When you walk through our garden, on the surface you’ll see colorful, fragrant flowers and growing plants and vegetables but to our kids, teachers and parent Garden Master volunteers, it’s so much more. It’s a living, interactive classroom where they learn math, chemistry, biology and ecology.
In June 2010, we submitted a grant to help fund our second and fourth grade Composting and Soil Building Project. And we’re happy to announce that last November, the California Fertilizer Foundation rewarded the TMA Garden $1,200. Additionally, BEHR Paint donated $800 towards the programs. Thank you to both organizations.
With the money, 288 second and fourth graders will participate in our Composting and Soil Building Project, which provides a unique, hands-on learning experience. Each week, second grade students collect lunch food scraps to feed to the red-wiggler worms in the vermicompost bins.
Weekly, the fourth graders collect and sort green and brown organic materials from around the school campus and their homes for their hot composting bins. Based upon the temperature of the compost, the fourth graders will decide whether to turn and water the compost piles.
All grades will benefit from the composting accomplished by the second and fourth grade students. They’ll use worm castings, worm tea, finished compost, mulch, fertilizer and other soil amendments to build nutrient fortified soil in their garden plant beds.