Garlic up and Brassicas almost ready

This week the kids will finish transplanting brassicas including broccoli, cauliflower, collards, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and cabbage.  The seedlings will be ready for sale around the third week of April which is when we put in ours here in midcoast Maine.  We turn over the soil with a fork, rake in compost and plant.  Immediately after planting we put in hoops of 3/4″ PVC pipe and cover the plants with row cover to keep out flea beetles and keep the plants warm.

The first planting usually coincides with the garlic sprouting through the mulch but this year the garlic was up two weeks ago!  This was a record in my book.

row covers over cucumbershis was a record in my book.

Greenhouse looking hot!

The warm weather has made the greenhouse bust out at the seams!  The chard is bionic, the greens are wild and the flowers are booming.  Onions, peppers, leeks, shallots, celery, celeriac and eggplant have been planted in preparation for the coming gardening season.

What The world Eats

We have been using the book, What the World Eats” as the basis of our math unit and provided us with our essential question: What does the world eat compared to us? This a great book that has lots of photographs, charts and written information about what people all over the world eat for a week. The countries range from the refugee camps of Sudan and Chad to Australia, Japan, Guatemala, Bhutan and the United States. The amount of food consumed by the family for each week is calculated by dollars. The currency of the countries is converted to U.S. dollars.

The standards that we are addressing are to:
Interpret and use percents to solve problems
Understands, selects and uses units of appropriate size and type
Uses graphs to analyze the changes in quantities of linear relationships
Uses graphs and charts for inference

Each student has read and reviewed the book, chose a research topic, developed 5-6 “good questions” and created 2-3 graphs which support the individual research.

Here’s what the kids have to say:

Nolan- “A good question is a question that relates to what you are studying. An example of a good question “What are the top fast food restaurants in the world and why? A good question never has a one word answer. A good question is specific enough to give you good information.”

Bianca- “The book had really good information in it. It helped us learn about how much food all the countries eat and how much it costs every week. The pictures gave us good information because it shows how much food they eat and how big their families are.”

Jana- “This book showed us what fresh and packaged foods are. If you have fresh food you will probably be healthier for you than packaged food. The food that comes from the garden is a whole lot fresher and healthier than packaged food at the store.”

Taylor- “In different countries, people eat different foods based on how much money they have and how good the farmland is. For example, In India, people eat mostly vegetables and some meat. They do not eat beef because the cow is sacred. In the U.S. We eat too much fast food! In Ecuador, people eat mostly vegetables and grains which they either grow themselves or trade with their neighbors for what they can’t grow.”

Nic-”There are a lot of McDonald’s around the world. In Hindu countries, the Big Macs are made from chicken. Japan has 3,857 McDonald’s.”

Thomas- “The U.S Food Pyramid tells you what kind of food groups you should eat and how big of a portion you should eat. For example the food groups you should eat the least of are on the top and the food groups you should eat the most of are on the bottom. Examples of food groups are, fats/oils, dairy,proteins and simple and complex carbohydrates.”

We’ve been working on this project for two weeks now. Each student is creating a keynote with their questions and answers and two-three graphs related to their topic. They’ll also orally present their projects to each other.

Here’s what they have to say about what they’ve learned:

Nolan- “I learned that not everyone eats stuff from their own countries.”

Thomas- “I learned from the Food Pyramid about some of the less healthy foods you eat that are on the food pyramid. You should eat more of the healthier foods than the others.”

Jana- “I learned that many countries have food like ours. Another thing that I learned is that the richer you are, the unhealthier you may be if all you eat is expensive, fat food and packaged food. Whether you eat healthily depends on whether you have a garden or not.”

Nic-”I learned that there are many fast food places all around the world and what different kinds of fast food. Math can be interesting.”

Taylor-”I have learned to think in a mathematical way.”

Jordan- “What I’ve learned is that math can be fun when you’re talking about food. Food can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided just like a pineapple. Most of the time here, foods are easy to get depending on what you like to eat.”

Bianca-” What I have learned is that some people in the world don’t eat or have as much as we do. In India, they don’t eat cows. They eat chicken burgers instead.”

Helen Nichols- “I love teaching using the modified Socratic Method. . Actually teaching the students what good questions are and what good research is, is vitally important to their success in high school .Learning about how others approach food is something they are all interested in, so the learning is a little more natural for them. I am striving for a balance of mathematical thinking (searching for patterns, similarities and differences. I want my students to be able to be able think, discuss and solve problems through a mathematical lens.

Greens For Sale

Anyone is allowed to purchase greens during school hours.  Students harvest greens in the morning for the cafeteria or the Belfast Co-op and any extra are sold to parents, friends and teachers.  The greenhouse and hoop houses are warm this time of year so stop in and enjoy the Florida weather and buy some nutritious greens.

Blogged By Nick Stimpson

Seed Packaging

Our students are packaging seeds from Fedco and seeds they have saved from the garden and they are almost ready to go on sale. The seeds can be purchased at Troy Howard Middle School, Mr. Paper Back, the Belfast Co-op  and EBS Building Supplies.

Blogged By Nick Stimpson

One Of Our Packages


Outdoor Kitchen getting a facelift

Ecology students at THMS are planning the next stage for the kitchen. A plan to add a radiant floor and solar hot water is currently in the planning stage.