Posts Tagged ‘gardening with kids’

Find out about FoodCorps

It’s sort of like AmeriCorps or VISTA, but for growing and eating food. Their program will be on Rachel Ray’s show next week. I’ll be setting my recorder. Maybe you will want to as well.foodcorps-logo

Poppy killers!

   I am so bummed. We have been hand-watering little sites in front of my school to support California poppy growth in this year of little water. We only have an hour a week on gardening, so we want results with that little time. The California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is our state flower, and it’s part of 4th grade California history. During spring break, a grounds maintenance person wiped them out like they were weeds. They were still blooming! We never made it to see the seed heads spring open, scattering seed everywhere. Argh!!!


California poppies, from the wikipedia commons files.

    I guess we need to add a sign: “Rake Around Poppies,” “Let Us Live!”, “No Poppy Killers” — I could go on but I won’t! Or I move on to focusing on another area of school less likely to be messed with. This didn’t happen last year, and I will find out why. It’s so frustrating to hear from my principal about how he loves our attempts to beautify our campus, and then in one week of vacation it’s wiped out! Or I combat it with the biggest poppy seed planting ever in fall of 2015!  gives you the details on the California history link.


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.

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. 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.

What a great idea for a rake that’s fallen apart

Thanks to  Here’s a creative way to repurpose an old rake. I could even see planting the wood end into the ground for a standing pole to hold the tools if you don’t have a wall to pound into, like on the side of our school garden portable.

The basics on herb gardening indoors

I’m using this video today to show the kids how to use the cilantro that they have planted in soda bottle halves. We are waiting for warmer weather to plant outside, so we have to think inside right now.

Gardening Elective Coming to Starr!

Next week I start teaching a gardening elective two mornings a week at Starr Elementary in Fresno. I’m so excited to be able to bring my hobby into the classroom, and to bring my classroom outside some of the time. If you have thoughts on what activities will work in my narrow 30 minute time frame, please share. I also will be teaching a journalism/blogging elective two days a week, so posting will be more regular. It’s been tough taking on this class mid-September, but I’m loving it. Starting gardening when we’re in fall and almost winter will be interesting.

State schools superintendent to speak at Cultivating Health Central Valley schools summit

Will I see you Sept. 16 at this event in Fresno? The Healthy School Summit – Cultivating Healthy Central Valley Schools will feature keynote speaker Tom Torlakson, California Superintendent of Public Instruction. Check it out. Obesity among school children is a serious problem.

I look forward to finding out what role school gardens might have in addressing this problem. Others who would be interested: school personnel such as nurses, cafeteria managers, teachers and beyond; school board, community, youth and PTA leaders; and of course, farmers and growers. It’s an all-day 9:30-4 event.

This event is presented by the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program and funded by The California Endowment. RSVP requested by Sept. 12.

Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog | MindShift

If I get a chance to teach a plants or gardening unit again, I will be adding a blog in there somehow. Exposing kids to this piece of the Internet is part of our district’s mission of creating “career-ready graduates,” even in the fourth grade! We aren’t quite up to eportfolios yet, and many of my students do not have Internet access at home. Still, the idea of letting kids control the messages sent about them is valuable. Maybe it would stop some of the abuse of the Internet by bullying teens. Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog | MindShift.

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