How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers

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Cooking and eating from the garden might have been part of the daily life half a century ago, but it is a truly remarkable and novel experience for urban students now. A typical afternoon garden class might easily include a harvest party: The class serves one another and sits down to eat together.

Parents are always surprised to see their young children eating vegetables at school that they have had no luck serving at home. Some students become veritable vegetable snobs and will only eat freshly harvested baby lettuces and organic garlic, much to the amusement of all of us. Each school garden is as different as the next, arising from the particular vision and efforts of students, parents, teachers, and community members.

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As varied as school gardens are, the organizational constructs that sustain them tend to evolve in a parallel fashion. The gardens we have grown to know in Texas, Massachusetts, Ontario, and California, and Devon, England, have remarkably similar strategies for sustainability, each having arrived at their particular formula by themselves. The plants and ecosystems will differ from place to place, however the underpinnings of support for an institutional garden remain similar everywhere.

This book is an attempt to articulate that formula. We suggest that all notions of aesthetic fussiness and perfection be released, as they have no place in a school garden. Rows of carrots will be imperfect, wheelbarrows will tip, and dirt will fly.

Plant enough to share with the inevitable critters that will take up residence a little tolerance is a good thing and know that when you aren''t looking, the tiny carrots will be plucked one after another in search for that one big one. Ask the students to paint the signs and label the beds; the more kid-centered your school garden is, the more the students will feel like kings in their kingdom.

The overall appearance of the school garden should have a rambunctious, robust kind of beauty. This book is based on the assumption that if you are starting a garden, there is a basic understanding of horticulture or gardening. If you are lacking these skills, there are many opportunities through local master gardener programs, cooperative extensions, community college, or university classes to learn them.

And remember not to be intimidated by lack of knowledge. The most useful thing a student can hear an adult say is "I don''t know the answer to your question, but let''s go find out.

As each class has library time and cycles in and out each week, they will cycle through their school garden. This book provides all the tools that the school community needs to build a productive and engaging school garden that will continue to inspire and nurture students and families for years to come. Fabulous resource for schools but also families who want to get more out of their patch of land.

Arden Bucklin-Sporer is the executive director of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, an advocacy organization for school gardens and outdoor classrooms.

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She is the director of educational gardens for the San Francisco Unified School District, and a founding partner of Bay Tree Design, a landscape architecture firm. She was previously a garden educator and coordinator of a public school garden in San Francisco. You can also buy this book from these online retailers: Designing the New Kitchen Garden: Most of this section is common sense, but sometimes we get used to going about what needs to be done and tend to skip some or all of the basic safety precautions. We all need a reminder every now and again, so here it is.

Make Your Own Bed h 43 Proper gear and attire: Building can cause play all kinds of havoc with your hands. Cuts and splinters from wood, sharp tool edges, and prickly plants are all everyday injuries that can be prevented with a pair of work gloves.

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By the way, because morning sun is gentler than the sunshine throughout the rest of the day, plant tender plants on the eastern side of any structure. Save the brilliant west side for your sunworshipping melons and pumpkins. For some reason it also troubles me to watch the plant struggle and twist itself upward to reach for the sun.

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers from Timber Press

Let me be clear: You can do so much better. Abundant Harvests from Your Own by Colby Eierman Luscious peaches, crisp apples, and candy plums correct off the tree are not easy to overcome. Hobby Hydroponics 2nd Edition - download pdf or read online Hydroponics as a pastime gives you leisure, rigidity reduction, and the gratification of constructing your individual clean, pesticide-free backyard.