four more meetings for this year.


We didn't waste much time today, planting carrots, beans, watermelon, sunflowers, and marigolds.  We also spent a little time catching up on the weeding while Mr. V patched up the fence.  It had developed a few gaps from being hit with soccer balls.  While we were out there we noted that the corn is about 4 inches high already and a few of the pumpkins are already flowering.  If we can keep them watered and keep the bugs off of everything, we should have a pretty good harvest.  Speaking of which. . . 

A Calendar

I've set up a Google Calendar for the Garden Club.  I'll add events like our Garden Parties, planting dates and other stuff.  However, the main reason it's there is for YOU to sign up to help in the garden over the summer.  Neither Mr. V nor myself can put as much time as we'd like into the garden this summer and could really use some help.  

As of now it's empty (almost), so feel free to check it out sign up for a time.  Once you've decided when you'd like to come help out, you'll just need to send me an email so I can give you permission to add and change events.  I can be reached at  Then you'll be free to sign up for anytime you'd like.  If you have any trouble with the process, let me know so I can get it sorted out.

Ideally, families could adopt the garden for a weekend or week, taking care of weeding (the biggest job) and watering (hopefully it won't be a big job depending on the weather, but I'll keep the water barrel full and the watering cans available) and helping themselves to anything that is ready.  

The Future

I'll be putting up a chalk board on the fence next to the garden entrance.  Feel free to leave messages about what you've done, what still needs to be done, or what's ready to be picked.  I'll leave messages as well.  (Please feel free to clean up an inappropriate messages you find.  I hope it won't be an issue, but "hope for the best, plan for the worst" seems a wise strategy.)  It should be up by mid to late June.

The Spring Garden Party will be on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 11th.  We'll get started around 2:45 and wrap up by 4:00.  By doing the party at this time, we're hoping we'll get more kids and families interested in coming out to the garden this summer and in the fall.  The party will be potluck, so bring your favorite after school snacks to share with a crowd. 

One last thing, if anyone with a weed eater or small lawn mower would like to help out, I can't seem to convince Building Services that we need our grass cut.  But we do!  Any assistance with that would be tremendously appreciated.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And we're back. . .

My computer has been out of commission for the last week or so, but I'm back in business now.

It seems to me no matter what craziness is happening in our lives or out in the world, nothing can pull you out of it like going out to plant something or pull weeds.  Thank you guys for another great week.

Anyway. . .

In the next couple of weeks look for a newsletter about two upcoming opportunities to show a little love to the garden.   But, just for you all, I'll give you a little bit of a heads up.

1)  We're doing our Spring Garden Party after school on June 11th.  We'll get started around 2:45 and go until about 4:00.  Everyone is invited!  (Okay, wait, every one with a Cale connection is invited.)

2)  I'm excited to announce that families will have a chance to adopt the garden for a week or a weekend this summer!  That's right!  You can bring your fiends and family with you to. . . water the garden!  Then, you can. . . weed the garden!  Or. . . you could weed first and then water!  Okay, seriously, Mr. V. and I can't take care of the garden by ourselves during the summer anymore.  If you'd like to help out, that would be absolutely, fantastically wonderful.

Okay, so we got a lot done this week.  We did a lot of weeding in the past couple of weeks.   Also, the corn is planted.  Yes, I know I'm probably a bit early, but there doesn't seem to be anything in the forecast to indicate it'll be a problem.  Next week I think we'll get some other stuff in the ground.  Our pumpkin seedlings, for example, are already huge and would probably like a little more space.  

I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.  A couple of notes: 1)  All the pictures were taken by the kids; 2) there's probably more fun than work happening in the pictures, but they're often the same thing; 3) these were actually taken this week and last week but this is the first chance I've had to get them off the camera; and 4) I didn't include the pictures of the improvised catapult that was built today.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  So, while I appreciate the creativity and initiative, that will not happen again.

Larry, I know I promised but, THAT'S NOT HOW WE USE OUR TOOLS!!!

Usually, these are some of my hardest workers. . .

"Is there supposed to be a hole in the fence here?"

"Hey you kids, get out of my yard."

Yes, we run the garden club and we know what we're doing?

