How about that weather!? The garden and teaching fields are looking pretty bare after that frost, but we always find interesting things to learn about with the students who come to the farm.


Testing Water Quality at the Mouth of the Pajaro River in Winter 2011

Last week we began our winter rotation with the Santa Cruz Montessori middle school students. This winter the theme is “Water”.  I can’t think of a more important topic for our region right now, especially while we are in the midst of a record drought. Water is obviously important and a critical resource for our area’s vast agricultural industry. We must learn to care for and understand our local water systems so we can  intelligently address the current and future threats to our clean water.  Students will learn about the complex and interconnected water systems of our area by exploring, studying, and doing science. They are designing some cool science projects and thinking about research activities, like data collection, water quality testing, studying the farm’s relationship to ground water and much more.  The question posed to them by Farmer Tom at the beginning of this rotation was “What do you have physically in common with Alexander the Great or any other person who lived 1,000 years ago?” What do you think?

Also this month our awesome Homeschool group will be coming to the farm for lessons on seeds, compost, and how water connects it all.  The mighty Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) are dropping acorns by the ton so it is time to learn about them.  How does an Oak tree make an acorn? Who eats these acorns? Who hides them? How do they become a mighty Oak?  We will explore what happens when a bean, seed or acorn meets water. We will look closely at a variety of seeds and see if we can observe the three different parts. Do you know them?

So much to learn! Happy Holidays and lets all hope and wish for rain!