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West Dallas Community School Visits Our Garden

School Gardening With Jim, Abbe, Jan, LindaFifth grade students from  West Dallas learn about root crops from Jim and Abbe.  Did you know that the turnip or white turnip is a member of the parsley family, Brassica rapa var. rapa?  It is a root vegetable known for its bulbous tap root which is high in vitamin C and grown as a food crop for both humans and livestock.  Turnips are easy and quick to grow (35-70 days) and can be eaten raw (roots) or cooked (roots and leaves).  Turnips like well-tilled soil and constant water.  Both of these conditions are provided in our raised organic beds via our home-made compost and drip irrigation system.

The Interesting Story Of Cotton As Told By Dallas County Master Gardener, CarolynCarolyn demonstrates the technique of hand-spinning cotton thread to the fifth grade students .  Did you know that cotton is the most important non-food crop in the world?  Cotton has been spun, woven & dyed since prehistoric times.  Today, industrial uses for cotton are just as important as the cloth that originally was woven.  These products vary widely from cloth-based such as diapers, bandages, and paper to cosmetics, soap and oils; dynamite and plastics; and that sidewalk scourge, chewing gum (cellulose).  There are 39 different species of the genus Gossypium, 4 of which were commercially grown since all cotton was domesticated in antiquity.  The variety G. hirsutum became known as “upland cotton” and comprises 90% of the world’s cotton crop.

A Student's Introduction To VermicultureA 5th grade student  from West Dallas Community School gets up close & personal with a “red wiggler” worm.  During our Vermi-composting lesson, he & his classmates learned that this little ‘Eisenia fetida’ is one of approximately 2700 different kinds of worms of a large variety of species.  Did you know that “red wigglers” (aka brown-nose or red worms) work best in container/bin composting.  That’s because they are non-burrowing and move horizontally through the soil.

Annette, pictures by Starla

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