Spring

Learning about Bee Lives and Hives

When children arrive at the Krystal Garden in the Bronx, they find Jennifer Plewka waiting for them wearing her beekeeper’s suit and holding a large, inflatable bee.

Middle School Entrepreneurs Reap Pay, Profits, and Pride

Inner City Market Garden: Fresh Produce at Low Cost

A former classroom teacher with a passion for raising healthful food, Arna Caplan was volunteer director of a winning seed-to-table school garden program at an inner city K-8 school in Denver. “The Fairmont garden was always a special and accessible place where all students were welcome and involved,” says Arna. But as in many such projects, finding volunteers to maintain the garden through the summer was a huge challenge.

From One After-School Market to Many

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.

Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast, ME

“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.

Youth Operate an Organic Market Garden in Colorado

“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.”

Farmers' Markets Are for Families

School is out and our children are now on summer vacation – or are they? As a parent of three young girls, my wife and I find ourselves signing up the kids for various summer activities such as swimming, drama camp, dance classes and music, to name a few. However, beyond organized classes and camps, summer is also a great time to involve your kids in engaging outdoor activities in new learning environments to stimulate their growth.

Hummingbirds: Tiny Travelers

Salvias, bee balm, cardinal flower, trumpet vine… plant some of these nectar-rich bloomers in your youth garden and students can become participants in the incredible journey of hummingbirds. These tiny creatures, about the size of an adult thumb, can travel thousands of miles a year, using nectar, insects, and safe spots to rest and refuel along the way.

A "Life-Changing" Hummingbird Observation

Every spring, approximately 600 children visit the bird-banding site at Fort Morgan, Alabama, a peninsula between Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, to learn how specially trained and permitted volunteers capture hummingbirds and apply teensy aluminum bands to their legs to gather data that can help researchers understand their life cycle. Some of the children even get to hold a hummer in their hands before it flies away.

Creating a Family Butterfly Garden

One of the most interesting theme gardens you can plant with your children is a butterfly garden. A butterfly garden provides a colorful array of nectar-producing plants that not only attract butterflies and hummingbirds, but can also draw your children to explore the intricate relationships of plants and animals. With the appropriate plantings, your garden provides opportunities to educate your children about the life cycle of a butterfly and allows them to view each stage of growth.

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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.

 

Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     |     www.kidsgardening.org & www.garden.org      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 09/01/2014
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