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Home > General Science and Teaching > School Gardens
by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:00 PM
Hi All,

With the wind chill factor here on the coast of Maine tonight -25 below zero F my thoughts turn towards......gardening.

Here in Maine schools having gardens to supplement their lunch programs and provide opportunities for project based curriculum are thriving

Are you interested in school or community based gardens for your students?

Web Seminar: Designing, Creating, and Teaching in Schoolyard Gardens, February 8, 2011

Web Seminar Location: Online event
Date: February 08, 2011
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

more information and to register
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9/WSDCT11_Feb08

See my message below for my school garden collection


Arlene JL



A school garden Collection
(12543 items)
A Garden Story
     -Journal Article   -Elementary School
From Garden to Table
     -Journal Article   -Elementary School, Middle School
Teaching Through Trade Books: Growing a Garden
     -Journal Article   -Elementary School, Informal Education
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by Susanne Hokkanen, Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:09 PM
In my school, my fellow 7th grade science teacher and I are starting an Environmental Science Club this Monday. One of our goals is to create a native IL prairie within the school grounds. We have a retention pond on the property already, and two interior courtyard areas in the school building. My thoughts are to seed some of the more difficult to grow prairie plants in the interior courtyards and transplant to the prairie as it is developed or at least cultivate the plants to have the seeds to drop. I am open to all and any ideas on how to kick this off.... :-)

Thanks for the information on the webseminar and the collection.
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by Elizabeth Dalzell, Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:30 PM
Susanne
This is an awesome project… Our Ecology club did an activity 2 years ago, more like a xeroscape garden. I would contact a local nursery/garden place or university. Many times botany is a class that students take, and they could maybe provide free plants/seeds. You could also ask a Lowes/Home Depot if they would be willing to donate.

Also, the web seminars are always great! This collect is well put together - Thanks :)

Thanks, hope this helps
Liz
by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:16 PM

It is still snowing outside my window here in midcoast Maine. Tonight I an going to spend the evening in a garden...... virtually

Come join me : )

Arlene JL
Web Seminar: Designing, Creating, and Teaching in Schoolyard Gardens, February 8, 2011
Web Seminar Location: Online event
Date: February 08, 2011
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

more information and to register
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9/WSDCT11_Feb08

Here is my School Garden collection

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/share.aspx?id=svTNh3njKu

Arlene JL

A school garden Collection
(12543 items)
A Garden Story
     -Journal Article   -Elementary School
From Garden to Table
     -Journal Article   -Elementary School, Middle School
Teaching Through Trade Books: Growing a Garden
     -Journal Article   -Elementary School, Informal Education
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by Jennifer Rahn, Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:58 PM
I love school gardens. They are incredible tools to integrate so many disciplines, and so many approaches. When my daughter was younger, we (her Girl Scout troop) did an organic garden to support the local food pantry. We began early in the year with native American lore, and discovered the "three sisters." This was the theme for our garden, and when we would go to the garden we would care for the garden, and read stories. It brought history, culture, and science to life for these girls, and helped them forge long relationships with the local food pantry.

New Mexico State University has a website that provides background through a series of webquests at http://ddl.nmsu.edu/kids/webquests/wqthreesisters_k.html. A good book to get started is Native American Gardening by Joseph Bruchac and Michael Caduto. The Green Education Foundation also has some excellent materials to get you started at http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=213:green-thumb-challenge-growing-a-native-american-three-sisters-garden&catid=85:grades-3-5&Itemid=61.

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by Carolyn Mohr, Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:11 AM
That sounds fantastic, Sue, and a lot of work! You have probably already lined up your prairie seeds; but if not, I was able to go collect my own. We have some virgin prairie near where I live and there is an organization that goes out each year to collect seeds from there. They let you come along and help. You get to keep a certain portion of the seeds you collect for them. Our Chicago Botanic Garden may be of some help as well. it sounds like your school is in a great location for doing science!
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:35 AM
Hi Jennifer and fellow gardeners,

I found the three sisters approach to introducing students to companion planting to be very interesting .
"Kid's Speak: A "Three Sisters" garden is a Native American form of gardening. Corn, beans and squash are all grown together in one hole, on one mound. As plants grow, they form a living community: an ecosystem. The three plants rely on each other for food, support, shade and protection."

