Video – Germinator

A germinator is any device that demonstrates the germination process. The following shows how to make one.

Another germinator can be found here courtesy of RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers, www.raft.net)

Week 5 – Germination

Now that we’ve begun planting our seeds it is time to discuss germination. Germination is the process by which a seed breaks its dormancy, sprouts, and turns into a seedling. The best way to understand it is to observe it up close. In the classroom place some larger seeds like beans, pumpkins, peas or watermelon between layers of wet paper towel on a plate. Make sure the paper towel never dries out. It should feel like a wrung-out sponge. After a few days you will notice the root emerging.

avocado_seed_diagram

 

School Garden News – United Kingdom

School Food is Winning Young Fans

“One of the major reasons the meal-uptake of healthy school food has been so dramatic is the effect that the school garden has had on the pupils.

All students, from reception to year 6 are involved in the process of planting, watering and digging up vegetables, both during lesson-time and as an after-school activity.It teaches the children the variety of produce available in Britain and encourages them to try new vegetables, such as marrows, pumpkins and radishes, which are either eaten raw during break-times, or incorporated into the school meals by the head chef. Fruit trees have also recently been planted in the garden to further the pupils understanding, and while they begin to bear produce, local residents have donated their own apples and pears to be incorporated into school meals.”

Complete article can be found here

Video – How to Plant Seeds

Week 4 – Seed Packets, What to Plant

We have amended our beds, laid out rows and are now ready to sow seeds. All pertinent information about planting seeds can be found on the back of the seed packet. This includes: lighting requirements, row spacing, plant spacing, planting depth, plant height, days to germination, and days to harvest.

Note: On the seed packet row spacing refers to traditional row crops. In a raised bed we don’t need space to walk through our rows, so we plant more intensively (closer together).

Also, pay special attention to plant height, remember taller plant go at the north end and smaller plants at the southern end, this way your plant are not shading one another.

If still undecided about what you’re growing please consider the following:
1) Radishes – Perhaps not the tastiest of vegetables but certainly the quickest; seed to harvest is 30 days. Students will feel a sense of accomplishment that far outweighs any nutritional or educational benefit.
2) Lettuce – One of the easiest vegetables one can grow. Stagger your planting (sow seeds Oct, Nov, Dec…) and you’ll have lettuce all year. Also, more importantly, lettuce seed sown now will go to seed within the school year. If you wish to demonstrate the life cycle of a plant, lettuce is perfect (so is Cilantro).
3) Peas and Carrots – Good companion plants in the garden, and in the kitchen. Peas are like nature’s candy and carrots are a thrill to harvest.
4) Fava Beans – Dual benefits, first, they grow well in the fall and can be used in many bean recipes and second, fava bean plants add nitrogen to the soil benefiting the crops that follow it.
5) Swiss Chard – Winner of the most-bang-for-your-buck award. Sow seeds in the fall, harvest only the outer leaves, and you can enjoy Swiss chard the entire year.
6) Anything in the Brassica family – This includes, broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc., which are rich in phytonutrients. For more about phytonutrients, read the following from the USDA

For complete list of what you can plant now see my chart of Vegetable Families and the Digital Gardener’s Southern California Vegetable Planting Schedule.

School Garden News – Pennsylvania

Students Reap Rewards From Garden Program

“The children are really excited about the fact they grew something. They put it in the garden and it actually flourished,” Schwartz said. The students celebrated the fruits of their labors at a back-to-school night Sept. 12.

“I think it was a wonderful program. The students learned a lot about science, but they also learned a lot about helping others,” said Kimberly A. Fetter, All Saints principal.

Complete article can be found here

School Garden News – United Nations

U.N. Garden Program Rolls into Schools

Students at two city school soon will share tips with students around the world on how to grow Swiss chard in a box, through a United Nations program called Growing Connection.

To demonstrate how that works, Robert Patterson, a senior liaison from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Tuesday brought EarthBox container gardens from Washington, D.C., to Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School and Benjamin Jepson School. He walked into Barnard hauling behind him an EarthBox, a plastic container garden with wheels, that overflowed with ruby-veined Swiss chard.
Complete article can be found here

For more info on the The Growing Connection:
http://www.ahs.org/youth_gardening/growing_connection.htm