Category Archives: School Garden News

LA County Master Gardener Training 2010

Los Angeles County Master Gardener Training Program is now accepting applications for 2010.

The dates are 13 Saturdays, March 6 – May 29, 2010

January 15:  Last Day to Request Application Packet

January 31:  Last Day to Submit Completed Application, LiveScan Fingerprinting, and Payment

WHO CAN APPLY
• Any resident of Los Angeles County with an email address and computer access.  Most communication will be by email and websites.
• Anyone who wants to help teach low-income and limited-resource people how to grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits.
• We especially invite residents of inner-city neighborhoods and bilingual gardeners.

HOW TO APPLY
• You MUST be on either or both of our resource elists – 1) Community Gardening and Food Security, or 2) School Gardening.
• If you’re not, then email ydsavio@ucdavis.edu and indicate which elist you want to be on (you can be on both).
• If you’re already on either or both elists, email gjmitche@ucdavis.edu to receive the application survey, LiveScan form and list of LiveScan locations for required fingerprinting and criminal background check by Department of Justice.  This must be done now for us specifically, regardless if you’ve done it for another agency.  Note differences in prices and hours available, as some require appointments. Because we are a nonprofit organization, there is no additional fee.
• By January 31, 2009, submit completed application packet.  1) Email completed application survey, 2) Sign, date, and mail last page of the application survey, 3) Mail copy of LiveScan form completed and signed by Live Scan operator (Keep a copy for yourself), 4) Mail check for $150 made payable to “UC REGENTS.”  [Note:  Low-income residents pay only what they can afford—see application survey for details.]

WHAT WE’LL DO
• Accept 50 participants from some 200 applications.  Main criteria for acceptance:  1) prior community service (not necessarily in gardening),
2) passion for helping low-income gardeners, 3) experience giving presentations and working with people of diverse backgrounds, and 4) initiative in starting and carrying through with projects.
• Notify you by February 12 whether or not you’ve been accepted into the program.  Please don’t contact us before then.
• Teach you how to garden successfully.  Topics and garden activities will cover basic plant science, propagation, fertilization, irrigation, soil, compost, vegetable and herb and fruit gardening, flowering plants and trees, Integrated Pest Management (diseases, weeds, insects, small animals), tools, how to start community and school gardens, and outreach techniques.
• Provide you with Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities all over Los Angeles County.

WHAT YOU’LL DO
• As soon as you’re accepted:  1) Establish a Yahoo group ID (if you don’t already have a Yahoo email address, we’ll give you instructions).  You can use either your existing email address or your new Yahoo email address to receive all your MG email via our private, member-only Yahoogroup.
• Prior to the first class:  Become familiar with our Common Ground public website and our private MG Yahoogroup website.
• Attend 13 classes on Saturdays, March 6 through May 29, 2010, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, at our office, 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, East Los Angeles.  Meetings start promptly at 9:00 am.  Some meetings will be at other garden sites; we encourage carpooling with classmates.
• Give gardening workshops at community gardens, school gardens, senior gardens, housing development & other low-income gardens.
• Answer gardening questions at gardens, on the phone at our office, or by email from your computer.
• Help with program activities and workshops at the UCCE office in East Los Angeles.
• Post all your volunteer and continuing education hours on our online Statewide MG Volunteer Management System (we provide instructions).
• Starting in June, attend monthly MG Continuing Education meetings on the second Saturday of every month at different garden locations.

WHAT YOU’LL GET
• California Master Gardener Handbook, University of California publication.
• Certificate of Completion of Class Instruction—after completing the 13-week training program and passing the take-home, open-book examination.
• Monthly Continuing Education meetings with speakers and activities on in-depth gardening topics.
• Frequent emails of Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities and other program information.
• Annual recertification as an active MG after you post online at least 50 Volunteer hours and 15 Continuing Education hours by May 31, 2011.  [Future years’ requirements are 25 Volunteer and 15 Continuing Education hours.]
• Joy and satisfaction that you’re helping other gardeners grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits, you’re making new friends, and we’re all working together to beautify our neighborhoods and “Green LA”!

For More Information:
Email: gjmitche@ucdavis.edu
Phone: 323-260-3348

Common Ground Garden Program

University of California Cooperative Extension Los Angeles

School Gardens in the News

1) San Diego, CA
BRETT: Gardens are a solid investment

My first thought when I read that Paul Ecke Central Elementary in Encinitas was awarded a $30,000 grant for a school garden was, “that seems like a lot of money to invest in a garden.” Then I thought again.

I thought about things that children need to grow up strong and healthy: exercise, fresh air, nutritious food, a connection to living things and a sense of purpose and achievement.

2) Franklin TN
Garden designed for math, science

Raised flowerbeds in the shapes of trapezoids, triangles and pentagons are just the beginnings of a new math tool for Freedom Intermediate School students.

Between two classroom wings at the school, the garden will feature native Tennessee plants and will give students a chance to visually and physically understand basic math concepts.

3) Jacksonville, FL
Ortega Elementary students sell produce to benefit food bank

In late September, about 20 students from Ortega Elementary School got their hands dirty by digging in the dirt.

