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On Friday, both third grade classes got to visit the Angele Cupples Community Garden, albeit one at a time! While there, they planted a miniature “Three Sisters” garden in one of the Farm to School raised beds and planted some dry beans in the row crop area. A week ago, I visited their classrooms and we talked about the Native American legend of the Three Sisters, a story explaining the relationship between three important companion plants- corn, beans, and squash. Companion plants, they learned, are plants that like to grow together; that support one another in some way. In this case, the corn literally supports the beans, acting as a trellis, while the beans fix nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil to feed the corn and squash. Finally, the squash’s broad leaves shade out weeds and help the soil to retain moisture.

Each visiting class was divided into two groups, one of which weeded the raised bed and planted heirloom purple corn starts and scarlet runner beans, while the other group planted a mixture of bush beans with volunteer Marjie Bell. After all their hard work in the soil, the kids only had one more task- getting on the fender blender and making blueberry smoothies to celebrate a job well done!

May’s Harvest of the Month (HOM) is dry beans. We’ll be serving samples of hummus in the cafeterias on Thursday, May 14th. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me at (360) 854-7171 or concretefarmtoschool@gmail.com.