Ashcroft Communities in Bloom committee had a few busy days over the past week as the warmer weather has allowed more outside activities.
Members were at work in downtown Ashcroft on May 12, topping up the soil in the barrel planters, replacing barrels that had deteriorated and moving barrels to new locations. Thank you once again to the Ashcroft Volunteer Firemen who watered all the barrels during their regular fire practice night on Tuesday evening. As the Communities in Bloom committee has no way to water all the barrels, the firemen’s assistance ensures that all the soil is damp and ready for planting.
The following day, a group of people came out to plant flowers in the barrels. There are over 60 barrels in the downtown area that the Communities in Bloom group prepares and plants. The care for the rest of the season then turns over to individual businesses who are responsible for watering the flowers in the barrels in front of their establishments.
The Communities in Bloom group joined Ms. Megan Marlow’s primary class at Ashcroft Elementary School on Monday, May 14 for a dual project. Two garden areas were tilled and readied for planting and the students eagerly waited to get started.
In one bed, students planted a variety of sunflower seeds, while in the other bed, they planted potatoes under a thick layer of straw mulch.
This is the third year that the Communities in Bloom group has planted sunflower seeds with a primary class at the school. Ms. Marlow has gone the extra mile and built on this experience, adding instructional units in both Art and Science based on the sunflower planting.
The potato project is new this year and involved students planting seed potatoes under a thick layer of straw mulch. The potatoes are not planted in the ground and hilled, rather, they are laid on the top of the ground and covered with approximately 10 inches of straw. The leaves of the potatoes will grow up through the straw, while the potatoes will form on the ground under the straw mulch. When the potatoes are ready to harvest, the straw will be pulled aside to expose the potatoes that had grown underneath.
This project will teach students many things about potatoes, and they will also go on a fieldtrip to the local museum where Mrs. Kathy Paulos will share the history of potatoes in Ashcroft with the students.