Burpee Home Gardens® is now accepting applications for the 2012 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award.

Burpee Home Gardens® is now accepting applications for the 2012 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award. In its third year, the “I Can Grow” program continues to support urban school and community gardens in cities across the United States. To date, the “I Can Grow” program has provided more than 8,000 vegetable and herb plants to help create 16 gardens nationwide.

The 2012 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award will be presented to established or start-up school and community gardens that demonstrate well-developed and staffed plans for a youth-centered educational program, with an emphasis on nutrition and food production, environmental awareness, social responsibility and scholastic integration.

Click link above for complete article and link below for application.

Garden grant application available online; due Dec. 23, 2011

 

 

Edible Weeds

Dandelions
To some gardeners weeds are the bane of their existence, to others they are nothing more than plants growing where they shouldn’t. To some enlightened gardeners weeds are a delicacy. The secret really is knowing which are good weeds and which are bad weeds.

Good weeds I will define as edible plants that are growing in places you don’t want them to grow. Bad weeds are everything else.

purslane
Some good weeds are dandelions and purslane.

Dandelions are packed with Vitamins A, C, & K. Purslane has an abundance of Vitamins A & C.

Here’s a recipe for Sauteed Dandelion Greens. And here’s a recipe for Purslane and Parsley Salad

Next time you’re clearing out your beds make sure your not throwing away lunch.

A Child’s Garden of Standards: Linking School Gardens to California Education Standards

seddlings

The California Department of Education has a free publication for downloading regarding school gardens and curriculum. A Child’s Garden of Standards: Linking School Gardens to California Education Standards links garden-based education activities selected from several published educational materials to specific academic content standards for grades two through six in science, history/social sciences, mathematics, and English language arts.

Free download version available here (PDF; 5.22MB; 112pp.)

Chayote Harvest

chayote vine

Chayote never met a fence it did not like or could not cover. The longest vines are well over 10 ft long. It’s amazing to believe it all started from one chayote fruit planted in early spring.

chayote fence

Approximately six months later we are now harvesting the beginning of what appears to be a huge harvest. We just need to be careful not to allow the fruit to grow through the fence.

chayote female flower

Chayote is in the Cucurbitaceae family aka squash family which means seperate male and female flowers. The female flower is easily distinguishable by the baby fruit (ovary) sitting at the base waiting to be pollinated.

The harvest will last approximately 2-3 months depending on the weather, after which the plant will die back. At that point we will prune aggressively for the winter and allow this perennial to resume its growth the following spring.

How to Sell Produce at a Certified Farmer’s Market

winter squash

For any school or urban gardener wishing to sell produce at a Los Angeles County Certified Farmer’s Market a Producer’s Certificate from the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner Weights & Measures Department is mandatory.

First step is to call their South Gate office at 562-622-0402 and arrange for an inspection. An inspector would them come out to view the product and estimate production. If the school or individual then puts in another crop in the Spring, the inspector would then have to come out again to view the crop and estimate production. The annual cost for the certificate is $63.00.

I had several questions regarding this certificate. Ibrahim Abdel, Pest Exclusion & Produce Quality/ Agricultural /Weights & Measures Inspector was kind enough to answer.

1) Is a certificate necessary to sell the produce to a restaurant?

The certificate is not required to sell your products to a restaurant or at school.  If you sell the products to a restaurant without having the certificate, then you are not exempt from the standard size and the labeling for the products.  If you have a certificate and want to sell the products to a restaurant, you have to provide the restaurant with a receipt showing your name, the commodity, the amount sold and the price in this case, you are exempt from the standard container and the product labeling.

2) Is a certificate necessary to sell the produce at the school?

No, the certificate is only required to sell your products at a certified farmers’ market (CFM).

3) If I have a garden at my home or community garden would I also need a permit to sell at the farmer’s market or am I covered by the Los Angeles City Ordinance 181188 (aka Food and Flower Act)? My understanding is the certificate is only necessary to sell at the farmer’s market. To sell to a restaurant or others I do not need a certificate. Is this correct?

Yes. To sell the products grown at your home at a CFM, you need a certificate.

4) Last question, if a school (or homeowner) is to sell to a restaurant without a certificate how do they compose the standard size and product labeling? What is required?

You can find the requirement for each product in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 3, Chapter 1.

Basically the following is required:

1) A declaration of identity – the name specified by applicable Federal or State law or regulation, or common name, or generic name or other appropriate description of the commodity.

2) A declaration of responsibility – that includes the name, address, and zip code of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, however, the street address may be omitted if this is shown in a current city directory or telephone directory.

3) A declaration of quantity – by count or measure.

For further information visit the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commissioner Weights and Measures website.

Flowers for a School Garden

snapdragons

Snapdragons

There is no rule that says school gardens should only be about edible plants. Adding flowers to row ends or borders, containers and window-boxes is a great way to add color and beauty to any outdoor classroom. Since we are planting in the fall and want flowers fairly quickly we are limited to what varieties we can grow.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

The following is a list of easy to grow annuals that all can be planted now and will flower within the school year:

Bachelor Buttons, Calendula, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Phlox, Poppies, Snap Dragons, Stocks, & Violas

stocks

Stocks

School Gardening Program Specialist – LAUSD job announcement

Los Angeles Unified School District would like to announce the recruitment for School Gardening Program Specialist.

The ideal candidate will have experience in developing and implementing K-12 school educational garden projects which include community, edible, instructional, literacy, or multi-functional gardens. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate the ability to build strong, collaborative partnerships with various community stakeholders and other entities in order to raise awareness, garner cooperation, and raise funds for school garden spaces for the District. Extensive knowledge of innovative sustainable garden practices is highly desirable.

Minimum requirements include four years of experience assisting in the coordination of activities for school or community gardening programs with multiple sites, or experience planning, funding and implementing sustainable schoolyard projects and initiatives; and a bachelor’s degree.

Please visit www.lausdjobs.org for more information.

Application deadline is October 12, 2011.

Feel free to contact Katie.wong@lausd.net if you have any questions regarding this information.

Katie Wong, Human Resources Specialist
Personnel Commission-Talent Acquisition & Selection
Los Angeles Unified School District
Tel: 213-241-5549 Fax: 213-241-8038
Katie.wong@lausd.net