Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems

Posted by 10 March, 2015 (0) Comment

Dear Tomato Book Cover

Bursting with flavor and just the right infusion of insight, Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems presents a collection of poems from thirty-four writers on the most universal topic of all: food. Featuring a wide assortment of styles, from haiku to acrostics to free verse, these poems touch on topics that range from lighthearted to seriously thought-provoking. Whether the focus of the poem is a child’s battle over eating peas or a celebration of fair trade, this collection introduces kids to a fresh new view of where their food comes from.

They’ll love following along as they track what they eat—from a tiny seed all the way to the fork that brings it to their mouth! Throughout the anthology, each entry’s words and ideas are brought to life by Norie Wasserman’s stunning black-and-white photographs, which themselves are poetry for the eyes. A fun and enlightening read for kids eight to twelve years of age, this collection will add to your family’s dinnertime conversation, while also providing an excellent resource for teachers and librarians.

Though the book is aimed at eight to twelve-year-old children, adults and older children will delight in the poems.

The anthology, which costs $10 US, is available for purchase online at Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore as well as from the editor, Carol-Ann Hoyte, who can be reached by email at kidlitfan1972@yahoo.ca.

Here’s what people are saying about Dear Tomato:

From Robert Heidbreder’s opening, “A Farmer’s Prayer,” to Matt Goodfellow’s concluding, “The Old Farmer’s Song,” Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems, offers a cornucopia of delicious food for thought. Unless the certainty of encountering naked vegetables makes you squeamish (Ken Slesarik is shameless), dig in for a tasty treat. – David Harrison, U.S. children’s poet and Poet Laureate, Drury University

From farm to market, from garden to table, and from fork to mouth, Dear Tomato serves up a bumper crop of delicious (and healthful!) poems that are sure to leave you hungry for more. – Kenn Nesbitt, U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate (2013-2015)

Categories : Healthy Eating Tags : ,

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes at Greystone Mansion

Posted by 4 January, 2015 (0) Comment

I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching the Grow LA Victory Garden Classes once again at  Greystone Mansion and Park in Beverly Hills. This series of classes are for all those who wish to grow fruits and vegetables in their own backyards.

We will be hosting 4 Sunday classes (12 noon – 3 PM) beginning 2/1/15. Those who take all 4 classes will be given a certificate of completion.

Where:
Greystone Mansion & Park
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday, February 1): planning, tools, seed starting, building raised beds, container gardening, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it)

Week 2 (Sunday,  February 8): transplanting, soil structure, soil preparation, organic fertilizers, irrigation, mulching

Week 3 (Sunday, February 15): composting, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), beneficial insects, organic pesticides

Week 4 (Sunday, February 22): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation

The cost is $15 for each class ($19 for non-Beverly Hills residents) or $55.00 for the entire series ($69 for non-residents).

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. See Catalog (page 8).

Any questions please contact: George Pessin, Master Gardener Instructor
Email – gp305@yahoo.com
Tel – 310-779-8816

Greystone Demonstration Garden

Categories : Instructional Activities Tags : ,

10 School Garden Fundraising Ideas

Posted by 18 November, 2014 (0) Comment

Let’s face it, gardens cost money. We need seeds, tools, amendments, irrigation, and if we’re lucky, support staff. How are we supposed to pay for all this?

First, there are many grants that will help you get started. We have published our own list of school garden grants which we update periodically. However grants don’t last very long and after the garden is built there is yearly maintenance to contend with. The answer is fundraising.

The following are fundraising ideas specifically for your school garden. Give them a try. You can raise money and have some fun at the same time.

succulents in containers

1. Plant Sale – For a successful plant sale you can look for donations or you can make your own. Cuttings from existing plants will be the least expensive route. Succulents are great for this. Culinary herbs are also a great idea. My favorite is the Simon & Garfunkel herb garden (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme). Simply place them all into one container. You can also start from seeds, but just remember to give yourself enough time. Mother’s Day 2015 is May 10th, you will need to start your seeds at least 8 weeks prior.

2. Seedling Sale – Start vegetable plants from seeds to sell to backyard gardeners. Again, you will need to start the seeds approximately 6-8 weeks prior to your sale day.

3. Dried Herb Bouquets – Collect garden herbs such as basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, dill, etc and arrange into bouquets that you can dry by hanging upside down.

4. Seed Sale – Seed companies such as Botanical Interests, High Mowing Seeds, Fedco Seeds and Urban Farmer Seeds all have seed fundraising programs for you to take advantage of. You’ll make 40-50% of all sales.

