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setting up a Middle School Garden

Posted by shachar z9 CA Bay Area (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 28, 03 at 12:06

Hello everyone. I'm setting up a Middle School garden in Palo Alto, California. I'm wondering about ways to get middle schoolers interested in gardening. Right now I'm thinking about setting up 6 3x3 raised beds, and splitting them up among the interested kids. (This is a club, meaning only kids who are interested come, aftre school, one day a week.) I do double-digging in my own garden -- should I do that with them? Basically, I'm just looking for people who have had some experiences with this sort of thing, what worked, what didn't work, etc.

Thanks a lot.

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RE: setting up a Middle School Garden

  • Posted by amts 9/Poway (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 28, 03 at 14:51

I chair a garden at an Elementary school, so my thoughts might not be germain to your age group but...

If you can get some of the teachers/scouting groups to do lessons in the garden (Math: measuring growth/ Actually planting, etc.)

Plant to attract Butterflies/Birds/Hummers. This makes the gargen with more movement.

Also, plants with different textures (ie Lamb's Ear...)

RE: setting up a Middle School Garden

It's nice if it can be tied into the curriculum too--that way you can educate them on the multitude of benefits gardening involves. I lead a school garden at an urban high school. One thing that sounds like you are doing right is not making it too large to start out. (like I did). Good luck.

RE: setting up a Middle School Garden

I'm in the process of renovating an old Shakespeare Garden in front of our middle school. Most of the plants were high maintenance and kids tramping thru have packed the dirt to cement.

If you're planting near a sidewalk - look for plants that are salt tolerant! We also looked for spring and fall bloomers - things that bloom in the summer are a waste - also there were water issues - remember that someone has to water and weed in the summer.

Also in consideration is winter interest - we're relying on grasses and sedum to provide a foil for the boxwoods.

I consulted with the city's horticulturist for a plan and am interviewing professionals for the install b/c of the issues with the soil.

Remember to call your utilities before you dig!

Part of the Shakespeare garden will be a herb section for the Life Skills department - the kids will plant herbs and label them and use the herbs in cooking.

There are a lot of links out there with Shakespeare Garden lists - if you're interested, let me know. Good luck.

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