Category Archives: School Garden News

Pitchfork – Seedlings for School and Community Gardens

PITCHFORK. If you never been you should go.
If you’ve been you’re probably returning.

Mud Baron and his crew are again giving away 30,000 organic vegetable, herb and ornamental seedlings plus free compost and free potting soil.

Saturday, 5/15,
8:30AM-1030AM
Sylmar High School , 13050 Borden Ave., Sylmar 91342
(Garden entrance on Raven – Past Borden)


New Life for Paterson’s Eastside Park Greenhouse

City Green and Eastside Neighborhood Association Launch Greenhouse Program

March 29, 2010–Paterson, NJ – City Green, an urban community garden and educational programming organization, in partnership with the Eastside Neighborhood Association, has begun their program at the Greenhouse at Eastside Park made available to the groups by the city of Paterson.

The greenhouse, located near the Department of Public Works building in the park will be used to grow flower and vegetable starter plants for City Green’s  Learning Garden and many new community gardens and programs throughout the city.

“We are grateful to the city and the Department of Public Works for allowing us use of this valuable resource and for preparing it for our use by cleaning it out and installing new lighting,” said Jennifer Papa, Executive Director of City Green.

“Planting is underway and we now have the capacity to grow two hundred and forty flats of vegetables, herbs, and flowers,” she continued.

We will also use the plantings for our beautification programs, “Green Your Block” and “Backyard Gardeners” educating community members in neighborhood beautification techniques and home hardening efforts.

City Green, who has developed educational garden programs and environmental clubs throughout the Paterson school system will offer opportunities to high school interns and youth groups to work with plantings in the Greenhouse  throughout the year.

“Now we will be looking for volunteers to help at the Greenhouse and our other community gardens.” said Ms. Papa.

For more information about the Greenhouse contact City Green at 973-800-8197, or email:  jpapa@city-green.org
or visit www.citygreenonline.org

City Green Inc. is a non-profit 501 c 3 community garden and educational programming organization based in Wyckoff, New Jersey.  It offers practical, technical and financial support to revitalize urban communities through gardening.

Saturn Elementary School Garden Groundbreaking & Kickoff Party

You’re all invited! I’ll be there representing National Gardening Association. Come out and say hi!

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Time: 8:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Saturn Street Elementary School
Street: 5360 Saturn Street
City/Town: Los Angeles, CA

The Rings of Saturn are delighted to announce that Saturn has won a 2010 Give Back to Gro grant from Keep America Beautiful and Scott’s Miracle Gro Company. Finally, it’s time to build the garden!! The event will start (at 8:30am) with Mayor Villaraigosa’s presentation of a proclamation for the school, followed by a celebration of the NEW Saturn Edible Garden with activities for the whole family:

– Help build planter boxes and plant seeds and plants in the school’s new outdoor classroom
– Paint garden signs and create flower headbands
– Walk the Saturn Master Plan to ‘experience’ how the Saturn playground will be transformed into a community park!
– Enjoy lunch with your neighbors after a great morning of service

We’re also proud to announce that produce from the new Saturn Give Back to Gro garden will be donated to the First Presbyterian Church food pantry as part of our partnership with Plant a Row for the Hungry.

Also, Come and get tickets to the Chivas USA soccer game on March 26 against the Colorado Rapids!

10 Ways to Integrate School Gardens into Arts, Science, and Math

1) Make a scarecrow. See Atlanta Botanical Gardens 2009 Scarecrow Winners for inspiration.

2) Paint a sign. Nothing says Our Garden like a freshly painted sign. See 25 photos of garden signs from Life Lab.

3) Build a trellis. Trellises are needed throughout the year to support such vegetables as peas, pole beans, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, and gourds. See trellis as art from Maine artist, Paul Jurutka.

4) Make a germinator to showcase germination process (see video.)

5) Read Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. Some have turned the book into a school play. Others were inspired to make a movie.

6) Keep a journal. For scientific purposes we want to track the following: what we’re growing, when did we sow seeds, how long did the seeds take to germinate, how often do we water, how long does a plant take to mature (from seed to harvest), how big does a plant get (height and width), and how much does it yield.

Many other scientific experiments may be initiated with results tracked in a journal.  See Conducting an Experiment from cornell.edu.

7) Plant seeds of lettuce or cilantro and observe the different plant stages. Reserve one plant to be saved for seed. These plants (all annuals) will flower and seed within the school year. Students can observe the entire lifecycle of a plant (seed-to-seed), as well as learn to collect seeds for the following seasons.

8) Collect bugs and insects into a terrarium and observe their habitat and behavior.

9) For math students, examples of gardening equations:
a) If a row is 8 ft long and we space our carrots 3 inches apart how many carrots can we grow in one row?
b) Our pole beans grow 8 inches a week. How many feet will they be after 12 weeks?
c) My raised bed is 4ft x 8 ft x 1ft. How many bags of dirt (2 cubic feet each) does it take to fill the raised bed?

10) For more inspiration see School Garden Potpourri of Ideas

Choosing Tomato Seeds

Always a difficult decision. Tomatoes (and corn) is everyone’s favorite homegrown vegetable. We’ll be starting them indoors in late February and early March. If you haven’t gotten your seeds yet, get them NOW.

