The Mason School, located in Roxbury, participates in indoor gardening, outdoor gardening, vermiculture and outdoor compost.

Garden Update: Spring 2011
The Mason school is hard at work getting plants in to the ground this spring. Indoors, a student checks out some arugula.

Outside, Site Coordinator Lee Burke demonstrates how to plant potatoes.

The Mason school used some of the SLUG popup tents to keep their garden warm during the colder months. As Lee takes it off for the season she noticed that the arugula had gone to flower! Arugula likes colder temperatures, and will bolt if it is too warm. Luckily the school was able to salvage the arugula and enjoy a tasty spring snack.
Fall of 2010 Saw the Mason school cleaning up after a long growing season. Here, the empty beds still have some signs of living things (kale and chard) and the students investigate some of the peppers that are still on the vine.

One student helps out Ben from Mass Audubon to turn the compost. Lots of the organic matter that has been collecting over the year has turned in to beautiful compost.

Indoors, the class continues the lesson and learns about compost.
Here are some pictures of the outdoor garden. The dome shaped rowcovers kept our plants alive all through the cold and snowy winter!

snowy_garden.JPG winter_garden.JPG

Garden Update - April 17th 2010

Spring is here and the second graders from room 205 have already started exploring the schoolyard gardens. Throughout the winter, as the gardens slept under a warm blanket of hay, students stayed active studying the weather. They tracked temperatures on a chart and consulted the "Weather Word-Bank" as they described the changing weather. The students also took a particular interest in the weather forcast printed in each days Boston Globe.

Warmer weather means there is much to do in the garden. First we removed hay that insulated our plants from winter's chill. One bed was planted with spinach and turnip seedlings in October. When we uncovered the plants they sprung to life with great vigor. The hay was removed in March, and by early April we were admiring big healthy clumps of spinach and turnip greens. We also filled in the bed with some pea and carrot seeds.

On one of our other garden beds we took an experimental approach. Students chose seeds from a selection of cold hardy vegetables. We planted them on November 29th and then we covered the bed with a thick layer of hay. This blanket protected our seeds from harsh winter weather. The final step was to cover the bed with a white row cover and add a layer of clear plastic on top.

We removed the hay in March and found variety of seedlings had already germinated. These baby plants were ready to burst out with new growth. This bed hosts quite a variety of plants including tiny leeks, radishes, collards, kale and lettuce.

Stay tuned, pictures to follow... - Brian Lawlor, Teacher-Naturalist, Boston Nature Center / Samuel Mason School