One of the questions I asked Tuesday night at the web seminar on school gardens was about natural pest control . We are having a wide spread issue with Japanese Beetles here in Maine. It was suggested to companion plant garlic and four o'clocks as a deterrent.


Here is the archived web seminar collection from Feb 8th
Designing, Creating, and Teaching in Schoolyard Gardens

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/share.aspx?id=ceknLkJw5I

There is an award winning school garden in Belfast Maine
The Troy Howard Middle School Garden Project'
http://www.schoolgardenproject.com/

Check out their Compost division , Seed Division and Garden Stand Division !

Arlene JL
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:57 AM
I was heartened that there were 110 participants at the School Garden Web Seminar.

I am wonder how many folks see gardens as ways to involve their students with understanding food sources and food security? Personally I see them as opportunities to teach students about how to develop interest in locally produce food as alternatives to industrialized food distribution and production

Do you see local food production as viable where you live ?


Here are some resources on this........

This Saturday Feb 12th TEDx Manhattan is hosting a one day conference
TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat”

They web cast their conference from 10:30am – 6:00pm
http://tedxmanhattan.org/event/

Here is a list of the speakers
http://tedxmanhattan.org/speakers/

Another conference similar to TED is Pop Tech here in Camden Maine.

Last year they initiated SPARK: Igniting Interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Will Allen is an urban farmer who teaches about science through urban farming. In this short podcast he shows how fish, green house and solar power are topics for STEM

http://spark.poptech.org/innovator/will-allen/

There is a link on this page to his Pop Tech 2009 pop cast
Learn more about the good food revolution and Will’s innovative approach to promoting health during his talk at PopTech 2009.

My best to all on this cold winter's day,

Arlene JL
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by Caryn Meirs, Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:30 PM
Arlene -
thank you for posting the link to TEDXManhattan - it sounds amazing. The webinar Tuesday night was so full of information and there were some really great comments by the facilitators about really thinking about what your goals are BEFORE you put the shovels in the dirt. I've done 3 sisters with the kids but the corn rarely gets tall - I was told that is because I do not heave enough planted for proper pollination. We are doing "Plant a row for the HUngry" this year and the goal for kids is to plant food that they can bring to a local food pantry on a regular basis, so we are working on planting with a sustained harvest in mind and succession planting as the big instructional ideas.
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by Angelika Fairweather, Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:53 PM
I was thinking about starting a small compost that could be used in the school garden. Composting is an effective way to reduce our carbon footprint and in the process farm organically. Unfortunately, I have never actually created or maintained a compost so I'm a little intimidated. Does anyone have any resources or suggestions that could help?
Thank You,
Angie
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by Dorian Janney, Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:48 PM
I found a collection of resources that will assist anyone who is interested in creating a schoolyard garden- it can be accessed by going to:

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/share.aspx?id=svTNh3njKu

Happy planting!!
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by Dorian Janney, Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:51 PM
And here is one more really useful collection that has been shared by one of our fellow educators! http://learningcenter.nsta.org/share.aspx?id=usLJadNor9

Thanks for sharing your resources and ideas folks! It definitely takes a community to educate a child!

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by Ruth Hutson, Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:39 AM
Susanne wrote, "My thoughts are to seed some of the more difficult to grow prairie plants in the interior courtyards and transplant to the prairie as it is developed or at least cultivate the plants to have the seeds to drop. I am open to all and any ideas on how to kick this off.... :-)"

Hi Susanne,
Most native prairie plants do not transplant well. It is best to collect the seeds and plant the seeds in the area where you want them to grow. Tell me more about your site and I can offer some suggestions. We have two native prairie areas at my high school.
Ruth
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:14 AM
I was thinking about starting a small compost that could be used in the school garden. Composting is an effective way to reduce our carbon footprint and in the process farm organically. Unfortunately, I have never actually created or maintained a compost so I'm a little intimidated. Does anyone have any resources or suggestions that could help?
Thank You,
Angie


Hi Angie,

CT has a whole manual devoted to composting. Here is the website where you can download the pdf. I looked it over and it has pretty extensive information Getting Started, Infrastructure , Day to Day Composting, School/Community Involvement , Lesson and Activities !

