School Garden News – Oklahoma

Third grade students at Stillwater school combine literature and gardening

A group of third grade students at Skyline Elementary School in Stillwater is developing their love of literature and horticulture thanks to two Oklahoma State University Botanical Garden ambassadors.

The program, Literature in the Garden, is part of the Jr. Master Gardener Program and aims to engage children through powerful garden- and ecology-themed children’s books. The curriculum uses those books to inspire learning through a variety of activities.

The children have participated in a number of classroom activities, and also have taken a field trip to the OSU Botanical Garden where they sketched plants, participated in a paper making activity and toured the Oklahoma Gardening Studio Gardens. The students also made seed balls and scattered them in a garden on the school grounds to see how well they would grow.

One of the group’s favorite activities so far has been eating “dirt.” No, they did not eat real dirt, but a combination of edible foods that represented the various layers found in soil. Graham crackers represented sand, chocolate cookie crumbs were fertile soil, peanut butter represented the clay layer in soil and rocks and seeds were represented by peanut M&Ms.

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Week 19 – Pop Quiz

When we eat broccoli do you know what part of the plant we are eating? I’ll give you a hint, it’s the same part of the plant as when we eat artichokes. Here’s another hint, when we don’t pick broccoli in a timely manner this is what it looks like-
We are currently harvesting broccoli, carrots, peas, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce and radishes. Identify what part of the plant we are eating for each vegetable. First entry with all correct answers wins a packet of seeds.

Happy New Year

I’m sure glad students will be returning next week. Peas are getting plump, broccoli heads are blossom tight, carrots are starting to push their shoulders from the ground and our lettuce patch needs thinning, not to mention all the weeding that needs to be done!


School Garden News – Madagascar

Two Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar relate their experiences in starting a school garden.

One project that we just started but are really excited about is the school garden at the local high school. We are working with 5em and 6em (the equivalent of about 8th and 9th graders in America) to create a school garden to demonstrate vegetable planting, tree planting, and maintaining a garden. We are teaching 6 classes of 50 kids each once a week in the classroom (for the theoretical) and then going to the garden and working the soil (demonstrating the techniques). So far so good. Personally, it’s given us the opportunity to get to know the kids, get some teaching experience, as well as improve our language.

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School Garden News – Florida

Teachers use garden plots to bring nature to school

Providence Christian School teacher Sonya Tripple is sowing the seeds early. The kindergarten teacher at the Cape Coral school recently had her students plant lima bean seeds as part of this semester’s science lesson. The children placed the seeds in dirt in plastic cups to observe the growth of the root system. “That’s the neat thing about this age,” she said. “They show genuine curiosity and interest.”

Tripple is just one of the area professionals introducing young children to garden projects. The earlier the exposure, the better, environmental experts say. “This really has been a neglected item in recent years,” said David Parton, director of the Holton Eco-Preserve, whose online site states, “We Help Children Love the Earth.”

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Week 15 – Winter Harvest

Its thanksgiving all over again. Being that this the last week before winter break we are harvesting bagfuls of lettuce, arugula, spinach, swiss chard, mixed asian greens, cilantro, and a few early peas. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, etc we’ll have to wait for till after the break.

Since some schools are accessible during the break and some are not, find out what the situation is at your school and have a clear plan for watering.

Now would also be a good time to think about what to plant in the spring. See my vegetable family chart and choose what warm-season veggies to plant. We’ll be starting much of our warm-season crops indoors so plan on purchasing some peat pots and container soil as well.

Have a happy and healthy holiday. See you all in a few weeks.

Special Seed Offer for Fundraisers

Another special offer from our friends at
A “Green” Fundraiser

We would like to offer you something VERY unique for your fundraiser program this year: A very unique, high quality line of organic and untreated garden seeds not available in discounting chain stores. Over 500 varieties. No order forms. No catalogs. Prices NOT inflated for fundraisers. Steady stream of income from all year sales.

Our program is simple; your “customers” buy seed from our website and you receive a check for 40% of the sales. This is how it works: we provide you with a website url to advertise to your potential “customers”. This url can be included in an email, a paper newsletter sent home with kids, automated phone messages, or placed on a website.

The success of the program (how much you make) depends on how well and frequently you “get the word out” to your potential customers. Being an all year program, frequent reminders at appropriate times of year (winter, spring, and fall) will encourage repeat visits from customers – and a steady income flow during the year.

Encouraging potential customers to forward your emails or newsletter to friends, relatives, or neighbors makes “door to door” selling unnecessary and opens up the whole country as possible customers!

If you feel having a paper order form might assist you, no problem! We can email you an easy to print form to remind your potential customers to order OR to fill out and give to you to order (email me on suggestions for this procedure if interested).

To get started … simply email me ( the following information: Organization Name (name you want check written to), Contact Name & Phone Number, Mailing Address, City, State, Zip Code, Email Address, Organization Phone Number (if different), and Website url. I will then email you a url which is to be used in correspondence or placed on your website. (If placing on a website, request a graphic to be used on the site).

Our seed really is unique. Check out the website your customers or you would order from at Check out the product at
Additionally, any of your customers can email us seed questions at!

For additional information, drop me an email at Then start getting the word out and let the profits roll in!

Curtis Jones