October Life Lab  

                      Newsletter  

Welcome to Life Lab,

Happy October Parents.  Well, we are one month down in the Life Lab course and things are going very well!  Your children have been out in the garden learning how to make specific observations and inferences.  We have had some great discussions about some of the plants that we are growing out there and many have tried the sungold tomatoes that we are growing.  We even had a few ¨first timers¨!  While making observations, the students made a wonderful discovery that turned into a great learning experience that is still ongoing.  The pictures below will explain:

This is the parsley worm, aka, the black swallowtail butterfly.  We are monitoring their development as they have finally turned to the chrysalid state in a butterfly net in the classroom.  We were able to observe in the garden many of the stages of the caterpillar as it grows.  

We have also learned the science of how the hoophouse (sometimes called greenhouse) at the school works.  Students are currently investigating how we can actually use this structure to grow plants all winter long.  We are learning concepts from Eliot Coleman´s book, the Winter Harvest Handbook.  It is a great read on a sustainable, local farming concept.  Students will be competing next week to create the most well thought out garden plan.  One winning team from each class will be able to plant their garden design in the hoophouse.  

Lastly, we had an opportunity to harvest and taste test the first ever SIS watermelon!  It was orange krush and they certainly got a kick out of it.

Upcoming in October, students will be planting garlic, learning all about the tools that we use in the garden and taking a tool practical exam.  Your children will also be outside harvesting all sorts of squash and vegetables and will also be getting the garden ready for the winter.  There is a lot of fall work to be done in the garden and they will be a part of it!

Lastly, I wanted to thank those who were able to help donate some supplies, I will be enrolling us in the Cornell Feederwatch program and your children will become citizen scientists helping to track bird populations on the school grounds, so the birdseed is very helpful to support that program.  We will be starting the composting project soon so we still need those 2 liter soda bottles!  Thanks in advance for any you can send our way.  One last note; I started an instagram account for the garden.  If you would like to watch what we are doing in pictures, feel free to follow @siscommunitygarden

Fall is certainly my favorite season of the year and I hope that you are able to get outside and enjoy all that our wonderful area has to offer.  As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

- Eric Wolf