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School garden

Posted by Rgpaolo 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 17, 02 at 20:50

I'm starting a school garden in my community and am seeking input from others who may have been there done that as
well as ones who, like me, may be in the process. I live in a bedroom community of Cincinnati. The garden is a large
area between the primary and elementary schools. 1-2nd grades in one building and 3-4th grades in the other. Our
focus is on using it as an interactive teaching garden. The first year will be primarily flowers....lots and lots of flowers for picking, drying, pressing, arranging. Most kids never get a chance to pick flowers, we want to change that. Next year we'll add vegetables to the mix. I am a "nanny granny." I've been watching my two grandchildren, while their parents work, since they were infants. They're now first and second graders in the respective schools. They've practically grown up in my garden as it's where we spent most of our time in the summer. We're thrifty gardeners, composting and using only insecticidal soap to fight insects. Plants are grown from seed, cuttings, shared by other gardeners or salvaged from the "dead plant" department of various retail outlets. The garden is such a wonderful tool for teaching children. I decided to put together a group of volunteers call "Granny's Gardeners" to being the experience to our school. I have the support of the administration.

I hope to develop a network of others who are interested in bring gardening to our grade schools. My goal is to involve
the whole community. I want to teach the children that gardening is more than going to the local nursery and
buying landscape plants.

Roberta


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: School garden

roberta,
i am working with a group of 5th graders--they have a small area close to their school that ther want to naturalize--we are in the process of making small hypertufa pots and putting an ivy start in each pot--when spring comes we are going to plant the ivy and go from there--
i feel that the more children that we can get interested in planting that we may have less children/adults destroying--


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RE: School garden

  • Posted by deb29 7Burlco.NJ (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 20, 02 at 7:48

I think you'll get some help from a local garden club. They can be very supportive and can direct you further. I've
worked on some school projects and the best thing that you can do is make friends with the schools constodians. If
not you may have what you've started mowed over accidentally of course.


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RE: School garden

As an educator I have worked with several schools that have incorporated a garden into their curriculum. The communities in all of these schools have been great assets. The agricultural extension agent also might prove beneficial to you. One school I work with planted a Three Sisters garden in their study of the native americans of the area. The students, teachers, and community worked together to start the garden. Then come harvest they all gathered together to share the bounty of their effort. Another school planted a heritage vegetable garden, since they were a rural school. Students collected seeds of heritage vegatables. In the fall the students harvested, canned and sold all their produce to raise funds to purchase bee hives for the school. Need more info email me


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RE: School garden

Hi Roberta,
As a former agriculture teacher, parent, farmer, I really appreciate what you are doing. More communities need to be doing this same thing. All ages can get involved. It sounds exciting and can really bring in the community in which your community can be very proud.
The agricultural extension service should be of great help. If there is a agriculture department at the school you may want to check with them. Local city officals may be of assistance. I have been involved with the 4-H and FFA.
Local county fair board members may be of help. We always like to particate in exhibiting in the county fair and district fair.
It teaches so much because of what is involved. Everyone can benefit in learning and sharing in the experiences and really have fun in doing it.
I always liked the competition at the contests and competing for the prizes at the fairs.
You may want to e-mail me. I would like to know how you do.
Charles


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RE: School garden

HI
Just wanted to let you know that there is a Junior Master Gardener Program written for Grades 3-5. It is available from the 4-H program. Contact you 4-H Educator and there may be able to get it for you. It is from Texas but other sstates are using the program also. I am in Mass, and will be attended the trianing for the program in May. If you can not find info locally e-mail me and I will call my 4-H educator and get Texas address. Just returned material to 4-H office after reading them. Looks to be a great program.
Fireliz


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RE: School garden

Roberta,
Been there done that. Ours was for a pre-school. Kids love all aspects of gardening. You can do flowers & vegetables. Actually, veggies and such are great for science projects. Measuring, talking about the various things plants need, etc. it really works for all age groups. But think outside the box. The garden can be used for journal writing, science, history, etc. Its also a wonderful way to reach all learning types. Definitely get your teachers involved as active partners as well as the community and the maintenance staff of your school. Get them all behind you. You can't do it alone and there is nothing more frustrating than building a garden which the kids enjoy but the teachers don't really incorporate into their curriculum or the maintenance staff resents. Or as was our case -- a place where kids felt it wasn't ok to go into because it was "special". (We cured that!) Your community will get behind you and provide you with supplies and other support. Sometimes, commmunity gardeners can help in maintaining the garden during the time the school is not in session. Gardening Magazine has a website with stuff, Seeds of Change provides free seeds to schools. Check local nurseries, etc., they provide stuff as well.
Remember, gardens should be places of discovery for children. Be whimsical! Don't just make it pretty. Gardens are also places where kids replenish their souls to. Get the kids involved, give them plants to taste, feel, smell, etc. Just make sure to keep the chemicals out. Your biggest challenge will be getting people to help you and maintaining -- especially during the summer. Just a thought. Call your school district to see if they have a gardening program (california did), There was an initiative called a "Garden in every School" I believe it was national and several school districts got involved. I could go on an on. Good luck. Its a great thing to do. Children no longer have time to be connected with nature, they no longer observe life's processes and they are getting further removed from food sources. If we provide them with this opportunity they hopefully will be able to make informed decisions when they grow up!
You can see I'm pretty passionate about all this. Good luck its so rewarding. Let me know if I can do more.


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RE: School garden

I'm in charge of our school garden. We have 30 or so raised beds 4ft wide by 20 ft long. I teach kids from K-6 grades. The kids love it!!!

Nicole


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RE: School garden

For more info go to www.kidsgardening.com

There is a school garden registry there with over 1250 schools registered, telling their stories.

Also this site has alot of "how-to" info. Good Luck.

Shelly


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RE: School garden

Another good site is Kids Gardening Resources-Texas A&M University. It is good to see people responding and getting involved with the youth in such an inspiring manner. It is so rewarding to the young as well as to the older people. So much fun and something to be proud.


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