Garden Engineers

This February, Shepardson is celebrating Engineering month.  One of the great projects the kids are working on involves a problem we need solved for our school garden.   Our state of Colorado often has snows and certainly cool temps late into the month of April and May preventing us from having our soil warm enough to appreciate a variety of crops before the students leave for Summer holiday.  This week during Engineer month, we will introduce the problem and set the parameters.  The students working collaboratively in small groups, will begin to work on the Design Process to solve the problem.  Here is just some of moments captured in photos of the process.  More pictures to come throughout the week.  Be sure to stop by the Media Center to see the structures that kids have come up with to solve the problem.


Meet Jack the Pumpkin!

Meet Jack our pumpkin who rolled in from our garden to visit some classroom during the month of October.  Check out pictures from Jack’s Travel Journal and see all the fun and exciting things Jack did with the students.  After his classroom adventures,  Jack went back to his garden patch in the STEMS of Learning Garden where his skin will turn faded and crumpled decomposing into the soil over the wet cold winter months.   Jack will leave behind his stem and a few seeds and in the Spring we will look forward to meeting his new friends when they emerge from the soil as tiny little seeds.


Green Lantern has his own pasta sauce?

The basil in our garden is abundant and ready for multiple harvests….hmm….what to do with it?  Getting kids to eat healthy food is always a challenge but when you call it by a fun name it is easily accepted.    Below is a recipe for Green Lantern Pesto and it’s not just for dressing pasta, you can dip it or slather it on just about anything.

Green Lantern Pesto


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

(If you are just introducing your kids to pesto try substituting one cup of basil for spinach so it will have a mild flavor)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 T lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese



Combine the basil, garlic, lemon juice and pine nuts in a

food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.



Join Us For STEM Night on November 8, 2012!

Join us for a fun evening filled with activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math on Thursday November 8th from 5-7p.m. In the garden room we will be creating recycled newspaper starter pots.  We will fill the pots with wheatgrass seeds that will soon grow and can be used in making delicious smoothies.  We will also be able to enjoy an interesting worm composting exhibit loaned to us by John Anderson, aka the Worm Man.  We look forward to seeing all of you then!  Please enjoy the following smoothie recipe:

Wheatgrass Fruit Smoothie

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 medium orange, peeled and halved

4 strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 small handful of wheatgrass

1 cup ice

Combine ingredients and process in blender


Garden Day Date Change!

It was exciting to have Fox 31 News come and visit Shepardson on Friday, September 7th.  The third graders were able to showcase their Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Project that they are working on in conjunction with CSU.  They were able to share their experiences collecting and recording precipitation and also show off our school garden.  As such, Garden Day had to be rescheduled and is now set for September 21st.  Great job Shepardson third graders!

First Annual Shepardson Garden Day September 7, 2012!

We are excited to announce that our first annual “Garden Day” is set for this coming Friday September 7, 2012. On this day, we will formally introduce the students to the garden and begin to teach them how to take ownership and care for their outdoor space.  We will also do a cooking demonstration, showing the students how to put what they grow to good use for their bodies.  In addition, students will help complete our temporary garden sign using birdseed and make vegetable markers for the fall and spring crops.  Join us for the festivities on Friday morning!