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Adventures in our Fall Garden

It’s finally fall, and kids are back in school eager to return to their school garden. While many of us may associate fall with a final harvest and preparing our gardens for winter, here at Isles, we know there is still plenty of gardening to do before it gets too cold.

This fall, students in Trenton received first hand experience learning about all the incredible things a garden can teach us, even as winter approaches. We planted lettuce, collards, radishes, peas, and garlic and enjoyed snacking on these plants as we watched them grow. We collected seeds from a basil plant that had reached the end of its lifecycle, and we enjoyed an especially exciting class digging in the dirt to uncover tons of potatoes that we had planted in the spring (We filled two 5-gallon buckets with potatoes!).

In addition to plants, our gardens were teeming with insects and other creatures. We caught a small garden snake and learned about how predators like snakes actually help support a healthy ecosystem, and we observed grasshoppers, ladybugs, praying mantis, worms, and beetles interacting with the plants and each other. A major highlight was the discovery of a swallowtail caterpillar that we raised in the classroom and watched transform into a butterfly! Students learned that butterflies are pollinators that help our plants produce seeds. The entire third grade came outside to release her and wish her a safe journey.

With so much activity in our garden this fall, it’s hard to imagine that in just a few weeks we’ll be indoors planning for the upcoming spring.

About the Grantee

Isles Inc.

Founded in 1981, Isles, Inc. is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, New Jersey. With a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, we design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what we learn with others who can make a difference.