For nine years, students at Steele Elementary School in Denver have been cultivating, cooking, and consuming chard, carrots and more from their campus garden. Then five years ago, garden manager Andrew Nowak, a chef and volunteer from Slow Food Denver, began to think beyond the fence. “We’d had lots of positive feedback from parents about our gardens and produce.
Right Side Box:
Funding School Farmers’ Markets
Consider these sources of funding for a school- or district-wide farm stand project: Parent-teacher organizations, health departments and health foundations, hospitals interested in healthy living strategies, local Slow Food programs, urban gardening programs, local school foundations, State Department of Agriculture grants (including grants designed to look at new markets for local produce). Also see links on the Kidsgardening grants page.
“When a farm market customer asks for an item, the kids go out and pick it fresh from the garden or greenhouse,” says Jon Thurston, agricultural coordinator at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, Maine. But selling garden- and greenhouse-raised goods at an after school farm market is just one of the ways students in the school’s ecology academy bring in funds and spread the word about healthy foods and sustainable systems.
“You meet a lot of different people from society all in one place when you sell at a farmers’ market,” says Sam, a young leader in a year-round youth market garden program in Boulder, Colorado. “People seem to come back from week to week to our stand, most know my name, and many want to more know about our program.”
The following activity is from the curriculum guide GrowLab: Activities for Growing Minds. This curriculum brings plant-based explorations to life through 46 lesson plans and hundreds of extension activity ideas that spark students' curiosity about plants and invite them to think and act like scientists. Developed by NGA and written and field-tested by educators, this complete curriculum uses fun, illustrated activities to explore plant life cycles, examine plant diversity, and investigate the interdependence of plants, humans, and other living and non-living things.
Are you searching for ways to bring your math lessons to life? Are you trying to inspire students who have trouble visualizing textbook examples? Do you need interactive models to demonstrate basic mathematic principles? Then try teaching your math class in the garden!