Our Outdoor Classroom Awaits You!

The 2019 growing season is around the corner.  Garlic started in October is greening.    Big or little, young or old there is a learning activity for you

Third grade classes at Evergreen Primary have a pumpkin patch, participate in our teaching bed and can visit our touch and sniff perennial and herb bed. Planting seeds and starts and potatoes are great opportunities to build skills and learn about where our food comes from.  In the process students have discovered bugs, worms, beetles (studying in class), weeded, dug trenches for seed potatoes and planted pumpkin seeds for classroom observation. Outside voices allowed in the garden! Greetings by the Anna’s hummingbird Calypte anna. 
Camp Connection – An all ages kids camp, its summer program is at Evergreen primary. Children visit the garden daily during their eight-week program through early August. In 2018 they have weeded beds, amended the soil and planted peas and squash, tomatoes. They are watching bees carry pollen, investigating flowers and seed heads. 

We are delighted to have Ms. Phillips and team as new members to our UP learning community.  

Narrows View Intermediate School has a garden plot at UPCG.   The At Promise after school program, staff, students and parent liaison are enthusiastic about plans for their 2019 garden bed. Plants will be thriving  – come visit bed #73 in the spring. 

Education for all ages.The Teaching Bed is located by the kiosk.
Borage Borago officinalis is a naturalized herb self-seeding. Oil from seeds is called “star flower oil” after the blossoms.

2019  – Curtis Jr. High students return for a sixth year to the garden. Tanya Peila oriented Builders Club student members during a September community “meet and greet” on volunteer opportunities.  Shelly Reed, Librarian and Stacey Powers both advisors/sponsors to the Builders organized the project obtaining seeds and seed starting soil, procuring seed cups and in mid April “Builders” will sow squash, pumpkin, onion and beans in over 200 cartons in less than one hour in the Cougar Commons!  They will water and monitor germination.  Students have helped prep the beds winter 2018-2019 and in mid May will be transplanting the hardened-off plants.  The 2018 growing year saw over 1600 pounds of produce much from Curtis student gardening efforts going to needy families served by the Families Unlimited Network Food Bank.  For more on the Kiwanis International building leaders Builders Club and for the Curtis specific details and schedule please check out:

Bees Love Borage

More on Bumblebees genus Bombus:

More on Mason Bees genus oxmia: Great videos! Covers dynamic accumulators such as the dandelionTaraxacum officianalle

More on Honey Bees:  and bee gardens 

An exciting opportunity to learn more about local agepollinators, particularly honey bees, in our area. Go to:

Teaching Kits Available to Borrow Through Pierce County Master Gardeners

The common dandelion Taraxacum officianale is a boon to the compacted soil sending down 6″ roots. Its early greens are packed with vitamins. Friend to bees, indigenous to North America.  Take another look at this little plant with its toothed leaves.

Worms are waking up, but still like their covers.   Red Wigglers below 40 degrees do not do well however by mid spring they are happy and wiggling underneath layers of cardboard having survived a real pacific northwest winter. Thanks to those who brought kitchen waste. Please bring 1″ ribbon size shredded newspaper for their bedding. We will have worm castings (poop/manure) and digested humus like earth for the taking in buckets beside the wood box (north end of the fixed compost bed). Shredded newspaper from your office provides surface area controlling moisture.  Worms are 90% water. Humans ~ 70% water.
Learn about earthworms in this article from down under about the “down-unders” that are part of our garden ecology and soils web of life.  
Western Monarchs native to California migrate as far north as Canada.  Butterlifes are visiting our garden.  Cocoons are silky spun houses by moths  and some butterflies; so don’t be quick to throw away sticks and branches of dried or dead flowers where they may be overwintering.  Butterflies are beneficials helping to pollinate the flowers of the vegetables, fruits, and plants. is another great site from Sciencelearn NZ on butterflies. 
Plant perennials and annual flowers in your gardens for beneficials.  Native plants are best as they match both the foraging and nectar needs of beneficials.  We have flowers in beds and berms.
More on Manarchs at the  Washington Butterfly Association