Fifth 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.
Carolyn 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 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