2013 Youth Garden Grant Winner: British School of Washington, Washington, D.C.

Hungry deer, securing funding, and finding volunteers were just a few of the challenges facing the students and teachers at the British School of Washington (BSW) in Washington, D.C.

Keeping the Harvest: Traditional Native American Food Preservation

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Common Native American Fruits & Vegetables:







Wild plums


Wild raspberry

Wild strawberry

Wild currant

Wild rice


Prairie turnip (tinpsila)

Wild potato (sweet potato relative)


Some Native American tribes dried, collected and stored sunflower seeds in ceramic urns that were sometimes buried.

Easy Apple Recipes: From "Pizza" Snacks to Stellar Sauce

Fresh apples are most plentiful in fall, making it a great time to cook up a few classic apple favorites, like homemade applesauce and baked apples. Fresh apple snacks are also a welcome treat. These recipes are delicious, low fat and very easy to make.

Garden Time

How can you tell time in the garden without using a watch? Check and see what’s blooming!

Flowers have amazing adaptations to attract pollinators. Their scent, colors, and shapes have evolved to draw these vital critters towards them, since in the process of collecting nectar, they also move pollen from flower to flower to ensure seed production and distribution.

Mother’s Day Seed Balls

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Seed balls were used in ancient times but rediscovered in the 1900’s as a way to introduce vegetation on a large scale to uncultivated land such as areas devastated by fire or floods. They are also being used as part of the Guerilla Gardening movement as a way to beautify vacant lots and urban common areas.

The clay keeps the seeds from blowing or washing away, and protects them from hungry critters. It also keeps the seeds from sprouting until adequate water is available. The compost or potting soil adds a bit of nutrients to help give them a jump start.

Download instructions for making Seed Balls.

Finding a special, inexpensive gift for students to create for Mother’s Day is a challenge faced by many educators each year. Both gardening and non-gardening teachers frequently turn to plants for inspiration with popular projects like marigolds planted in small cups and paper flowers. This year, we have a way to move beyond the more traditional ideas by making trendy seed balls!

Cylinder Gardening

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Download the Cylinder Gardening Lesson for more details.

A big gardening program…in a little garden space. Cylinder Gardening uses bottomless cylinders (1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket) as small, individual gardens for growing vegetables. Perfect for schools with limited growing space and poor soil, cylinder gardens require little land and minimal pre-gardening preparation or experience. Once the cylinders are filled and planted, the only labor is minor maintenance, watering and harvesting. Recommended plant varieties mature from seed in 30 to 90 days to fit within one school semester.

Blooming Gifts

Blooming plants make wonderful gifts for special occasions. They add to the festive atmosphere of any event and when the blooms begin to fade, they can be enjoyed for their foliage or composted.

Amaryllis for the Holidays

Potted amaryllis bulbs make wonderful holiday gifts for family and friends. Planting them and then watching them grow also makes for a fun activity to do with your children. Their beautiful blooms add to holiday décor and last longer than cut flowers. They are fairly inexpensive (although you may find some of the more unique varieties are offered at a premium price) and the only supplies you need are bulbs, soil and pots.

Please Pass the Pumpkin Seeds

It’s pumpkin time again! Although it is the eye catching, orange fruit of the pumpkin plant that receives the honor of being the hallowed symbol of season, the seeds deserve some glory too. Think twice before you toss those pumpkin guts this year. Pumpkin seeds are tasty little packages full of vitamins and minerals offering numerous health benefits.

Preservation Techniques

Freezing Sweet Corn
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For more information about preservation techniques and recipes visit these recommended websites:

September is a critical month for harvesting fruits and vegetables—at the peak of their taste and ripeness. One of the most important decisions is how quickly do you want to eat your produce? Many gardeners choose to eat in season, while others choose to preserve some of it for winter months.

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