Friday, May 20, 2016

Springtime at BUGS

After the hustle and bustle of the Farmers' Market the BUGS students and staff have been taking things a little easier. We haven't had many nice days but at the first sign of sunshine we are ready to run and play and explore outside. The Commodore students are going through PARCC testing this month and have a lot of pent up energy to release once they are out of school, so there have been many jump rope battles, rounds of tag and football games.
Shawn and Destiny examining a ladybug
Not a BUGS Ladybug, but a real bug.
Spiders shooting some hoops
Kayla and Ty'Nasia with an elaborate playdoh creation
Jose, Erick and Gabriel posing with their Artbot

Last week we had our final incentive trip: the ever-popular overnight at Camp Puk'Tok. We had a great turn out and the rain held off for exploring the campground, horseback riding and our campfire Friday night. Unfortunately, the storms returned and Friday morning we were unable to go hiking. Instead we enjoy the Jungle Book on the big screen before heading back to the city.

Tey'Nayshisa, Jamea and Diondra cleaning dirt out of the horse's coat

Raven, Ariel and Lizbet making their horse shine

Kayla, Kiya and Raven riding horses

Dontiara and Kameran napping on the bus after our adventures. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Seedling Sale and Guerilla Gardening

The past couple of months in Gardening Class have been a true testament to the immense awesome-ness of BUGS students. Preparing for the BUGS Farmers Market is no easy feat, and when we had thousands of baby plants to seed, feed, pot, and label, sometimes things like Recreation Time and "Fun Fridays" had to be sacrificed.  Despite that, the kids really took ownership over the work that had to be done and by April 30 we were ready to send our seedlings off to their new homes. We love thinking of our vegetables, herbs, and flowers bringing people health and happiness  all over the city.  We also want to say a big "Thank you!" to our partners at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Johnny's Selected Seeds, and the Meyer Seed Company for helping to make this all happen!

Here are some pictures of our time leading up to the farmers market:

Crickets seeding our earliest tomatoes in February.

Grasshoppers seeding peppers.

Ladybugs finishing up the last of the seeding.

Spiders did amazing work potting up most of our pepper and tomato plants!

The greenhouse started to need twice-daily watering once the sun came out in April!

Writing labels until our hands were cramping...

The Crickets potting cucumbers the week before the sale.

We had SO much fun on the day of the farmers market. The Crickets (2nd graders) were the group in charge of the greenhouse and they were amazing (and adorable!) salespeople, cashiers, receipt writers, and baggers.

Tamiera, James, and our amazing volunteer Karlee right before the farmers market began!

Te'Leah, Charlie, and Nalani utilized their math skills at the cash register.

All of the BUGS students were able to take a plant home with them!

Once the Farmer's Market was over, we were all able to take a DEEP sigh of relief. The following week, the Butterflies and I went on a drive around their neighborhood to do some "Guerilla Gardening"---planting sunflowers! In a couple months, people will be surprised to see tall and bright flowers growing on their streets.

Planting flowers near Kayla's house.

Johanna's sibling and neighbors came out to help us plant Sunflowers on their street!
For the last few weeks of BUGS, we will be working on our spring and summer garden, enjoying the nice spring weather (if the sun would just come back out!!), and getting excited for BUGS Summer Camp!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

This past Saturday BUGS students hosted their annual BUGS Farmers Market, this year, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the BUGS program! 
Students have been busy preparing for the event for the past two and a half months growing delicious herbs and vegetables in gardening which they used to bake a variety of tasty treats in their cooking class; designing an array of jewelry and original artwork, diligently practicing a Hollywood-themed dance performance and creating science-based  toys like bubbles and putty in STEM class. 

The day was an overall success and the sun even came out for a bit! Thank you to all who stopped by! We hope to see everyone this summer at our table at the Hamilton Lauriville Farmers market!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Service Learning: Block Printing Master Class

            At the beginning of spring BUGS had a master class with Sehar Peerzada. Sehar Peerzada is the owner and head designer of Roc the Bloc clothing company. Ms. Peerzada attended the Rhode Island School of Design and Howard University. She has been designing for the past 30 years. She is also the CEO of Saharah Design Studio. She is currently an artist resident at the Bromo Seltzer Tower.

            BUGS students learned about the history of block printing and the different ways blocks can be created. The students were exposed to different styles and techniques that Ms. Peerzada uses to create her clothing.

            The BUGS students then created block printed blankets and ponchos to donate to those with out homes in Baltimore City. The students worked in groups of four to create patterns on the blankets or ponchos. The students then wrote cards of love and hope to accompany each blankets and ponchos