Category Archives: School Garden News

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

School Gardens in the News

1) Hillsboro, OR
Planting Seeds for the Future

It’s Christmas break at Minter Bridge Elementary School in Hillsboro, but visions of sprouting seeds, blooming bulbs and sturdy shrubs just might be dancing in the heads of students and staff and the Hillsboro Garden Club.

The garden club, now in its 80th year, recently forged a partnership with Minter Bridge when members donated seven garden-themed books to the school library as well as a birdhouse that looks like a miniature beaver den.

2) England, UK
UK School Kids Ditch Junk Food for Vegetables They Grow

I’ve long advocated for gardening with kids, not only to connect children closer with nature but to improve their diet. Food for Life Partnership, “a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture,” agrees. The Telegraph reports:

Emma Noble, director of the Food for Life Partnership, said: “It is possible to transform school food culture and to increase school meal take-up at the same time when young people’s views are listened to and school meal changes are supported by practical food education like learning to cook, growing food and visiting farms to learn where food actually comes from.”

3) Washington, DC
Kids Taste A Sweeter Veggie, White House Style

If you didn’t know that spinach tastes sweeter when it’s grown in cool temperatures, it’s likely you haven’t been digging around in a winter garden. The White House has just planted a slew of cold-weather vegetables, and a group of students from an after-school cooking class in Washington, D.C., were among the first to visit.

4) Richmond,CA
Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl’s Interview with Urban Ag High School Student, Ana Araujo

In October 2009, Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl sat down with Ana Araujo to discuss the Urban Agriculture and Food Systems class she participated in at Richmond High School in 2008/2009.  The class was a pilot program, which gave the students graduation credit and was centered around the creation of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and direct sale of produce from a middle school farm and the school garden at Richmond High.

LA County Master Gardener Training 2010

Los Angeles County Master Gardener Training Program is now accepting applications for 2010.

The dates are 13 Saturdays, March 6 – May 29, 2010

January 15:  Last Day to Request Application Packet

January 31:  Last Day to Submit Completed Application, LiveScan Fingerprinting, and Payment

WHO CAN APPLY
• Any resident of Los Angeles County with an email address and computer access.  Most communication will be by email and websites.
• Anyone who wants to help teach low-income and limited-resource people how to grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits.
• We especially invite residents of inner-city neighborhoods and bilingual gardeners.

HOW TO APPLY
• You MUST be on either or both of our resource elists – 1) Community Gardening and Food Security, or 2) School Gardening.
• If you’re not, then email ydsavio@ucdavis.edu and indicate which elist you want to be on (you can be on both).
• If you’re already on either or both elists, email gjmitche@ucdavis.edu to receive the application survey, LiveScan form and list of LiveScan locations for required fingerprinting and criminal background check by Department of Justice.  This must be done now for us specifically, regardless if you’ve done it for another agency.  Note differences in prices and hours available, as some require appointments. Because we are a nonprofit organization, there is no additional fee.
• By January 31, 2009, submit completed application packet.  1) Email completed application survey, 2) Sign, date, and mail last page of the application survey, 3) Mail copy of LiveScan form completed and signed by Live Scan operator (Keep a copy for yourself), 4) Mail check for $150 made payable to “UC REGENTS.”  [Note:  Low-income residents pay only what they can afford—see application survey for details.]

WHAT WE’LL DO
• Accept 50 participants from some 200 applications.  Main criteria for acceptance:  1) prior community service (not necessarily in gardening),
2) passion for helping low-income gardeners, 3) experience giving presentations and working with people of diverse backgrounds, and 4) initiative in starting and carrying through with projects.
• Notify you by February 12 whether or not you’ve been accepted into the program.  Please don’t contact us before then.
• Teach you how to garden successfully.  Topics and garden activities will cover basic plant science, propagation, fertilization, irrigation, soil, compost, vegetable and herb and fruit gardening, flowering plants and trees, Integrated Pest Management (diseases, weeds, insects, small animals), tools, how to start community and school gardens, and outreach techniques.
• Provide you with Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities all over Los Angeles County.

WHAT YOU’LL DO
• As soon as you’re accepted:  1) Establish a Yahoo group ID (if you don’t already have a Yahoo email address, we’ll give you instructions).  You can use either your existing email address or your new Yahoo email address to receive all your MG email via our private, member-only Yahoogroup.
• Prior to the first class:  Become familiar with our Common Ground public website and our private MG Yahoogroup website.
• Attend 13 classes on Saturdays, March 6 through May 29, 2010, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, at our office, 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, East Los Angeles.  Meetings start promptly at 9:00 am.  Some meetings will be at other garden sites; we encourage carpooling with classmates.
• Give gardening workshops at community gardens, school gardens, senior gardens, housing development & other low-income gardens.
• Answer gardening questions at gardens, on the phone at our office, or by email from your computer.
• Help with program activities and workshops at the UCCE office in East Los Angeles.
• Post all your volunteer and continuing education hours on our online Statewide MG Volunteer Management System (we provide instructions).
• Starting in June, attend monthly MG Continuing Education meetings on the second Saturday of every month at different garden locations.

