Protecting the Worms at Burnley Moran

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 | Comments Off on Protecting the Worms at Burnley Moran

Protecting the Worms at Burnley Moran

written by Andy Blunk, Burnley-Moran Garden Coordinator

Throughout this past season, the garden has undergone its dramatic transformation from multicolored flowers, diverse vegetables, monarch butterflies, other flying insects and small songbirds, to the fall and winter colors of light brown, medium brown, and dark brown. Throughout these changes, Kindergarten and 2nd grade students have been visiting the garden to observe the changes of the seasons, practice descriptive words and comparisons, learn about and plant cold-tolerant crops, learn about soil erosion, cover the vegetable beds with mulch, prepare winter bird feeders, clean off last season’s growth, learn and practice composting, make mushroom logs, and more. So, needless to say, the colder weather has not slowed us down!

Despite all the browning that the cold and lack of sun do to the garden, you will find small green grass on all of our garden beds. During our soil erosion classes, students observed the effects of soil erosion, and how uncovered soil will slowly be taken away by heavy rainfall over the winter, and early spring. The students observed how roots hold soil in place, and with the absence of roots our soil will be taken away (“and the living place of earthworms!” – as one student pointed out). The classes decided to plant winter wheat to grow roots to hold the soil in place, and cover the soil in a layer of mulch hay. Some hay throwing turned into hay storms, with hay falling like rain, as students turned the laying of hay into a “how high can i throw the hay and still have it land where I want to?” game. Some students definitely have a bright future in this game if it ever becomes a competitive sport.

We are all looking forward to when the weather is warm enough to cut down our winter wheat, and plant spring seeds into the mulch. Until then, we are happy to have the soil, and earthworms, protected.