What’s up… not just in the garden, but all over the place on the TCS campus?

If you’d been out behind the school yesterday, you would have seen an example of “place-based education” at its best. When the sun finally came out, things really started buzzing outdoors at Touchstone. Sheryl commented, “When I came outside with my class this morning, there were kids everywhere you looked and they were totally involved in doing real-world things. There was so much engagement and excitement, you could almost feel the electricity in the air!”

In garden time, Sheryl’s kids put in morning glory seeds so that magical blue blooms will again cascade over the chain link fence in the fall. They planted string beans (three colors in one package!), more carrots and tucked a row of marigold seedlings between the garlic and strawberry beds for decoration. Two of Ginny’s students did much-needed weeding and then transplanted alpine strawberry plants grown from seed this spring along the front edge of the asparagus bed. Ginny and Sheryl’s kids harvested Wednesday’s asparagus crop and enjoyed eating the raw asparagus back in the classroom. Jane’s class did the same on Tuesday. They’d be delighted to eat more asparagus any time, Jane said.

While the gardeners were busy digging and planting, groups of OSP students were working in teams close by on projects that are part of a study entitled “Sustainability at Touchstone.” These include building a scale model of the campus; landscaping the area at the front of the cottage with appropriate plant materials; designing, building and planting a two-tiered 3 ft. by 12 ft. bed to solve an erosion problem below the sandbox; constructing two new compost bins in the space at the other end of the greenhouse; eliminating invasive plants on school grounds; and soil testing. At the end of morning recess, Sheryl and Jane’s classes had an impromptu session with a couple of OSP teams to learn about their projects and ask questions. posted by Marian Hazzard