Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Know Your Food

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The 2012 Food Day School Curriculum was designed for educators as a Food Day resource that can be used in the classroom or to increase your own knowledge about what it means to Eat Real: Download the 2012 Food Day School Curriculum

Many times gardening is promoted as a way to teach youth where their food comes from.

Many times gardening is promoted as a way to teach youth where their food comes from. This phrase, “know where your food comes from,” is one that has received much attention and rightfully so.

The Rain Garden is an Effective Tool

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A Book for a Rainy Day

Title: The Listening Walk
Author: Paul Showers
Illustrator: Aliki
ISBN: 978- 0064433228

Installing a rain garden in your home landscape can create family interactions.

“Because Your Children Live What They Learn…”

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Here are some meaningful plant selections to incorporate into your peace garden:

Rhododendron - in Russia, the blossoms signify peace, health, and purity

Mistletoe - in Scandinavia, associated with Frigga, the goddess of love

White pine tree - for the Native American Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Peoples, the five needles joined together indicate unity

Peace Rose - a rose variety introduced in 1945 to commemorate the end of World War II

Sunflowers - a symbol of freedom from the threat of nuclear weapons during the 1990s. Sunflowers are warm and welcoming; grow in friendly crowds; and produce nutritious seeds for people and wildlife.

Cosmos - named after the Greek word for well-ordered universe; symbolizes peace and order

Education in the garden is a great way to teach kids to live responsibly and peacefully.This philosophy, from the creator of Playschool Child Care, Inc., Carol Acosta, is what continues to guide the program more than 25 years later.

Growing BIG in the Great Outdoors

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Bonnie Plants’ Third Grade Cabbage Program is a free program offered to third grade classrooms nationwide. The purpose is to support youth to eat healthy and be garden advocates. To support this purpose, Bonnie Plants offers resources online to help students grow their cabbage. In addition, lesson ideas and recipes are provided along with help for teachers and parents. Visit the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program website for more details about registration.

You can also view a complete list of the Third Grade Cabbage Program scholarship winners for 2011 for each state. 

Being outside has so much to offer; whether you are a gardener or not, there is a place for you in the Great Outdoors. Each year, thousands of third graders nationwide find a special place outside by participating in a program which challenges them to grow an oversized cabbage.

Compost Happens

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Jean shares some of her ideas to get kids interested in composting:

  • Ask students what happens to blue jeans and t-shirts in the landfills? Can they be composted?
  • Ask for an old cotton t-shirt and/or an old pair of jeans to be donated. Place them at the bottom of the compost pile, or use a smaller piece for a worm bin. Do the students realize they are wearing plants? How long will it take to break down? Have students make guesses as to what will happen to these old clothes.
  • Do you have multiple working compost bins at school? Have a t-shirt composting race with another class. Which class will have a faster compost pile? What causes one compost bin to decompose materials faster than the other? Was one pile being turned more than the other? Take the temperature inside the pile. Is one pile hotter than the other?
  • Consider doing an experiment with a piece of a t-shirt in one pile and a plastic bottle in another. Let the students predict what will happen.

As the wife of an active duty Marine, Jean Persely has made the most of her frequent moves by teaching others to “bloom where they are planted.” Jean has committed to making a positive impact on any community she joins. It was in 2005, that Jean developed a vision to impact a school community by planning the introduction of a garden.

The Beginning of a Library Garden

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NGA's Own LibraryGardens.org

Libraries have a unique opportunity to provide a visual connection between literature and nature. Grants are available to support library gardens, but often require someone with a vision. National Gardening Association offers assistance in this area. Whether you’re interested in developing a particular theme garden or a garden that encompasses a variety of books, our professional staff of landscape architects, horticulturists and educators can help you develop your vision. Visit Library Gardens for more information about how we can design your library garden which will in turn help you as your seek support for funding the installation of this space.

The Village of Plain City Garden features several animal topiaries named after classic authors.In an effort to preserve the historic Village of Plain City, Ohio, local gardeners and members of the county Master Gardener program pulled their resources to establish a landmark for the town.

Put Your School Garden to Bed

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Read more from the September 2015 edition of Kids Garden News:

Grow It, Study It, Eat It!

Press Backyard Leaves and Flowers

Back to School Botany

The Winter Bird-Friendly Schoolyard

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Read more from the December 2014 edition of Kids Garden News:

Make a Milk Carton Bird Feeder

Feed Birds this Winter

Creating an Edible Schoolyard at Sac High

Imagine it’s a cold day in winter; snow covers the ground and a bitter wind is blowing. You’re outside in bare feet, searching for food to give you the energy to make it through the below-zero night ahead. No full refrigerator or warm bed beckons; all you have is a down jacket for to ward off the cold. Welcome to the world of a bird in winter in much of the United States!

Extend the Season with Plant Cover-Ups

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Extend the growing season with a garden cloche, hoop house, or three season cold frame. Challenge your students to install a season extending structure and monitor plant growth.

For many school gardeners, the season is all too short. In much of the country, just as the danger of spring frost is over and gardens are beginning to thrive, school lets out for the year. On the other end, fall frosts limit the time students can explore their garden oasis. In warmer climates, intense heat and drought are limiting factors.

Plan Ahead: The Fall Garden

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It's not too late to plant the school garden! Plant edibles like lettuce, spinach, kale, and radishes for a fall harvest. Check out our Winter Garden Seed Collection

Gardening is often considered a spring or summer activity, but many plants grow beautifully in fall! Planted in late summer, a number of vegetables will grow to maturity -- even in northern areas -- and this is the best time of year to plant spring-flowering bulbs. Engaging children in the garden throughout the year strengthens their understanding of nature's cycles and deepens their love and respect for the environment.

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