Saturday, April 8, 2017

Holtville 6th Graders Propagating Ocotillo

This week we have had nearly 250 6th graders come through the museum on field trips!

We also started our Ocotillo propagation program.

Beginning this week, on one of the legs of the sixth grade field trip we began a hands on propagation project. The students hiked down into the wash and took a cutting from one of our ocotillo bushes. Then we had students follow these steps:

1.  cut the colotillo branch in 8" sections
2. mix a nutrient rich soil by combining sand, compost and manure
3. place the 8"section of ocotillo in a small pot
4. cover the ocotillo section with 4 inches of soil
5. place containers into flats of 16 ocotillos
6. water

Though we live in a community that has an economy based on farming, it is amazing how little students actually know about fairly simple processes of plant propagation. Like, where seeds come from. Or the difference between dirt and soil.

I have worked with Vince Zazueta at both the 6th Street Community Garden and the Harding Elementary Garden, so I know others are also teaching the basics of how things grow. But as we begin a new five year strategic plan to develop the gardens we are going to come at this from all angles. Growing cactus is fun, it is also very educational. Oh, and a little sticky. If you know what I mean.

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