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

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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.

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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 (inform@botanicalinterests.com) 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).

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Curtis Jones
800-486-2647
fundraiser@botanicalinterests.com

Week 14 -Mixed Green Salad

Red Leaf Lettuce

Our lettuce and mixed greens are loving this weather; not too hot, not too cold. The students have been harvesting the outer leaves of all our different varieties, as well as thinning out those grown too close together to add to the mix.

We have such an abundance its time to discuss salad dressings. How do we enjoy all this edible greenery? First of course, we wash it. If you have alot, fill a sink with water, dump your greens in and let them soak for a few minutes. Drain them in a colander and either dry them off on paper towel or spin dry in a lettuce spinner.

Next lets make our salad dressing. The simplest salad dressing is olive oil, lemon and salt which can be applied right into the salad . You want just enough to coat the leaves without any pooling in the bottom of the bowl.A more elaborate dressing would be an herbal vinaigrette. The recipe is as follows: In a bowl or small jar combine 1 teaspoon ketchup with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a dash of soy sauce. While mixing with a fork or twirling the jar, slowly add 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil depending on your taste. Then chop finely any combination of the following herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, parsley. Add to the dressing with a dash of salt and pepper, shake well and pour over salad. Enjoy!

School Garden News – Texas

Gardening project sows seeds of learning at Story Elementary
Seeing the community get involved with helping students learn hands-on is something Story principal Larrissa Loveless likes to see, and wants to see continue.

“What makes this such a dream situation is the community collaboration,” Loveless said. “Without community support, we’d never be able to do this.”

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School Garden News – California

School has Learning Garden

Parents and students, school administration, including L.A.U.S.D. superintendent Richard Alonzo, and community members gathered recently to dedicate the learning garden at Carthay Center School, a pre-k through 5th grade public elementary school at 6351 W. Olympic Blvd

In addition to seven raised beds—one for each of the school’s classes—there are bird, poetry, butterfly, tropical and deciduous plant gardens.

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