Week four started out with exciting discussions around fermentation with ginger bugs and stretchy pizza dough. The campers collaborated beautifully to make pizzas with veggies, pineapple, both regular and vegan cheese, and our own basil from the rooftop garden. Some campers even volunteered to take home the ginger bugs and feed them ginger and sugar over the weekend.
Our DIY activities were all about delicious scents and keeping bugs from biting. Lavender, lemon, peppermint, geranium, and rosemary were a few of the favorites. Using these oils, we created a deet-free bug spray that campers were able to use on the field trip. Next, we made soaps out of creative molds that gave each one a unique look. The campers were so excited, they had to test everything out before leaving for the day!
Permaculture activities revolved around pollinators that are necessary for gardens and crops to grow. We implemented our knowledge at Governor’s Island when we were able to see these pollinators in action. Insects weren’t the only pollinators spoken about — hummingbirds joined the conversation when we screened a documentary about their beauty and benefits in the world. The campers then drew their own pollinator and flower to display what they learned.
The campers sparked new conversations around growing plants, found bugs in our garden, and even had the chance to harvest some of the vegetables (including a giant cucumber that we ate in class).
As mentioned, our field trip was truly one to remember! The campers loved the sunny boat ride and Governor’s Islands sights. Some favorites were the garden scavenger hunt, carrot harvesting and tasting, and some floral crafts done under the pavilion with only “found” supplies. Additionally, the campers were surprised by the large compost mounds… some even said they started composting at home (so cool)!
-Teacher Hannah Berman