Here it is – November already! With the garden finished for the season, we can look back at the first quarter and a wide range of educational activities. Here’s a sample of what we did in September and October:
The on-going theme of our program is food – where it comes from, how we grow it, how we use it, and how it affects us. In the garden we continued to monitor, harvest and use the vegetables we planted in the spring and summer. As the weather cooled, we pulled and composted spent vines and greens, although the warm autumn kept our peppers, tomatoes and basil growing well into October, and we pulled the last carrots in November.
In the kitchen, we put our produce to work, making: salsa, fresh tomato sauce, “caprese” salad, cider, applesauce, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and stuffed mini-pumpkins. We also dried herbs and peppers for future use. How we use the food is important, so we make time for the study of nutrition
We visited and toured four local farms to learn more about the joys and challenges of agriculture. Putting our knowledge into practice, we have picked rocks, collected hornworms, harvested apples, and scythed weeds. We also sold our produce at the Manchester farmers’ market, putting basic economics to the test.
Another on-going theme at Smokey House is our relationship with our environment and its ecosystems. This quarter we worked on foundational understandings. With a focus on botany, we explored the woods, worked on leaf, wildflower and tree identification, and learned about invasive species. Our on-going woodcraft project involves making coat hangers out of invasive bush honeysuckle – a win-win project!
As always, we continue to write every day, regularly using photography and blog posts to communicate. Overall, we are active, physically and mentally – learning by doing, reflecting, and doing even more.