That quote is great for community gardens because if everyone pitches in in their own "small" way we become something much greater than our individual contributions.
We all play a part to make our community wonderful and today some of those parts actually were played by small people, or more precisely, young, growing people- the students at Riverview Elementary. They may be little but don't let that fool you into thinking they don't have a BIG contribution to make.
Riverview students, with their Science teacher Mr. Charlie Love, have been hard at work planting veggies to be eaten and harvested when school starts in the fall. But beyond their own school plots they started planting the insectary! The WHAT you say?
The insectary is being planted with flowers to attract pollinators, like bees and butterflies (along with a whole host of less recognized pollinators like Lacewings and parasitic wasps) and other beneficial insects that eat pests such as aphids. The students built some beautiful rock walls to help the plants stay on the insectary slope. The students will be researching beneficial insects and the plants to attract them. Nice work!
They also planted a sensory garden. Choosing plants that we can experience with our 5 senses. What a fun way to explore the world we live in! Needham Elementary School's garden has also built in a sensory garden.
Lucinda Long-Webb from the Title VII Native American Education program came to teach the students about the Three Sisters (corn, squash, and beans) and their cultural significance as well as agricultural relationship. She spoke with them about the interconnectedness of Mother Earth and shared the many use for the plants: for food but also in ceremonies, corn pollen for example plays a very sacred part.
After planting the 3 sisters, together as companions, and also separately, the students were asked, "What is your hypothesis? Will the plants grow better being planted together or separate?" The students will be back in their science classes next school year to find out!
The Three Sisters are one example of companion planting. Do you have favorite plant combinations for companion planting? Please share with us what they are and why they work well together!