Galesville Elementary Garden Update
2016 is our 8th year and growing
Fall 2016 Largest Watermelon from the garden ever!
June 1, 2016,Salad fresh from the Garden!
April 4, 2016, Beautiful early spring lettuce is served on the
Garden Club Registration – Fall 2016
All Students and Parents of Galesville Elementary from Grades K – 5 are again welcome to join our after school “Garden Club”.The Club meets twice each month on Tuesdays after school from 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm. Our leaders for the club are Jean Wallner, School Cook and Gardener, and Angie Lavery, Art Teacher and Gardener. We try to spend all our time in the garden, when we meet, doing planting, weeding, harvesting, watering and all other chores related to our school garden. When the weather is inclement, we will do some light cooking or baking to teach nutrition lessons related to fresh foods from the garden.
This year we will take the months of December and January off from Garden Club meetings – time for a rest for the garden and the gardeners!
For now, the September, October, and November schedules are included on the back side of the Fall 2016 Registration Form and will be posted at school. The February thru May schedule will be available in the second semester. If you have any questions please direct them to Jean Wallner at 608-397-7337 or su.iw1498350047.21k.1498350047slooh1498350047csteg1498350047@renl1498350047lawna1498350047ej1498350047.
School Garden Highlighted on WI School Garden Initiative Website
This story was produced by the Wisconsin School Garden Initiative, a program of Community GroundWorks for the month of June 2015. For more information, visit http://www.communitygroundworks.org.
News From The School Garden
Art in the Garden, 2015 Summer School Class
The near perfect weather of the summer of 2015 with ample rain, plenty of sunshine, and comfortable temperatures has helped produce possibly the best garden yet at Galesville Elementary. But, good crop growth is not the only success on the tennis court garden this season. Two sessions of a new summer school program, “Garden Camp” were held and attended by a small group of eager young gardeners.
Each session had enrollments of about 15 elementary students. We explored such topics as plant structure and function, photosynthesis, pollination, native mason bees, and other insect identification. Even though the majority of our students were young (Grades 1- 3), they surprised us in their grasp of the challenging information we presented.
The students enthusiastically helped with garden chores on those days when the explorations or the lessons were completed early and time was allotted for planting, weeding and watering. The best days were the days we spent exploring the garden looking at things up close and getting our hands dirty or wet. Fresh strawberries, and snap peas provided the basis for the food treats that came from the garden. Often the first stop of the day for the young gardeners was the fence supporting the peas. On the very last day we made homemade ice cream to go along with the strawberries.
We used a variety of reference curriculum to prepare our lessons, including: The Science Schoolyard (Blog of Science Teacher Renee Heinrich) , Got Veggies (Wis DPI), Dig In (from USDA), and various library books concerning insects. Often, on the days where we allowed more exploration, students’ sharp eyes and natural curiosity led to many a good observation and discussion of topics we did not directly schedule. As an example, we all learned about the red milkweed beetle on our insect identification hunt. None of us had ever observed or knew of this creature previously.
From September 2015 District Newsletter
- “I liked learning about bugs,” Sydney N. 2nd Grade“
- “I loved all of garden camp, especially picking and eating pea pods.” Isaiah W. 1st Grade
- “I liked learning different flower names and tasting new foods.” Halene D. 3rd Grade
- “I liked helping out and getting to work with plants. I have a garden at home now because I really enjoy it. I also meet new people and get to be with my friends.” Emma S. 3rd Grade
- “I like doing the art projects like sculpting insects using model magic. I also liked eating the snacks from the garden like the strawberries and carrots.” Natalie O. 5th Grade
These were some of the comments we received at the end of our new 2015 summer school program, Garden Camp 1. The group of 10 – 15 students from Galesville Elementary and Trempealeau Elementary (1 student) met for 6 mornings for two weeks in June, at the Tennis Court Garden at Galesville Elementary, to explore various gardening topics during the growing season. The session coincided perfectly with the strawberry harvest, early snap peas ripening and the first potato beetles landing on our lush potato crop.
We ate a strawberry treat almost everyday; from smoothies to a new recipe we found – Strawberry-Avocado Salsa. The peas growing along the south fence became the first grazing spot of the morning by some of our hungry young students. And Natalie O. can tell you all about the potato beetle as she found all three stages of the critter when we hunted for insects. We learned from Mr. Meunier all about the native Mason Bee and built homes for them out of straws and cardboard tubes. We intend to put them out for their use next spring. We learned a little bit about photosynthesis and pollination and had fun crafting our own “creatures” with clay for a garden stick ornament. It was a good way to spend some very pleasant summer mornings in June.
Summer Activity on the Food Court 2015
Spring and early summer have been a busy time in the garden at Galesville Elementary. Many small projects have been completed that make working at the garden easier and more efficient. Rain gutters, water tanks, movement of the compost pile, and improvements on the hoop house and the tool shed have all brought the garden on the tennis court to a premium level in its seventh season.
On one morning in early June, Mr. Meunier arrived with a small army of friends who he generally shares coffee with. In a very short time, there was a new very stable wood ramp built for the doorway to the shed. With a borrowed Bobcat hauler, from the local Halderson farm, the compost pile was moved and turned in the process. It will further compost for another half year and will then be ready to be used in the garden. Two large water tanks, donated by Andersen Feeds, now are being filled by rainwater collected off our small shed roof, thanks to a clever attachment of a rain gutter that can be tilted to feed the water tanks on either side of the shed. With this simple system and the ample rainfall this summer season, we have been able to get by with only rainwater for the garden.
Most of the materials for the hoop house were donated to us by Sunset Gardens. That includes a shade cloth for the warmer part of the season. The construction of the hoop house was finished with help from the high school building and trades classes and with extra time by their teacher, Mr. Kent Haake. Other high school classes that have helped this spring included Mr. Neitzel’s class. We hope to begin to use the hoop house this fall for extended crops of lettuce, spinach, and other greens. We also have had other donations of corn stalk bales for mulch, alfalfa mulch, and composted chicken mulch from the local Geske farm.
Mr. Meunier’s careful monitoring of compost and soil, the bountiful rain, and the helpful, weeding hands of parents and grandparents, have produced a lush and beautiful garden. Crops should be in sync with the opening of school in September with fresh fruit and vegetables ready for the cafeteria. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by for a look.
Thank you to the Galesville Lions Club
At a recent regular meeting, The Galesville Lions Club heard a short presentation by Dick Meunier and Jean Wallner telling of their work with the Galesville Elementary School Garden. The club was asked for a donation to purchase more soil for the garden. The Lions presented a check for $300, for the soil, to Mrs. Wallner on April 14th. Thank you, Lions for your support and confidence in our project!
See what’s growing at Galesville Elementary!
Galesville Students help UW researchers with product testing. from La Crosse Tribune, Oct 25, 2015
How does our garden grow? On a tennis court of course! excerpt from Teach Today WI Oct 2015
Tennis Court Garden (slideshow)