Farmers Market Visits a School

Chatom Farmers MarketFarmers Market Visits a School

In the Fencepost, a blog for the California Foundation for Ag in the Classroom, they cover a collection of farmers bringing their crops to the Chatom Elementary in Stanislaus County as part of the Central Valley Farm to School Pilot Program. I just received a Specialty Crops Grant to use next year to bring $300 worth of specialty produce to my class so they can get to try some foods they might ordinarily not try or even know about. Maybe I’ll be able to work up to an actual market visit some day. We have had the dairy cow visit through the California Dairy Council’s Mobile Dairy Classroom before, and it was a hit!

What’s been going on at my school?

See the evidence!Image I’m so busy directing kids most of the time to avoid having a tool spear a foot that I can’t get too many outdoor shots. So here are two, plus indoors making salad earlier this school year.ImageImage

Vintage seed packets and the history behind them

USPS-vintage-seed-packet-stamps-zinniasVintage seed packets and the history behind them

Now memorialized in stamps — which I HAVE to get — this article on Retro Renovation http://retrorenovation.com/2013/04/05/vintage-seed-packets-stamps/ covers how the illustrations reflect the development of landscaping in the early years of home gardening as a pastime. Lots of information I had never before read, from a USPS press release of all things.

Make your own vegetable sprinkler from PVC

Make your own vegetable sprinkler from PVC

I got to this link after hitting this link http://networkedblogs.com/JOCEo after finding Mike the Gardener’s post on a FB page Vegetable Gardening. I like this because it can be customized to any garden, and for situations like mine where the likelihood of adding a permanent hookup to the only faucet available is not likely. You could arrange this however you need it, set the water, and set a timer in class so that a student goes out to shut it off (don’t think I’ll be able to add a timer at this location because of other uses for the spigot, which uses a key to turn it off and on). 

Learning from Granny’s Garden School

Learning from Granny’s Garden School

As I looked online for information on the Herb Society of America’s grant program for educators, I saw last year’s awesome winner, Granny’s Garden School in Loveland, OH. What an inspiring story, I thought, to begin my New Year with a bumper crop of gardening elective students — so many I’m not sure how I’m going to teach them. Take in the school’s history, for a positive start in 2013.

Make your own seed packets

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.taunton.com%2Ffinegardening%2Fmedia%2Fseedpacket_plain.pdf

 

We have some of the sunflower seeds that the rats didn’t get after growing Lemon Queens to count the bees that visited them. So we’re going to repackage them to give away. Here’s a template we plan to use. I don’t have rubber cement, but will find some! Keep you posted on how they turn out. It beats buying something to do the job. 

This could work for our narrow school garden!

95 Facebook.  There’s a lot to like about this planter. I’ll have to look up plans for this if we can’t get more land. Has anyone seen anything like this before? Please share!

Using TP rolls and salad containers to sprout seedlings

Got a bunch of TP rolls and plastic containers you’re not sure what to do with? Here’s a great posting from a fellow blogger complete with wonderful pictures. I couldn’t do any better myself, so take a look. The main thing is you’ll need a place to put those plugs once they sprout because they won’t last as long as if they were in a coconut fiber pot or peat pot. http://tinyurl.com/98xe387 Caught it on the FB page for Bloem Living, which usually sends just fabulous photos but today had a bonus!

Introduce neighbors to your school garden

Tomatoes, and carrots and sunflowers -- Oh My!

We are using a hose and mini-ditches to channel water to our plants.

Today I met neighbors across the street from our garden. From their kitchen they can see just about anything going on at the front of the school. I needed a couple of plastic bags to corral the rotting tomatoes, the ones touching the ground, so mischievous urchins or naughty teens didn’t see an opportunity to play a different kind of baseball. Robert was out in his garage, eyeing a little maintenance of his door. I had good tomatoes in my bag and figured, I’d introduce myself and swap some tomatoes for bags.  He had nectarines to share from his backyard tree, and had no tomatoes so was very interested in ours! Why didn’t I do that earlier? Pretty soon, his “bride” Charlotte, came out and joined the conversation. As we talked, I learned a lot about the history of our school, which was built on a former fig orchard with a few grapevines near the street in the early ’80s. I heard about the many crazy things drivers have tried to do on our congested street. I made friends who know our custodian already and have met our principal. Most importantly, I hooked up with more eyes keeping watch on our garden and school.

Saving Carrot Seeds

Saving Carrot Seeds. Photos on this post are so useful because they show what the plant should look like when it’s time to withhold water. I’m heading off to our school garden today to harvest the remaining carrots. I will leave a few to go to seed, so we can learn about that process.

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