We completed the first week of the new school year, and after a much-needed three-day weekend we are heading full speed ahead into our second week. The gardens, and plethora of critters that make their home on the Hill, managed to survive the quiet summer, with just a little assistance and encouragement from their two-legged friends.
Thanks to Erin Barsotti for her time, hard work, her crew of inspired young gardeners (Luciana, Zinnia, and Vera), and numerous other Overfield students and their families. Due to their work, the Overfield Vegetable Garden is a multifaceted vision of colors, shapes, tastes, and smells this year. I would also like to thank: the bees, butterflies, and too many to name pollinators that spent time in our garden. This year’s 2020 Garden Mascot is, “The Leopard Frog,” who was regularly spotted patrolling in and around the raised beds for unwary pests; he is known for having the fastest tongue in the garden.
We all have heard the saying “busy as a bee,” but Our Overfield honey bees were super amazing this year. We lost two hives this past winter, however a small swarm arrived in early spring and set up home in the west hive. By summer the young colony had grown to fill the hive, and more space was added for honey. Thanks to our hives located next to the pollinator garden, the vegetable garden, the Hobart Preserve, and our industrious worker bees, we were able to extract 15 gallons of Overfield Honey. We will be offering this year’s Raw Overfield Sweet Honey in 8oz. and half pint jars.
A north side class has taken an interest in insects. Some of our less popular pollinators, known as yellow jackets, took up residence beneath the monkey bars, in a hidden underground shelter. It was brought to the attention of Augusta’s students when there was an altercation with the yellow jackets over who would rule the monkey bars. Despite their sneaky attack, the yellow jackets lost, and the students ruled. The event has spurred an awareness in all things entomological among many of the north side children. I am excited, and can’t wait to see where their curiosity leads them.
There is a lot happening in the world right now, and I am sure Mother Nature is well aware of it. The Pandemic is worldwide; we all must be vigilant, maintaining face masks, social distancing, and hope.
Enjoy the nature around you. Deb – Overfield Naturalist