WHAT YOU’LL GET
• California Master Gardener Handbook, University of California publication.
• Certificate of Completion of Class Instruction—after completing the 13-week training program and passing the take-home, open-book examination.
• Monthly Continuing Education meetings with speakers and activities on in-depth gardening topics.
• Frequent emails of Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities and other program information.
• Annual recertification as an active MG after you post online at least 50 Volunteer hours and 15 Continuing Education hours by May 31, 2011.  [Future years’ requirements are 25 Volunteer and 15 Continuing Education hours.]
• Joy and satisfaction that you’re helping other gardeners grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits, you’re making new friends, and we’re all working together to beautify our neighborhoods and “Green LA”!

For More Information:
Email: gjmitche@ucdavis.edu
Phone: 323-260-3348

Common Ground Garden Program

University of California Cooperative Extension Los Angeles

School Gardens in the News

1) San Diego, CA
BRETT: Gardens are a solid investment

My first thought when I read that Paul Ecke Central Elementary in Encinitas was awarded a $30,000 grant for a school garden was, “that seems like a lot of money to invest in a garden.” Then I thought again.

I thought about things that children need to grow up strong and healthy: exercise, fresh air, nutritious food, a connection to living things and a sense of purpose and achievement.

2) Franklin TN
Garden designed for math, science

Raised flowerbeds in the shapes of trapezoids, triangles and pentagons are just the beginnings of a new math tool for Freedom Intermediate School students.

Between two classroom wings at the school, the garden will feature native Tennessee plants and will give students a chance to visually and physically understand basic math concepts.

3) Jacksonville, FL
Ortega Elementary students sell produce to benefit food bank

In late September, about 20 students from Ortega Elementary School got their hands dirty by digging in the dirt.

After a lot of hard work and dirty nails, they had a garden filled with seeds that would one day reap banana peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

4) Columbia, SC
Students harvesting rewards of gardening

Seventh-grader Chauncey Rogers was so interested in his first gardening experiences at school, he asked if he could have a plant to take home. He dug a hole for the collards in his backyard, gave them a good watering and has kept an eye on them ever since.

5) Missoula, MT
Lowell School selling cookbook with recipes inspired by student garden

When Lowell School put in a garden last spring, all who call the school home – its students, teachers and parents – learned far more than how to grow food. They found inspiration in the humble, daily work it takes for a garden to come to life.

It was so much fun, and so rewarding, that the school community set about a plan to keep the garden going. What better way than to create a cookbook with recipes the students and their families used when they harvested the school’s bounty?

6) Lake Charles, LA
Local students grow food for good cause

Months of hard work in the garden are paying off for students at Ralph F. Wilson Elementary School. This week students are picking the harvested fall crops they have been growing since September.

“This is the first time we’ve actually harvested,” says Linda Hooper, a fifth grade teacher at Ralph F. Wilson Elementary.

7) Pune, India
Now, medicinal plants to take root in city schools

With the intention of taking students back to grandmother’s remedies and to the wonders of ayurvedic/herbal medicines, the directorate of social forestry will introduce the concept of herbal gardens in various schools across the state from early 2010.

The directorate will set up the herbal gardens under the promotional scheme of the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Government of India.

8) Portland, OR
Woodward Gardens, Mary Woodward Elementary School

Woodward Gardens is seen as an outdoor extension of Mary Woodward’s Science Program. All aspects of the Garden can only occur from cooperation. This cooperation involves cooperation of the children with one another and their teachers and parents. There are a lot of parents who garden, but who hadn’t realized that their skills could be valuable to teachers tight on time and resources. Our garden coordinator arranges for appropriate resource people or parents to help with outdoor or classroom learning sessions, maintain a resource closet, plan lessons and plantings with teachers, and oversee garden maintenance. Students help fund ongoing supplies with our annual plant sale. The development of this garden has resulted in a greater variety of learning experiences, a sense of stewardship for our natural resources in our children, and stronger ties to the community.

School Gardens in the News

1) Stillwater, OK
Recycled rainwater sprouts Skyline gardens

A rainwater recycling program at Skyline Elementary School quickly sprouted more than just roots and took on a life of its own.

During a whirlwind of activity the last eight months, Skyline students and staff have teamed up with representatives from Oklahoma State University, the city and Sustainable Stillwater, a community environmental organization, to build a cistern that will help support a garden behind the school.

