Connecting with the natural world can be wonderfully nurturing for students. And school gardens provide hands-on opportunities for students to engage with nature. They learn about the cyclic nature of the seasons, the elements plants need to grow, where their food comes from, and how to care for living things. Whether you are thinking about starting a school garden or have been enjoying the garden for years, don’t miss these wonderful resources to take your garden to the next step.
- This checklist created by Dorothy Mullen of the Princeton School Garden Cooperative for starting and using a school garden is a helpful guide for getting the support of the stakeholders, considering practical items like posting safety rules, and everything in between. edweb.net/.59f09f64
- Walk through the steps required to develop a successful school or community garden, complete with curriculum ideas and family activities. At this wonderful website, you’ll also find the resources for grants and funding and seed resources helpful. http://www.kidsgardening.org/article/getting-youth-garden-started#dig
- Know when to plant specific items in your school garden based on your growing zone. To use the Burpee Growing Calendar, simply type in your zip code. Then you can browse a comprehensive list of vegetables, flowers, herbs, and fruit plants and the appropriate month to sow or transplant each plant. It is very easy! http://www.burpee.com/gygg/growingCalendarWithZipCode.jsp?catid=1000&_requestid=89269
- This youth garden-based curriculum developed in Wisconsin will give you plenty of fun, engaging ideas to share with elementary school-aged students. Composting activities, lessons about the different parts of a plant, ideas for themed gardens, and students’ favorite recipes make this a great resource. http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov/hsmrs/Wisconsin/gotveggies.pdf
- Watch this informative video featuring Chrissa Carlson, the former Garden and Nutrition Educator at Baltimore’s Hampstead Hill Academy. She discusses the different components of her school garden that makes it an effective space for growing plants and a wonderful place for students to learn and explore.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71jXRxyzI1k