5. Flower Sale – You can also now sell flower bulbs through FlowerPowerFundraising.com

6. Compost and Worm Castings – For those with compost and/or worm compost programs selling your finished product would be very beneficial to home gardeners. Compost is one of the best organic amendments available and worm castings is one of the best organic fertilizers.

7. Recipe Cookbook – Collect recipes from students, teachers and parents specifically for all the great produce you grow.

8. Seed Tape – Using strips of newspaper or paper towel and homemade glue (flour and water), we attach seeds to paper and when dry, we roll them up and put a bow on them. We can then plant the seed tape directly in the ground and our seeds will be perfectly spaced. This is particularly useful for small seeds like carrots and lettuce that need to be spaced a certain distance apart.

9. Garden Art – Paint garden signs, markers, decorative bricks, trellises, etc.

10. Farmer’s Market – With the proliferation of Farmer’s Market you now have an outlet for all of the above along with any produce or flowers you already grow. Use the following link from LocalHarvest.org to find a farmer’s market near you.

For more fundraising ideas see Funding School Gardens from CSGN.org

Good Luck!

Categories : Instructional Activities,School Garden News Tags : , ,

School Garden Manuals from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Posted by 15 September, 2014 (0) Comment

Two great (free) publications are currently available from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations aka FAO.org. Publications can be viewed in html or downloaded as a pdf.

Setting Up and Running a School Garden

1. Setting Up and Running a School Garden
Adequate nutrition and education are key to the development of children and their future livelihoods. The reality facing millions of children, however, is that these essentials are far from being met. A country’s future hinges on its youth. Yet children who go to school hungry cannot learn well. They have decreased physical activity, diminished cognitive abilities and reduced resistance to infections. Their school performance is often poor and they may drop out of school early. In the long term, chronic malnutrition decreases individual potential and has adverse affects on productivity, incomes and national development.

Year of publication: 2005
Document Type: Book
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9251054088
Office: Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Division: Nutrition Division
Also Available in: French Spanish

Setting Up and Running a School Garden - Teacher Toolkit

2. Setting Up and Running a School Garden – Teaching ToolKit

School gardens can help to provide healthy school meals and generate income for school funds, but they are primarily a platform for learning – learning how to grow food for a healthy diet, improve the soil, protect the environment, market food for profit, enjoy garden food and, not least, advocate it to others. There is strong evidence that classroom lessons and practical learning in the garden reinforce each other, indeed that often one does not work without the other. New garden projects and programs are therefore making sure that the classroom curriculum finds room for garden-related learning about agriculture, nutrition and the environment. This Teaching Toolkit is FAO’s contribution. It contains lessons which supplement and support gardening activities. These “garden lessons” should have a regular place in the classroom timetable, on top of gardening time. The “garden curriculum” aims to give learners some control over the “food cycle” process, through planning, organizing, promoting, evaluating and – not least – celebrating achievements. The lessons therefore aim not only at knowledge and practical skills but also at awareness, attitudes and life skills. The garden mix of theory, practice, enjoyment and ownership is a winning combination for improving lives.

Year of publication: 2009
Document Type: Book
Pages: 194
Office: Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Division: Nutrition Division
Also Available in: French

Categories : Instructional Activities Tags :

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes at Greystone Mansion

Posted by 8 August, 2014 (0) Comment

Greystone Demonstration Garden

The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow their own vegetables.

I am pleased to announce Greystone Mansion and Park in Beverly Hills will be one of the hosting sites for the upcoming Fall classes and yours truly will be the instructor.

We will be hosting 4 Sunday classes (12 noon – 3 PM) beginning 9/14/14. Those who take all 4 classes will be given a certificate of completion.

Where:
Greystone Mansion & Park
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday Sept 14): planning, tools, seed starting, building raised beds, container gardening, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it)

Week 2 (Sunday, Sept 21): transplanting, soil structure, soil preparation, organic fertilizers, irrigation, mulching

Week 3 (Sunday Sept 28): composting, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), beneficial insects, organic pesticides

Week 4 (Sunday Oct 5): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation

The cost is $15 for each class or $55.00 for the entire series.

Please make checks payable to: University of California Regents and mail to:

George Pessin
834 Huntley Dr #4
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Space is limited. Please RSVP with payment at your earliest convenience and include your email and phone number. You will be confirmed registration once payment is received.

Contact Info:
Email – gp305@yahoo.com
Tel – 310-779-8816

Greystone Demonstration Garden

Categories : Instructional Activities Tags : ,