School Compostng A Manual for Connecticut Schools
http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/compost/compost_pdf/schmanual.pdf

Do you have a cooperative extension in your county? Here in Maine our county cooperative extension provide help for homeowners wanting to do composting.

Arlene JL
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by Leslie Gividen, Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:25 PM
We started a native area in our courtyard about 5 years ago. We spread the seeds around -- however the wind and birds attacked the next day. We did not see any of the grasses or flowers grow in the middle of the courtyard for two years. However, our test plots on the sides are thriving. They have continued to grow. We had some help from some nearby nature centers. Our difficulty lies in the upkeep over the summer. One of the teachers and her husband weed and cut the area of non-wanted grasses. We tried to get rid of the initial grass and weeds with many a spray of weed killer, but the weeds are relentless and continue to come back. It does give the kids something to do when we do visit. I will try to upload pictures of the lovely area. Some of our trees did not bloom for several years, but they are fruitful now!
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by Caryn Meirs, Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:11 PM
Hi to all -

To anyone in the New York area - Cornell Cooperative Extensions have two great opportunities to help - the first is the Spring Gardening School - held regionally - these are low cost workshop days run by Master Gardeners. The 2nd is the Mater Gardener Program itself. I've been able to get mentors - local people with a passion for gardening and sharing the love of gardening - to come in to my school and work with the students.
Here is the man website page: http://cce.cornell.edu/Pages/Default.aspx
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by Angelika Fairweather, Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:45 PM
Fellow gardeners,
Spring is definitely in the air. Arlene, thank you for the fantastic and comprehensive resource on school composting. I will be getting started this weekend. I will keep you posted on my journey into composting... and may be soliciting advice along the way.
Thank You,
Angie
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by Caryn Meirs, Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:20 PM
Today was the first day out in our school vegetable garden with parents and students. We are planting in cooperative groups this year - and each group has their own garden plot. In order to help the kids really "see" what their small plot would look like planted we are using a really simple but cool resource: http://vegetableplanner.vegetable-gardening-online.com/
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by Jennifer Rahn, Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:44 PM
Caryn,

Where are you located? We still have about 6" of snow!

Have you used cold frames or a greenhouse to start the plants?
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by Caryn Meirs, Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:33 PM
I can't imagine having anymore snow! Although there were flurries around this morning when the first group of kids came outside we knew that the soil was ready to go and that is what matters with the early season crops!

I'm on Long Island (southern New York) I use cold frames and even a warm frame in my home garden but we are just beginning to build the outdoor classroom space and school garden at the elementary school I work at. We have three 4 ft x 8 ft beds for planting smaller things in...bush peas, radishes, spinach, leaf lettuce, carrots, herbs... and a "repurposed" flower bed that runs along a southern exposure brick wall (about 60 sq ft) that we will be using for cucumber vines, squash and pumpkins. We also have a compost tumbler that students take turns collecting vegan scraps for and monitoring.

Cold frames are an excellent way to extend the season and are fun to build with the kids - our town recycling center always has great window panes to use for them.
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:03 AM
We are planting greens in our greenhouse now up in Maine with SNOW still on the ground

One of the winter gardening gurus in Maine is Eliot Coleman

http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/index.html

Four Season Farm

Four Season Farm is an experimental market garden in Harborside, Maine, owned and operated by writers Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman. The farm produces vegetables year-round and has become a nationally recognized model of small-scale sustainable agriculture.

Barbara Damrosch
Barbara has worked professionally in the field of horticulture since 1977. She writes a weekly column for The Washington Post called A Cook's Garden and is the author of The Garden Primer and Theme Gardens.


Eliot Coleman
Eliot has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest and the Winter Harvest Handbook.
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by Caryn Meirs, Thu May 19, 2011 6:36 PM
TITLES PLEASE!

Hi to all on this thread. I am trying to put together a library of garden resources books fro my elementary school garden. Our school community is using the money from recycling water bottles to fund our garden and these books would be housed in the STEM lab throughout the year for anyone (teacher, parent, student) to use.

Thanks
Caryn
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Thu May 19, 2011 9:12 PM
TITLES PLEASE!
Hi to all on this thread. I am trying to put together a library of garden resources books fro my elementary school garden. Our school community is using the money from recycling water bottles to fund our garden and these books would be housed in the STEM lab throughout the year for anyone (teacher, parent, student) to use.

