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.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

In celebration of Halloween check out what arguably may be one of the best pumpkin soup recipes ever. One can also substitute any winter squash (i.e butternut squash) for pumpkin.

Pumkin Soup with Fennel and Orange

To bake a fresh 6 to 7 pound pumpkin, halve the pumpkin crosswise and scoop out the seeds and fiber. Place halves, hollow side down, in a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375, for approximately 60 minutes.

When finished let cool and scoop out flesh.
(Approximately 3 cups)

In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons oil and sauté the
following: 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves
and the zest of 1 orange.

Cook for about 10 min until onions start to brown.

Stir in 3 large, chopped and cored fennel bulbs and
cook for about 15 min. Season with salt and pepper.

(Optional – add 2-3 ounces cognac, brandy or orange liquor and stir.)

When alcohol is burned off add 2 cups chicken stock.

Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add cooked squash, mix thoroughly, and season with
salt and pepper.

Puree in blender at high speed.
Add just enough extra chicken broth (1-2 cups) to
ensure the soup turns smoothly in the blender.
Season to taste.

City Green is Greening the City

City Green is a non-profit community garden organization currently working in Paterson, New Jersey.  Their “City Sprouts” program addresses the need for in school and after-school enrichment in the Paterson Public Schools, educating children on the environment, nutrition, and how to grow fresh healthy food. This following is an overview of City Green’s programs for the current school year.

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The School 9 Cougars Go Green club, along with clubs in Schools 12 and 16 are in their second year of Environmental Club programming. School 7 begins its third year with science teacher Marla Arrington directing. All the clubs are supported throughout the year by City Green’s staff and materials.

This year the school programming reaches ten schools, and all ten club directors have received the newly developed City Green Environmental Club Manual, called “Make a Difference”, which contains guidelines and instructions for a full year of programming.  The teams have begun recruiting club members and making plans for the year.

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Using the manual instructions, each club will begin or expand a recycling program at their school. They will raise awareness with a recycling contest and school-wide recycling projects.  Thanks to their awareness campaigns and elbow grease, many tons of paper will be diverted from the waste stream.

Several schools are making plans to work with City Green to  begin a Garden Club using the green space around their school, and on adjoining lots. Gardens will be planned in the fall and installed in the spring. City Green provides consultations, resources and curriculum support to help make their school garden an effective hands-on learning tool.

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With energetic and talented teachers of the Paterson school district and enthusiastic youngsters, the City Green programs provide the tools to empower Paterson’s young men and women to take action and Make a Difference!  And in the words of a School 9 Cougars Go Green gal, “[They] plan to save the planet!”

For more information about City Green please contact executive director, Jennifer Papa, info@citygreen.org, or visit their website at www.citygreenonline.org

School Gardens in the News

1) Chipley, FL
Chipley Garden Club Members Help Students Plant Terrariums

Members of the Chipley Garden Club once again visited Kate Smith Elementary School this week in preparation for the 2010 Youth Fair to be held in Washington County.
Previously the garden club members handed out live plants to be grown by the students, but this week they were on hand to help students prepare and plant their own terrariums that will later be entered in the Youth Fair.

2) Wilmington, NC
Alderman Elementary students install rain garden

Alderman Elementary third graders stepped outside the classroom Monday morning to learn about the environment. Volunteers from Wal-Mart and the PTA gave students a hand installing a 2,500 square foot rain garden.
The garden was placed near the entrance of the school to catch and treat rain water from the schools roof and parking lot. Students learned what it takes to make a rain garden.

3) Tampa, FL
Volunteers build reading garden at Tampa’s DeSoto Elementary School

Jalissa Stanley vigorously sanded a bench as her classmates and other volunteers planted flowers, placed pavers and built a pond in a grassy courtyard at DeSoto Elementary School on Saturday.
Jalissa, a third-grader, said she looks forward to bringing books out to the new reading garden that was built in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

4) Yakima, WA
They like to talk garden at McClure Elementary

It isn’t difficult to get kids at Yakima’s McClure Elementary School to talk about their garden.
In fact, schoolchildren recently had so much to say about their nationally certified Schoolyard Habitat that there just wasn’t room to include all their ideas in a story, set to be published Saturday in the Yakima Herald-Republic and at yakimaherald.com.

5) Baltimore, MD
At farm run by Baltimore city schools, they’re planting veggies. . .and ideas

About 15 miles from their campus near the tattered corner of Belair Road and Erdman Avenue, fifth graders from The Green School wandered across 33-acres of farmland and marveled at the city’s newest classroom.
It was a field trip to Great Kids Farm, a key component of the Baltimore city school system’s push to provide fresh fruits and vegetables that students can eat at lunch and appreciate for a lifetime.

6) Silver Spring, MD
Student bee detectives use garden as ‘living laboratory’

There’s a buzz at Saint John the Baptist Catholic School about a new garden that’s helping students understand plant biology, gardening and bee pollination patterns. Full of lavender plants, marigolds and, of course, plenty of bees, young students are getting an early start in biology as they observe the insects and how plants grow.

School Garden Preparation – Dorsey High School

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Preparing a garden bed for seed sowing is a difficult task, in fact it is the most difficult task we’ll perform in the garden all year. Over the summer, weeds grows unfettered, plants die, and the soil is depleted of nutrition.

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All those planting beds need to be cleared and amended.

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Thankfully, at Dorsey High School, we had a few students show up for garden work on a Saturday and they did a fabulous job.

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For approximately two and a half hours students weeded, removed bermuda grass, old plants, and completed some seriously needed site prep work.

See video, How to Amend a Raised Bed, to view the process of adding amendments (preferably organic compost) and turning (or aerating) the soil.

School Gardens in the News

1) Nashville, TN
Nashville school gardens get kids outdoors

The three Eakin Elementary students pulled and tugged until they glimpsed the top of the orange vegetable. “I think I can get it,” they took turns saying. After much effort, their eyes grew big when they finally saw the carrot and its roots. “Can we eat it?” they all asked simultaneously.

2) Moraga, CA
Garden helps Moraga students grow

It’s a typical math lesson in a not-so-typical classroom.
“How many cups in a quart?” Alice Noyes asked more than a dozen fifth-graders sitting outside on a sunny Friday morning.
“Four,” replied Ethan Valencia, who was then dispatched to mix 2 quarts of water with 1 quart of salt to make a mixture for seasoning seeds from sunflowers planted by students last year.
Welcome to the Rheem Elementary School garden.

3) Baltimore, MD
Baltimore schools go vegetarian one day a week

When the assistant White House chef Sam Kass visited a Baltimore school last week for lunch, he was treated to vegetarian eggplant dip that the students had made with vegetables and herbs from their own organic school garden.
It’s all part of an effort by the Baltimore school system to introduce children to healthier and more sustainable foods. In pursuit of that goal, lunches are now vegetarian every Monday in school cafeterias across the city.

4) Brooklyn, NY
Little Green Thumbs

One of my fondest grade-school memories involves a sweet potato, toothpicks, and a glass of water. There was something magical about watching as a tangle of roots first appeared in the water, followed by leafy tendrils that spilled over the glass and then extended wildly across the kitchen windowsill.

5) Palm Springs, CA
Schools take the lead in teaching students how to live a healthy life

Childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed nationally, tripling in less than 30 years. It is a serious problem that endangers students’ health and taxes the medical system.

Scarecrows in the Garden

"Go Skatecrow Go!" by students at Fayette Middle School

"Go Skatecrow Go!" by students at Fayette Middle School

Scarecrows in a school garden is a fun activity. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is currently exhibiting its annual “Scaregrows in the Garden”. See link for pics and ideas.