Check Out Our Spring Sale Plant List!
It has been far too long since the garden has had a blog post but boy have we been busy! The dome is a bit jungle like and bursting at the seams with starts. A student from 3rd quarter gardening (Jan through mid-March) recently visited the dome and was bewildered trying to find the Gypsophila he started...those tiny seeds are now stunning plants in 4" pots!
Some of our starts will go into our garden or home with children. Many however, are planted, maintained and sold by our middle school students at our annual spring start sale. Though a new tradition (this will be our second year) we've already learned so much about our dome and have improved our plant offerings this year.
This year almost all of our sale starts were planted in "soil blockers". You can read about some of the benefits of this method here. Getting the right combination of materials and correct consistency is a bit of an art that we are still learning to perfect. Students are now self-directed however in the blocking and planting process and have become quite proficient at using recipes with terms like "ratio" and "parts" to mix up "batches" of potting mix specific to varying uses (mini soil blocker, large soil blocker, and containers).
We hope you'll join us for our sale on May 4th right after May Faire (~12:45) the 7th grader's and I will hold the sale open until 4 or when all seedlings are sold, whichever comes first.
Busy hands here at Mountain Sage! Check out all the hands-on learning our students have been doing:
The Mountain Sage garden sprung from a hard pan parking lot. Many hands worked to make it the bountiful place it is now and we want to recognize two businesses that are helping us expand our program even further!
Rocky Mountain Soil Stewardship
Did you know there is a vermicompost (worm compost!) farm in northwest Fort Collins? Kathy Doesken, owner of Rocky Mountain Soil Stewardship, consults with Mountain Sage as our local soil scientist/compost expert. In the past year Mrs. Doesken assisted the gardening team in transforming our composting system into a well-oiled machine. Leftover lunches and garden materials have been turned into what we like to call our “black gold” and are being used to maintain healthy soil and grow highly nutritious plants!
A huge thank you to Kathy and her volunteer compost team!
Cloverlick Banjo Shop
This summer BJ and Gemma Kinney, Mountain Sage parents and owners of Cloverlick Banjo Shop, donated their time and resources to revamp and expand our solar power in the Growing Dome. Next to the dome we now have a beautiful shade structure topped by solar panels. In the dome we have an entire solar system complete with batteries and outlets.
The success of our dome depends on the ability to run fans, fountains and air stones - all solar powered – so we are grateful for the expert help in setting up and running our new system. We are also beyond excited to see how our solar system can continue to enrich our garden classes with access to electricity as well as support our festivals and outdoor events.
Thank you Cloverlick and the Kinney family!
Piles and Piles of compost with our solar structure in the background!
"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."
"Which of your 5 sense are you using?" you might hear Ms. Swigris ask a 1st grader. Look at a 7th grader's weather report and alongside the charts and measurements you will read descriptors of the sky's appearance, the air's feel or maybe the wind’s scent. Nutrition, plant science, math, critical thinking skills and more are intentionally woven into gardening class’s curriculum. We love watching our students learn concrete concepts through their work with nature but it is the moments of wonder that we anticipate the most. What a great joy it is to work in a place where the teacher can step back and let nature speak.