Those who want a snack from me, should probably not put
the camera in my face like that.  Just sayin'.

A happy gardener

A thoughtful gardener

Planting corn

Team work

A two-fisted gardener

Those of you who remember what our soil looked like
when we started will understand why this picture makes me smile.

The Eternal Rosemary

Another happy gardener

Another thoughtful gardener

Yes, yes, three seeds every 12 inches.
We heard you the first time, Mr. Rough

This is my tool.  I do not know what it is called, but it is mine, and I like it.

Hmmm, maybe you're hitting a rock. . .

You heard me. . . no work. . . no snack.
(Okay, not really, but I almost kept a straight face.)


Yet another happy gardener (geez, they're everywhere)

Yet another thoughtful gardener

Queen of the Compost Pile

No really, guys, times up, we have to go in. . .

A happy snacker

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Quiet Garden Club Day

The field was still a slushy mess this afternoon, so we took this opportunity to stay inside and get some seeds started.  We started a tray of pumpkins, watermelon, and beets that we'll keep watered and healthy until about May 1 when we'll be safe from frost and can plant them in the garden.  We have a few more things to get started inside (chard, turnips, kale and lettuces, in particular), but we'll get to that in the next couple of weeks.  Other stuff, like the corn, carrots and radishes we'll sow directly in the garden when we move the seedlings later in the spring.   Thanks to everyone that came today, but especially to Mr. V for everything he does, and Larry who was the photographer of the day.

Don't forget, spring break is next week so no Garden Club until we return.

Adding seeds to our re-hydrated soil cakes.

What could possibly make Mr. V make this face?

New seeds under the grow light.

Today's snack - chocolate raspberry cake with a butter cream icing.


Jack and his table mates discussing how many seeds to put in each
starter. . . I think.  Or, maybe they were discussing the upcoming snack.
I'm not sure.

Larry hates getting his picture taken, but they always
 turn out so well.  I just can't help it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Last Day of Winter!

It still felt pretty wintery this morning at recess but it was a gorgeous day by the time garden club rolled around.  I forgot to take pictures out in the garden but got a few shots at snack this afternoon.  Needless to say it was a great afternoon.  We had a quick refresher on how to use our tools then dug up one whole bed and a good chunk of another.

I think we have the best view of any school in the county.

We're planning on planting around the first of May.  Of the four beds inside the fence, one will be dedicated to corn this year.  Corn can be tricky and we aren't guaranteed to get much out of it, but I think it's a worthwhile experiment.  Otherwise, we're donating half of one of the beds to a kindergarten class.  The other half will have greens (lettuces, chard, and, of course, kale) and herbs. In the third bed, we'll plant pumpkins and watermelons.  In the last bed, we'll do some more greens and perhaps some strawberries.  The kids are really excited about trying out strawberries.  They can be easy to grow, but there won't be any yield this summer.  We'll be pinching off any flowers this year.  That allows the plants to send out more runners that will produce even more fruit next year.  No worries, though, everyone is welcome to come back and sample them next year when they start producing.

In the raised bed, since the soil is rich and pretty soft, we'll work on some root crops, carrots, radishes,  beets, and turnips, definitely, but perhaps parsnips as well (if I can find some good seed).

Planning further ahead. . .  Our spring Garden Party will be on Tuesday, June 11th.  This is on the regular Garden Club Tuesday during the last week of school.  Hopefully, more kids will be able to stay later that day.  Perhaps we'll interest some new gardeners and end up with a bigger group for next year.  We'll get started at about 2:45 and go until about 4:00.

Planning even further ahead. . . If there are any families interested in adopting the garden for a week or just a couple of days over the summer, please let me know.   You'll be able to spend some quality family time together making sure everything is watered and weeded.  You'll be most welcome to pick any produce that is ready during your time, of course.   I'll set up a Google calendar in the next few days so folks can sign up.

Snack, ham salad and broccoli/cauliflower salad
made with broccoli we grew over the winter.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ah, Spring!

I'm so glad it's feeling like spring.  I know we've been going for a few weeks, but I think today is the real first day of Garden Club.  I don't have anything to add to that except, thanks everyone!