Show Me The Green

Show Me the Green book cover

Show Me The Green is a new children’s book by DS Venetta that teaches gardening in a “novel” way.  It is intended for a middle-grade audience but can be enjoyed by a much wider age group.

The story revolves around a sister-brother team, Lexi and Jason Williams, who are determined to win the First Annual Garden Contest sponsored by the local Farmer’s Market.

In the process, we learn about such gardening subjects as: the importance of planting certain vegetables at certain times of year, the importance of fertilizers, worm poop, rotating crops, trellises, beneficial insects, pollination and much, much more.

UC Davis Website Afghan Ag is a boon for Garden Educators

Saffron Field

I recently came across a very valuable teaching resource for both educators and students from a very unlikely source – Afghan Ag.

e-Afghan Ag is supported by the USDA and managed by University of California, Davis with additional information from other land grant universities such as Cornell and Purdue. The url is http://afghanag.ucdavis.edu/

The site contains university researched best practices for farmers in Afghanistan including an entire section of Educational Materials. Of the educational materials, check out HorticultureField Crops and Soil.

The one lesson I initially found is called, “Student Lesson for Essential Plant Nutrients,” which is listed under Field Crops. There is also a power-point presentation to accompany the lesson.

Junior Master Gardener Classes

kidgardening

Two Junior Master Gardener Pop Up Opportunities:

For Ages 7-14

July 14th and July 16th 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Turkey Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
Imagine picking a cauliflower from your garden and making a pizza from it. A cauliflower crust pizza has no flour and hence no gluten. Who doesn’t like pizza? Everyone likes pizza. Kids will be lining up to sample it.

Intrigued? I surely was, couldn’t wait to try it. You can even fold it like a pizza slice.

The directions are in this recipe courtesy of the Lucky Penny Blog.

Cauliflower Crust

 

Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems

Dear Tomato Book Cover

Bursting with flavor and just the right infusion of insight, Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems presents a collection of poems from thirty-four writers on the most universal topic of all: food. Featuring a wide assortment of styles, from haiku to acrostics to free verse, these poems touch on topics that range from lighthearted to seriously thought-provoking. Whether the focus of the poem is a child’s battle over eating peas or a celebration of fair trade, this collection introduces kids to a fresh new view of where their food comes from.

They’ll love following along as they track what they eat—from a tiny seed all the way to the fork that brings it to their mouth! Throughout the anthology, each entry’s words and ideas are brought to life by Norie Wasserman’s stunning black-and-white photographs, which themselves are poetry for the eyes. A fun and enlightening read for kids eight to twelve years of age, this collection will add to your family’s dinnertime conversation, while also providing an excellent resource for teachers and librarians.

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes at Greystone Mansion

I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching the Grow LA Victory Garden Classes once again at  Greystone Mansion and Park in Beverly Hills. This series of classes are for all those who wish to grow fruits and vegetables in their own backyards.

We will be hosting 4 Sunday classes (12 noon – 3 PM) beginning 2/1/15. Those who take all 4 classes will be given a certificate of completion.

Where:
Greystone Mansion & Park
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

10 School Garden Fundraising Ideas

Let’s face it, gardens cost money. We need seeds, tools, amendments, irrigation, and if we’re lucky, support staff. How are we supposed to pay for all this?

First, there are many grants that will help you get started. We have published our own list of school garden grants which we update periodically. However grants don’t last very long and after the garden is built there is yearly maintenance to contend with. The answer is fundraising.

The following are fundraising ideas specifically for your school garden. Give them a try. You can raise money and have some fun at the same time.

succulents in containers

1. Plant Sale – For a successful plant sale you can look for donations or you can make your own. Cuttings from existing plants will be the least expensive route. Succulents are great for this. Culinary herbs are also a great idea. My favorite is the Simon & Garfunkel herb garden (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme). Simply place them all into one container. You can also start from seeds, but just remember to give yourself enough time. Mother’s Day 2015 is May 10th, you will need to start your seeds at least 8 weeks prior.

2. Seedling Sale – Start vegetable plants from seeds to sell to backyard gardeners. Again, you will need to start the seeds approximately 6-8 weeks prior to your sale day.

3. Dried Herb Bouquets – Collect garden herbs such as basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, dill, etc and arrange into bouquets that you can dry by hanging upside down.

4. Seed Sale – Seed companies such as Botanical Interests, High Mowing Seeds, Fedco Seeds and Urban Farmer Seeds all have seed fundraising programs for you to take advantage of. You’ll make 40-50% of all sales.

5. Flower Sale – You can also now sell flower bulbs through FlowerPowerFundraising.com

6. Compost and Worm Castings – For those with compost and/or worm compost programs selling your finished product would be very beneficial to home gardeners. Compost is one of the best organic amendments available and worm castings is one of the best organic fertilizers.

7. Recipe Cookbook – Collect recipes from students, teachers and parents specifically for all the great produce you grow.

8. Seed Tape – Using strips of newspaper or paper towel and homemade glue (flour and water), we attach seeds to paper and when dry, we roll them up and put a bow on them. We can then plant the seed tape directly in the ground and our seeds will be perfectly spaced. This is particularly useful for small seeds like carrots and lettuce that need to be spaced a certain distance apart.

9. Garden Art – Paint garden signs, markers, decorative bricks, trellises, etc.

10. Farmer’s Market – With the proliferation of Farmer’s Market you now have an outlet for all of the above along with any produce or flowers you already grow. Use the following link from LocalHarvest.org to find a farmer’s market near you.

For more fundraising ideas see Funding School Gardens from CSGN.org

Good Luck!