We began ALT’s hours on Friday with Jacey’s presentation on integrated pest management and Fritz’s garden bed. Fritz’s garden bed uses IPM to maintain acceptable pest levels. The two primary methods of control are mechanical and biological. Mechanical control involves simply removing pests by hand or with traps. Biological control uses beneficial insects like ladybugs to naturally eliminate pests. Pests should be monitored
regularly and their numbers recorded. Jacey also mentioned the importance of growing plants that are well suited to their environment and responsibly using pesticides as needed. Afterwards, students pulled dead plants from Fritz’s garden and tidied up.
Students also worked on composting and seed saving. There are three different bins where composting takes place. The bin on the far left is for fresh food scraps and debris. The other two bins are for turning over the compost. It needs to be turned about every other week when the temperature reaches between 120º and 160º Fahrenheit.
Pictured below is a collection of banana peels, orange peels, eggshells, tea bags, apple cores and other food scraps that were dumped into the compost bin to begin forming nutrient rich soil.
Matt, Leslie and Christian carefully collect Hopi Tobacco seeds for next year. They pinch below the dried pods to ensure that they do not burst before they can harvest them.
Dried bean pods are gathered next. Soggy ones are avoided and the rest are saved. We ended the day by tasting some tomatillos and covering the kale with black tarps.
By: Shaelin Wood & Kendall Parkins