Thanks
Caryn


Wonderful news Caryn !

I did not have any books to recommend but thought to look over what NSTA Recommends

NSTA Recommends is your best source for thoughtful, objective recommendations of science-teaching materials. Our panel of reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—has determined that the products recommended here are among the best available supplements for science teaching.

Why no negative reviews? They can be fun to read, even to write, but teachers are pressed for time—so only products that are reviewed favorably make their way into NSTA Recommends.

http://www.nsta.org/recommends/?lid=tnav

Here is what I found searching for Garden and K-8 grade level

How to Grow a School Garden
by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle
grade level k-8
http://www.nsta.org/recommends/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=20174


Bread Comes to Life: A Garden of Wheat and a Loaf to Eat
by George Levenson
Grade Level: K-4
http://www.nsta.org/recommends/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=15376

Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow
by Linda Glaser
Grade Level: K-4
http://www.nsta.org/recommends/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=19816


How Groundhog's Garden Grew
by Lynne Cherry
http://www.nsta.org/recommends/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=14024

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
by George Levenson
Grade Level: K-4
http://www.nsta.org/recommends/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=14285
Perhaps you can find others

My best,

Arlene JL

PS We have been harvesting greens from our greenhouse here in Maine for about a month !
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by Caryn Meirs, Thu May 26, 2011 6:49 PM
Arlene - thank you for responding and the links. Yes, I had surveyed through the NSTA recommends list as well. I am looking for 'referency' material for lack of a better word...Like easy to use encyclopedia of plants or dichotomous keys that the kids can take and discover information for themselves but might not hit the radar as trade books. Also lesson plan, activity based books for the teachers who will be using this garden as an outdoor teaching space.

so..still looking for ideas....anyone with another title to recommend?
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by Ruth Hutson, Thu May 26, 2011 8:11 PM
Some titles that my children liked were:
Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening (A Kid's Guide series) by Laurie Carlson
Kids' Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out by Cindy Krezel and Bruce Curtis
Ready, Set, Grow!: A Kid's Guide to Gardening: Grades 1-5
The Kids Can Press jumbo book of gardening by Morris, Karyn.

Also, you can check out EEK!--Tree Dichotomous Key
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by Kathy Sparrow, Fri May 27, 2011 6:58 AM
Ruth,

I love the dichotomous key website. I will use it next fall with my pre-service elementary teachers in my methods class when they’re learning about process skills—classifying. Thanks!

Kathy
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by Kathy Sparrow, Fri May 27, 2011 6:59 AM
Ruth,

I love the dichotomous key website. I will use it next fall with my pre-service elementary teachers in my methods class when they’re learning about process skills—classifying. Thanks!

Kathy
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by Carolyn Mohr, Fri May 27, 2011 9:23 AM
Hi Everyone,
I am so glad that there are two different discussion threads going on this topic. For interested garden enthusiasts, in the Life Science Discussion Forum there is a similar thread entitled "How does you garden grow?" There is so much to share about botany and growing plants. I am finding great ideas from both discussion threads. I, too, am going to use the dicotymous key site, Ruth. Thank you.
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by Caryn Meirs, Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:28 PM
Ruth - thank you for the book recommendations and for the link to the dichotomous key site.
Sometimes you want to take your keys to the trees - Here is my bible for identification:
The Tree Finder by May Theilgaard Watts

I have 5 copies so I can take the kids out with it in their pockets but I also put the book right on the document scanner and project it in class. This is helpful when the kids are first learning how to use a dichotomous key.
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by Caryn Meirs, Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:40 PM
A while ago Arlene posted about local sustainability. Now that we are harvesting everyday, sitting out by the garden eating something grown, rinsed off and eaten all within a few feet, there are such teachable moments to talk about ow far our food normally travels and why we choose as a country to eat so many processed foods. Here are some books that can start/support a discussion whether it pops up next to lush green garden bed or on a cold winter day:
What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets and Hungry Planet: What the World[b][/b] Eats both by Peter Menzel. These books can be purchased with curriculum guides and poster sets as well.

There are great Social Studies and Language Arts tie ins here as well!
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