After a lot of hard work and dirty nails, they had a garden filled with seeds that would one day reap banana peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

4) Columbia, SC
Students harvesting rewards of gardening

Seventh-grader Chauncey Rogers was so interested in his first gardening experiences at school, he asked if he could have a plant to take home. He dug a hole for the collards in his backyard, gave them a good watering and has kept an eye on them ever since.

5) Missoula, MT
Lowell School selling cookbook with recipes inspired by student garden

When Lowell School put in a garden last spring, all who call the school home – its students, teachers and parents – learned far more than how to grow food. They found inspiration in the humble, daily work it takes for a garden to come to life.

It was so much fun, and so rewarding, that the school community set about a plan to keep the garden going. What better way than to create a cookbook with recipes the students and their families used when they harvested the school’s bounty?

6) Lake Charles, LA
Local students grow food for good cause

Months of hard work in the garden are paying off for students at Ralph F. Wilson Elementary School. This week students are picking the harvested fall crops they have been growing since September.

“This is the first time we’ve actually harvested,” says Linda Hooper, a fifth grade teacher at Ralph F. Wilson Elementary.

7) Pune, India
Now, medicinal plants to take root in city schools

With the intention of taking students back to grandmother’s remedies and to the wonders of ayurvedic/herbal medicines, the directorate of social forestry will introduce the concept of herbal gardens in various schools across the state from early 2010.

The directorate will set up the herbal gardens under the promotional scheme of the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Government of India.

8) Portland, OR
Woodward Gardens, Mary Woodward Elementary School

Woodward Gardens is seen as an outdoor extension of Mary Woodward’s Science Program. All aspects of the Garden can only occur from cooperation. This cooperation involves cooperation of the children with one another and their teachers and parents. There are a lot of parents who garden, but who hadn’t realized that their skills could be valuable to teachers tight on time and resources. Our garden coordinator arranges for appropriate resource people or parents to help with outdoor or classroom learning sessions, maintain a resource closet, plan lessons and plantings with teachers, and oversee garden maintenance. Students help fund ongoing supplies with our annual plant sale. The development of this garden has resulted in a greater variety of learning experiences, a sense of stewardship for our natural resources in our children, and stronger ties to the community.

School Gardens in the News

1) Stillwater, OK
Recycled rainwater sprouts Skyline gardens

A rainwater recycling program at Skyline Elementary School quickly sprouted more than just roots and took on a life of its own.

During a whirlwind of activity the last eight months, Skyline students and staff have teamed up with representatives from Oklahoma State University, the city and Sustainable Stillwater, a community environmental organization, to build a cistern that will help support a garden behind the school.

2) Algonquin, IL
Garden a hands-on lesson for Scout

Sometimes, Shelby Cieslinski of Algonquin said, she halfheartedly regrets teaching her children to volunteer. Like when, after leading her oldest son Jonathan’s Boy Scout troop, her youngest son Josh assumed she and her husband, Thomas, would volunteer to lead his, too.

But late last month, she couldn’t have been prouder of Josh when the Community Unit School District 300 Board of Education recognized him for his work designing and implementing a butterfly garden at Lake in the Hills Elementary School.

3) Australia
Students dig in and get their vegie patch started

BEAUTY Point Public School students will get help from the countryside when growing pumpkins for the Daily’s Great Backyard Challenge.

A teacher at the school owns a property in the country and has promised to bring in “good garden soil” to help grow giant pumpkins, science teacher Mirelle Farrell said.

4) Zebulon, NC
School Gardens Will Grow Food to Eat, To Learn, And To Share

Elementary school teachers are going green in Franklin County, NC with installation of school gardens. Teachers are adding gardening to their lesson plans for science, nutrition, and other subjects. Produce grown in these gardens will feed the students, the teachers, and other local residents.

Working with Franklin County school teachers and Dale Byrns, Creative Education Office, several gardens are being installed. In Spring 2010, over 100 elementary school students will be growing food for themselves, learning about nutrition, working in the garden, and sharing their produce in the local community.

5) Temecula, CA
TEMECULA: Garden program gets state honor

A program in Temecula schools that allows children to work in gardens on their campuses and learn about growing food and plants has earned the district a statewide award.

There are gardens at 22 Temecula Valley Unified School District campuses, where children gets hands-on lessons about topics such as science, weather and healthy foods.

6) Los Angeles, CA
Lunch with Alice Waters in Larchmont elementary school’s garden

When Alice Waters talks about improving school lunch, she doesn’t just mean making the chicken nuggets more nutritious. She wants to see a table set, maybe with flowers. She wants children to have enough time to have conversations as they eat.

Seed Sale from Botanical Interests

Botanical Interests, Inc., supplier of quality seeds to independent garden centers and health food grocery stores, is extremely interested in helping schools with their school gardens.

For schools needing NEW seed for their gardens, email shaynal@botanicalinterests.com for a 40% discount code off any seed purchased from botanicalinterests.com.

Include the name of your school and your contact information. Old or donated seed with poor germination is very discouraging to kids and teachers when it doesn’t germinate after so many hours of preparing a garden!

Also check out http://www.botanicalinterests.com/schools.php for easy, paperless seed school fundraisers.”

For more information about School Garden Fundraisers see my Q&A with Curtis Jones, President of Botanical Interests.

Botanical Interests

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.

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.

city_green2

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.

city_green1

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.