bertrandfarm

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Archive for the month “October, 2017”

The Problems with Agriculture Today

Kale

This month our students were instructed to read an article by Michael Pollan. The article was published in the New York Times(2008)and was a letter to President Obama before he took office. The letter calls the president to action and refers to him as the “Farmer in Chief.” I particularly liked this article because it lays out, very simply, the issues with our agricultural systems today. Knowing how important it is to provide relevant information to audiences that might not otherwise see it, I found this article to very concisely do just that.

Pollan has a way of really speaking to your heart and mind simultaneously and in the past I have enjoyed his writing immensely. I am looking forward to hearing what the students think of the article next week. I wonder if they will feel inspired or reinvigorated to work on their school farm. I also wonder if they will understand the gravity of what they read in the article, and how they will propose to implement change as young adults.

Check it out….

Joanna

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Building an Urban farm

 

Compost was the theme of the week at GSMS! There is a lovely compost area on the campus but it really needed some attention. Theri used this opportunity to give an in-depth look at how compost actually “works” and how our compost piles will work for us.

We learned how micro-organisms break down the waste in the pile and how important pile content and arrangement can be. We discussed how nitrogen (green things) and carbon (brown things) are really only two of four ingredients required in a proper compost pile. The pile also needs water and oxygen to properly break down the waste. This is where our hands-on work came in! The students are now working to turn their compost pile (provide oxygen) every week. There was an issue with the location of the pile, since it was located on a slope, because it loses water due to gravity. It is possible that the compost pile may need to be relocated but the students are working to clear the debris that has accumulated around the area so that they can decide on a solution.

Proper pile content and arrangement is important because this is how it reaches the highest temperatures. High temperatures are particularly important to breaking down seeds, particularly weed seeds. At our compost pile a gourd seed was able to germinate due to a hiatus in care over the summer break. This perfectly illustrates why we need our pile in working order!Joannablog 10-2

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