This year I’ve decided on Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Pineapple Tomato, Cherokee Purple and Sungold Tomato.

Sungolds are bright orange, cherry tomatoes, hybrids, very sweet, and very high yields. The others are heirlooms, open-pollinated, 1-2 pounders: green, yellow blush, and deep red.

The intent is both visual and culinary. The different colors will delight any child and the depth of flavors from the four varieties in a freshly made salsa, bruschetta, or checca will excite the palate of any adult.

Favorite Seed Companies:
Baker Creek
Botanical Interests
Gourmet Seed
PineTree Seeds

National Green Week 2010 (February 1-5)

Green Education Foundation (GEF) is mobilizing two million children to participate in environmental educational programs during National Green Week 2010 (Feb. 1-5, 2010). The objective is to empower students to become environmental stewards within the context of their own lives.

GEF’s provides all the educational content for the program including standards based environmental lessons that are easily incorporated into science, math, language arts, social studies, and creative arts curricula. Following are some of the GEF eco-challenges that schools can participate in during National Green Week 2010:

* Waste-Free Snacks & Lunches – Students nationwide will participate in the largest school based waste-reduction program in history by pledging to carry their drinks, snacks and home packed lunches in reusable containers for the week. The combined totals will be tallied and posted on the GEF website on Earth Day 2010 (April 22).

* Energy Reduction Challenge – Students will audit their classrooms, schools and homes to find energy leaks and correct them in an effort to reduce energy consumption at school and at home.

* Lights-out Classrooms – Teachers are encouraged to turn off the lights, when sunlight is a viable option to teach by for at least one day during National Green Week 2010.

* Walk/Bike/Carpool Week – Students and their families will make a concerted effort to walk, bike and/or carpool for the week.

* Idle Free Week – Principals will encourage all parents and bus drivers to turn off their ignitions when wait time is longer than 20 seconds.

National Green Week 2010 is a free program. Schools and groups are encouraged to take this opportunity, whether for the week, a day or an assignment to spend time with their students discussing environmental issues and specifically what they can do to make a difference. Please view the National Green Week 2010 start-up kit for all the details on how to participate in the program.


For more information visit Green Education Foundation

School Garden Training on the St. Lawrence University Campus, Canton, NY

From Green Pages, stlawu.edu

School Garden Training
Location: St. Lawrence University Campus
Date: March 30, 2010

School Garden Training on the St. Lawrence University Campus, Canton

This training is designed for those who already maintain a school garden project AND for those considering one.  It is open to school faculty and staff, parents, community members – all are welcome!

Presentations & workshops will include topics such as integrating garden projects into the curriculum, utilizing the harvest in classroom and cafeteria, and q & a sessions with successful project coordinators.  Details and registration to come in January 2010.  We hope you will plan to join us for this exciting training cosponsored by:  Health Quest MOVE & the Eat Well Play Hard Community Project of the St. Lawrence Health Initiative, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, GardenShare, UShare, Lettuce Turnip the Beet and the St. Lawrence Valley Teachers’ Learning Center.  Please share this information with anyone who may be interested.

A variety of grant opportunities for school garden projects are listed below (thanks to all who send these my way!).  Please contact me if you would like assistance planning a school garden project for this coming spring or with any other school gardening questions or ideas for St. Lawrence County.

1. Mantis Awards
Sponsor: Mantis
Award package: Mantis tiller/cultivators
Number of awards: 25
Who qualifies: community, school, and youth garden programs
Annual application deadline: March 1
http://www.kidsgardening.com/grants/mantis-criteria.asp

2. Public School Teachers Request
Sponsor: DonorsChoose.org
Award package:
Who qualifies: Teacher defined projects in schools Annual application deadline: Rolling
http://www.donorschoose.org/teacher/index.html

3. Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
Sponsor: USDA – CSREES
Award package:: $10,000 – $300,000
Number of awards: not specified
Who qualifies: private, nonprofit entities meeting specific requirements
Annual application deadline: May
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/communityfoodprojects.cfm

4. 2010 Youth Garden Grants
Sponsor: National Gardening Assoc and Home Depot
Award package: $500 -$1000 gift cards
Number of awards: 100
Who qualifies: community, school, and youth garden programs
Annual application deadline: November 2nd
http://www.kidsgardening.com/ygg.asp

5. Champions for Healthy Kids
Sponsor: General Mills
Award package: $10,000
Number of awards: 50
Who qualifies: community-based groups that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.
Annual application deadline: January 15, 2010
http://www.generalmills.com/corporate/commitment/champions.aspx

6 America the Beautiful Fund
http://www.america-the-beautiful.org/
Non-profit group receives seed donations from major seed companies. Sets of 50 packets of vegetables, flowers and herbs are available for the cost of postage and handling.

7. Outdoor Classroom Grant Program
The goal is to provide schools with additional resources to improve their science curriculum by engaging students in hands-on experiences outside the traditional classroom. All K-12 public schools in the United States are welcome to apply.
www.lowes.com

8.  Welch’s Harvest Grants
http://www.scholastic.com/harvest/

9.  Fiskar’s Project Orange Thumb
http://www.fiskars.com/content/garden_en_us/Garden/ProjectOrangeThumb