Science

Fall Fun on a Flower Farm

A flower farm is not your average farm. There are no cows and chickens, corn or wheat, just rows and rows of beautiful flowers waiting to be cut to Bright colors abound at a flower farmmake our lives, and life events, a little brighter. But like normal farms, they are fun and educational to visit for adults and children alike.

Salsa Garden

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Growing a salsa garden is an easy and delicious way to spotlight cultural history and teach about nutritious foods.

Companion Planting

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Download related lesson plan Growing Garden Companions.

Arranging crops so they complement each other in some way is known as companion planting. Plants that have different requirements — for nutrients, sunlight, and space, for instance — often make good garden buddies. Because they are unlikely to compete for resources, you can plant them close together to save space. What's more, some combinations can actually help one or more of the companions flourish. Consider the following factors:

Growing Food

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Download a sample lesson plan, "The Producers," from Growing Food

Ask your students to tell you where our food comes from. Do they respond with a restaurant or a grocery store name? Do they suggest it is made in a factory? What about on a farm? Do any of your students hint about our food supply's connection to nature and our environment?

Plant a Thankful Gardener

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Download this month's lesson plans:

Pressed Flower Thank-you Notes

Tree ID

Thanking volunteers and sponsors is an important activity for all youth garden programs. Although appreciation for contributions should be shown year round, Thanksgiving, a holiday rooted in the celebration of harvest, is a great time to present your loyal supporters with a special gift to acknowledge their generous donations of time, talents and funds.

School Gardens = Natural Playgrounds

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Teachers at the K-State Center for Child Development use the produce from the garden to prepare simple dishes with their students. Here’s a recipe for Caprese Salad that is easy to make in a classroom.

Ingredients:

  • Thick slices of a Ripe Tomato (enough for each child to have at least one)
  • An equal number of slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Twice as many leaves of fresh basil
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Make sure everyone washes their hands and the work surface prior to touching the food.

Starting at the edge of a serving platter, place a slice of tomato, a basil leaf, a slice of mozzarella and another basil leaf. Continue in that pattern, forming a spiral from the outside in, until all the ingredients have been arranged. The salad should end in the center of the platter. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper and salt.

Upon arriving at the Center for Child Development (CCD) on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, visitors quickly recognize the uniqueness of the facility.

Holding Onto the Garden — Environmental Sustainability

Tips for increasing the environmental sustainability of your site's garden.

“We make decisions in the garden based on what is good for the earth, not solely what is good for our short-term needs.” (Hurricane High School, Hurricane, WV)

Promoting Environmental Stewardship through Rain Gardens

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How to Design a Rain Garden

This detailed account provides step-by-step instructions for designing, installing, and maintaining a rain garden. Additional content provided to use this as a high school activity. Download How to Design a Rain Garden (PDF) »

Instructions for how to install a rain garden and use it to promote environmental stewardship.

Rain Garden at Coolidge High School, Washington DCSchool gardens have a long and successful history with a variety of purposes.  Ninety six percent of the 2010-2011 National Gardening Assoc

Outdoor Living in the School Garden

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Learning in the Outdoors

Here are two lessons created by our staff at NGA to get your students learning in the garden.

Image taken from: Adirondack ArtImage taken from: Adirondack ArtA footprint map is a visual of animal footprints used to identify animals. Guides showing local animal tracks are a great way to help your students identify garden visitors. Tiny identification guides can be downloaded online and tucked into garden journals. Posters are also available for display in the classroom. Do a search of animal footprint maps to locate a guide for your area.

Visitors to the NGA headquarters at Vermont Garden Park sitting comfortably outdoorsMany times, as gardeners, we think of the garden as “ours”. The garden exists to fulfill our purposes whether to provide food for our family, education for our students, or a beautiful setting for family and friends to enjoy.

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