Tag Archives: nature

This Year’s Garden At Smokey House

This year’s garden at Smokey House is dope.  At first I wasn’t excited about it, but eventually I started to enjoy gardening.  It’s like tacos – you don’t know why you like ’em, you just like ’em!  Or, it’s kind of more like a cake.  You have eggs, flour, sugar and other stuff.  Each is one thing that doesn’t taste good at all.  Then you put them together and it’s enjoyable. Some of the ingredients for a garden are tilling, weeding, digging, compost, fertilizer, starting seeds inside, transplanting them outside.  It’s very satisfying when the seeds sprout up from the ground.  It’s gonna be my new hobby!



The War on Crops

Something’s been eating the pea shoots in our garden, and it won’t let them grow. At first I didn’t even know there was anything wrong with them until my teacher showed me. So I went out and looked at them, and it turns out there were little bites being taken out of them. I didn’t know what it could’ve been. So, I did my research and found out that it could be a finch in this area. I went on Google and googled what could be eating my pea shoots. I found an article about this one guy who was struggling with his pea shoots for


eight years. He didn’t know what was eating his pea shoots either, so he tried a few different things over eight years. On one day, he was sitting on his porch, drinking a beer, and saw the pea shoots moving in the garden. So, he went and got his binoculars and looked down at his garden and saw a little finch eating away at the top of his pea plants. So, he made a hoop house with bird netting on the top high enough so the plants could grow, which also made it hard for him to get into his plants. So, hopefully that will work for our garden as well as yours if you try it.

In another part of our garden, we noticed that something has been eating at the leaves of our radishes and kale. So, we went straight to flea beetles because we’ve suspected that we’ve had a problem with them in past years. We googled them, and it turns out that their favorite foods are kale and radish leaves and that they are really small and jump like fleas. So, we went out to the garden and looked to see if we could determine what exactly they were. We determined that they were flea beetles.


How do you get rid of flea beetles?  There are many different ways.  We don’t know how well they work.  But a few are:

  • Trap crop – a crop that you don’t really need, but they’re attracted to.
  • Coffee grounds – sprinkle around the seedlings
  • Crushed egg shells – just sprinkle them over the flea beetles
  • Soapy water – spray it on the plant
  • Ladybugs – let them live in your garden.  They eat or kill ’em.

We aren’t really trying any of these, but we have some ladybugs and some trap crops in our garden, and we’re hoping we don’t have to do anything!





For the past few weeks at Smokey House we’ve been doing a bean experiment to determine if different music can change the growth of a plant. I used two very different genres of music, country and rap, and one bean with no music. I chose music because it was the easiest topic and plants do not hear things. People say that music can effect plants, but plants cannot hear. My hypothesis was that the music would not affect the growth of the plants.


I planted five beans, labeled two country, two rap, and one control. Two listened to rap music, two listened to country, and one listened to nothing. They each listened to music an hour every Friday in different closets, with the lights off, and the music playing at the same volume on each device. I measured the height of the stalk length every other school day. I gave them each a third a cup of water every time we watered them.


Country #1 grew better than the rest of them. It grew 16cm by the end of the experiment, rap #2 and country #2 didn’t grow at all, rap #1 grew 1cm, and the control grew 2cm.


I believe plant country #1 grew a lot more than the other plants because it was listening to country music. Because the country music is softer and not as verbally abusive towards plants. I was completely off on my hypothesis because the country music did change the growth of the plant, and the rap music changed the growth in a bad way and made it so it did not grow as much.

Next time, I would switch the rap to rock and see if it is the genre of music that affects the plants rather than. Water is another thing that may have affected the plant growth, and the density of the soil. We should have made the amount of water and how it gets water a controlled variable. The end.

Benthic Dwellers


Though it is very common that there are organisms and micro-organisms that habit streams, rivers and lakes, it may catch you off guard how many there actually are! Today at the Smokey House center we had the chance to get our feet wet and our hands dirty. We partook in a lesson where the objective was to identify different types of organisms we found lying beneath the water that are visible to the human eye, also referred to as benthic macro-invertibrates. To my surprise we managed to find more than expected. The group of us pulled up dozens of organisms such as caddisfly’s, stonefly’s, aquatic worms and black fly’s. Everyone enjoys being in the water but few know how many different creatures dwell below them, chiefly during the winter.

First Week at Smokey House

Wood shop at SHCDay 1 – 7/11/13

The first day we met each other and introduced ourselves. We also talked about the garden tools and safety. Sarah and Sharon took us on a small tour of the garden. We all  weeded in the garden for 1 hour and 45 minutes. It felt a lot shorter. After we had lunch on the picnic table outside near the pond.  I enjoy this program and I am glad I got the job. I was not sure if I would like this job at first but it is better then I expected. People are friendly and helpful. The first day was not as hard work as the others and more to come.

Transplanting pumpkins, with fingers crossed

Day 2 – 7/12/13

The second day we weeded and weeded. It seemed like it took for ever. We pulled up unwanted plants and kept on weeding. I was very hot and thirsty so i drank lots of water and  gatorade. I  got poison  parsnip on my arm from digging one of the plants up without knowing. I washed my arms and hands right after so it did not affect me.  We took a break and ate lunch. After i weeded again…… 😦 some of the group built  trellises for the garden. We kept on working until it was time to go and clean up the tools.

Day 3 – 7/13/13

We  took a field trip to Rutland and went to the farmer’s market. We asked questions about how they sold things and we found out the price of different vegetables. Also we tried  different food samples. I tried some dip and jam. After we went and looked at urban gardens throughout the city of Rutland. We talked about how most city’s use smaller trees because bigger ones get the way of things like the wires. We went to Sharon’s house and checked out her garden. She has a pond with 10 goldfish. After we got pizza at Ramunto’s. We went to the community gardens and looked around. There were a huge field of solar panels which was cool and they kept on turning towards the sun. It was interesting to see them. We walked on a unknown trail at the garden. We did not go on them for very long since we did not have time. After we went to the nature trail behind the mall, that I did not know existed. There were two types of forests that were small, one was hardwood and the other part was soft wood.