Published: 27 November 2013
Sue's Views: Week 8
Sue returned to college to see some science, learn some Latin and practice some practical’s, all this after some time involved with the delights of domestic life.
Half term has come and gone and spending a week with the kids has dispelled the feelings of impending doom. I think it was watching them wrapping each other up in loo roll (ie making a mummy) at Halloween that restored my faith in humankind. Is that weird?

It was great to see everyone on the course again and catch up on news. We did a couple of experiments on Wednesday, looking at plant science. We looked at stoma on leaves through a microscope; these are the little holes that let gases in and out of a leaf, hence aiding photosynthesis. We were meant to do this by putting nail varnish on the underside of a leaf then peeling it off.

Clearly Pete had not had enough experience with nail varnish so our experiment failed sadly. I did however manage to get a free microscope by the end of the class. I’m still not quite sure how that happened. The kids love it and are now endlessly searching the house for dead (or semi- alive) mini-beasts to examine.

Gale Force Winds

Kate planting broad beans.
We had an assessment on planting trees this week. There was great anticipation about this, through several emails predicting their possible arrival (or not).

Eventually the day came and we were a little disappointed that the trees turned out to be six inches high. In fact mine was less of a tree, more a rose. Anyway, we attacked the ground in the top field, finding everything from tarmac to concrete and planted them in gale force wind and rain. I’ll be pretty impressed if those little things actually survive.

Pete brought marshmallows on Thursday for an anticipated reunion with his wheel barrow at school farm. However, we had to eat them cold, as we planted out winter salad and broad beans instead of burning charcoal.

The beans we planted two to a hole as planting over winter not so many survive. By planting now, they will be ready in June, whereas the spring planting will not be ready until July. 

The Parrot Tree.

On Friday we wandered around Dartington garden, identifying deciduous trees and learning their Latin names. The Liquidambar trees were totally stunning; also the parrot tree. Don’t know the Latin name- I will go and look it up…

Reported by Sue  

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