Monday, March 25, 2013

Why School Gardens Matter

It's great to find an article that sums up, and then some, what has been going on in our project since 2009. We knew why we wanted to establish vegetable gardens on site in all of the schools in Stamford, CT. We knew it meant lots of extra work for our teachers. But we knew the students would grow in many ways - the ways only a garden can make one grow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grasping at Straw

Here's a link to an exciting article for the beginner gardener or for the seasoned-but-tired gardener.
A way to have a neat, complete vegetable garden, contained, simple, easy, inexpensive, attractive and productive.
What have I left out? H-m-m-m - best to read it yourself.  Oh, yes, good for schools or for home gardens.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Garden Bed Grid

I love neat gardens. 
I've never had one. 
Here's my latest attempt to make it happen this year.
This is a simple project to enable students to "see" the garden grid for square-foot gardening before they touch the soil. To be done in pairs or trios.
Materials: sturdy rectangular boxes like the ones for clementines, some yarn, scissors, rulers or measuring tape, thumbtacks or tape, and graph paper, (see option*).

Process: Mark off the inches around the rim of the box.
Cut  the yarn to just over the desired length and staple or tape in place at determined intervals. 2 colors make it easier to see.
Talk about the number of spaces they will use for each type of seed to be planted.
Consider the spacing per seed, the height of the plant, the compatibility of each plant with its neighbors. The students can draw or write the names of the plants they plan to grow in each section. They can consider a block of about 6 sections - 2' x 3' - for example, for their peas.
They can repeat outside with their raised beds. Step 1 - mark off the feet on the raised bed frame. Using long lengths of yarn and thumbtacks begin to make the grid outside. Then the planting can begin, neatly. *Option: teacher demonstrates with the little wooden box. Students graph their garden on paper and then transfer that plan to the garden bed. 
Have fun!