Now that winter is upon us, you may be thinking that there aren’t many plant activities that your students can participate in. However, there are lots of fun ideas to get students thinking about gardens, even when there’s snow on the ground.
Watch seeds sprout! Line a glass or plastic jar with a damp paper towel and insert several zucchini or lima bean seeds between the glass and the towel. Place a lid on the jar, leave it by a sunny spot and check the towel every day to make sure it’s still moist. Seeds should sprout in a few days.
Make your very own worm farm! Line a large cardboard box with a garbage bag. Fill it with soil, organic matter and a few warms. Keep it shady and moist, but not too wet. Add vegetable scraps to feed the worms. The worm farm will help teach students about the interdependence of plants and organisms as they watch the worms turn vegetable scraps into valuable compost.
Read a book! Telling a story about gardening to students during winter will get them excited for the growing (and eating) process later in the year.
Start a microfarm! You can grow microgreens (immature plants) for a tasty salad indoors all year long. The entire gardening process only takes about 3-4 weeks. For more information on building a microfarm, visit the Got Dirt? website at http://www.gotdirtwisconsin.org/.