2) Algonquin, IL
Garden a hands-on lesson for Scout

Sometimes, Shelby Cieslinski of Algonquin said, she halfheartedly regrets teaching her children to volunteer. Like when, after leading her oldest son Jonathan’s Boy Scout troop, her youngest son Josh assumed she and her husband, Thomas, would volunteer to lead his, too.

But late last month, she couldn’t have been prouder of Josh when the Community Unit School District 300 Board of Education recognized him for his work designing and implementing a butterfly garden at Lake in the Hills Elementary School.

3) Australia
Students dig in and get their vegie patch started

BEAUTY Point Public School students will get help from the countryside when growing pumpkins for the Daily’s Great Backyard Challenge.

A teacher at the school owns a property in the country and has promised to bring in “good garden soil” to help grow giant pumpkins, science teacher Mirelle Farrell said.

4) Zebulon, NC
School Gardens Will Grow Food to Eat, To Learn, And To Share

Elementary school teachers are going green in Franklin County, NC with installation of school gardens. Teachers are adding gardening to their lesson plans for science, nutrition, and other subjects. Produce grown in these gardens will feed the students, the teachers, and other local residents.

Working with Franklin County school teachers and Dale Byrns, Creative Education Office, several gardens are being installed. In Spring 2010, over 100 elementary school students will be growing food for themselves, learning about nutrition, working in the garden, and sharing their produce in the local community.

5) Temecula, CA
TEMECULA: Garden program gets state honor

A program in Temecula schools that allows children to work in gardens on their campuses and learn about growing food and plants has earned the district a statewide award.

There are gardens at 22 Temecula Valley Unified School District campuses, where children gets hands-on lessons about topics such as science, weather and healthy foods.

6) Los Angeles, CA
Lunch with Alice Waters in Larchmont elementary school’s garden

When Alice Waters talks about improving school lunch, she doesn’t just mean making the chicken nuggets more nutritious. She wants to see a table set, maybe with flowers. She wants children to have enough time to have conversations as they eat.

Seed Sale from Botanical Interests

Botanical Interests, Inc., supplier of quality seeds to independent garden centers and health food grocery stores, is extremely interested in helping schools with their school gardens.

For schools needing NEW seed for their gardens, email shaynal@botanicalinterests.com for a 40% discount code off any seed purchased from botanicalinterests.com.

Include the name of your school and your contact information. Old or donated seed with poor germination is very discouraging to kids and teachers when it doesn’t germinate after so many hours of preparing a garden!

Also check out http://www.botanicalinterests.com/schools.php for easy, paperless seed school fundraisers.”

For more information about School Garden Fundraisers see my Q&A with Curtis Jones, President of Botanical Interests.

Botanical Interests

School Gardens in the News

1) Redlands, CA
School recognized for edible garden

Redlands High School’s special education students make meals from the produce they cultivate on-campus. Their work received an honorable mention Tuesday for the School Garden of the Year Award, by the California School Garden Network.

2) Denver, CO
Gardening uniting generations

Kathy Komarek, 61, steadies a pumpkin for Esther Hung Pai, 10, as she scrapes the seeds out. Toward the end, it gets too hard for Esther’s tiny hands to clean out her pumpkin, so Kathy takes over. Younger and older hands continue working in unison.
Through a program called Connecting Generations, those hands have been working together in unison at Harrington Elementary in the Cole neighborhood.

3) Turlock, CA
Elementary students take gardening to a new level

Second grader Amelia Boyd’s favorite part of the Julien Elementary Garden Celebration is the taste testing. Along with tasting the variety of plants, she  danced to garden songs, learned about nutrition, and studied the process of photosynthesis on Friday.
“I love the Garden Celebration because we get to sing garden songs and the tasting is going to be fun, but I hate pears,” Boyd said.

4) Liverpool, United Kingdom
How does your recycled school garden grow?

PUPILS at St Anne’s Primary School in Rock Ferry are set to benefit from a project to spruce up their garden.
They are using reclaimed timber, to create a pergola and planters, as well as recycled plants, stones and galvanised steel for seating.

5) Pittsburgh, PA
Carrick students raise butterflies, watch them take flight

“It’s called controlled chaos,” Principal Vincent Lewandowski said with a smile. With a whistle blow, he was quickly able to quiet the nearly 300 students in grades two through five assembled on the playground of Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Roosevelt Elementary.
On a sunny morning last week, the students were anxiously awaiting the release of 60 monarch butterflies raised at the school’s intermediate campus in Carrick.

6) Palm Springs, CA
Forget bag lunch; students grow theirs

Col. Mitchell Paige Middle School students will plant their own produce in their new community garden this year.
Work on the 2,400-square-foot garden at the northeast edge of the school started last week.