1 EDIBLE GARDEN CLUB, CCA “Learning, Community, Classroom For All” INTRODUCTION Amy Hammond; CCA Kindergarten / 2ND grade parent
Edible Garden Club MISSION The mission of the Edible Garden Club (EGC) , CCA is to awaken the senses of students by means of organic gardening through collaboration between classmates and students – this to include ALL school grade levels. To design appealing landscape, which can be wholly incorporated into the school’s curriculum, culture, and finally the food program within the appropriated timelines. EGC will involve students, parents and teachers alike in all aspects of farming without the focus being a ‘means to an end’ but the entire journey of nourishment pertaining to the mind, body, and stewardship of the ground that we depend upon. OBJECTIVE To help students make a connection to the cycle of the seasons, our ability to participate in our own sustainability, and our relationship to food and its effect on our lives – our health – our world. To create a positive learning environment where the students engage with adults, peers and take on mentoring roles if older or develop role models if younger. To create a curriculum that links garden experiences into the classroom; whether it’s geometry in plotting out angles or technology dept to assist in building a greenhouse or humanities in developing constructive forms of communication. To involve community outside the schoolyard for resources both tangible and educational; this to include tools, products, and workshops, or discussion groups To connect our students, faculty, parents, and community through our foundation of values.
PROGRAM Organic Gardening goes into academic classrooms, grows our community’s center, and develops skills from CCA Grades levels: K – 12. When locating the ideal site for your garden, you will need to consider soil, sun, a water source, water drainage, existing vegetation, accessibility, and student traffic. •
Soil: Soil is one the most important elements in considering a garden site. Soil testing is important for determining the soil type and what, if any, amendments are needed. Soil testing is a project that your students may wish to consider, and you may have your local county extension service assist. Well-drained soil is also a must for any successful garden. Sun: Adequate sunlight is essential for any garden. Six hours of direct sunlight is required for most garden plants, including vegetables and flowers. There are a wide variety of plants that will tolerate shady conditions if there is little sunlight on your campus. Water Source: You or your students will need to water the garden almost every day. It is important that you have a water source readily accessible to the garden. Automatic irrigation systems can also be used. Water Drainage: Watch prospective sites after a rain to determine the extent of water drainage and runoff. Standing water can cause your garden many problems, such as root rot, which will kill your plants. A high level of water drainage can also be detrimental as it can wash away seeds, young plants, and soil amendments. Standing water and high runoff are both problems that can be fixed, but you will need to know they exist before starting your garden. Existing Vegetation: Are there plants around your site that you wish to keep for your garden or are there ones that will require removal? Accessibility: Consider how accessible your site is to you, your students, and other participants. Also consider the accessibility for garden maintenance or perhaps wildlife that may be attracted to your garden. An unfortunate factor that should be considered is the accessibility of your garden to vandals. Is the site a safe place for your students? Will a building be required to lock up valuable tools and supplies? Student Traffic: Is the site you are considering in an area of high student traffic and if so, how will this affect your garden and garden activities? Design & Layout: Is your garden to be a vegetable, flower, butterfly, or a combination garden? Will you need paths, individual plots, raised beds, and/or
3 borders? How much space will you need? Is there room for expansion? Are you going to include an irrigation system? Allowing your students to design the garden can become a fun activity for you and students. Figuring out the design and layout will also be a lot easier if you have established your goals and objectives for the garden. â€˘
Plant Selection: Your plant selection will depend on the type of garden you intend to create. The possibilities are endless, but you will need to make sure the plants you want will grow in your area. Our local nursery and UFâ€™s Horticultural extension office will be able to help us â€“ just ask! GOALS School gardens may offer benefits to you and your students that go beyond the classroom. School gardens provide the opportunity for students, teachers, and possibly members of the community to interact. This interaction can teach students how to work cooperatively with each other and their elders. Without proper care and maintenance, gardens can die or become overgrown. Giving students the responsibility to water and care for the plants they grow may instill in them a sense of accountability. Patience is another virtue that students may learn through garden participation, as plants do not grow, flower, or fruit overnight. As the garden becomes fruitful and beautiful, students can take pride in the efforts they put forth. This pride can help bolster self-esteem and allow students to take pride in the beautification of their school. In this age of technology, children's contact with nature is diminishing. School gardens are a wonderful and exciting way to make school subjects more interesting and meaningful to students. School gardens create an environment that allows for creative thought, active learning, and interpersonal skill. The garden is a living entity that can serve as an excellent resource to teach subjects while allowing students to learn in an environment that is atypical to the sterile classrooms to which most students are accustomed. In the Classroom A school garden can be integrated into the classroom in many ways. Typically, gardens have been used to enhance science lessons.
4 With enough creativity, the garden and garden activities can be applied to just about any lesson taught in the classroom. Science and math have been the subjects most frequently taught with the help of the garden. Obviously, a garden lends itself perfectly to teaching about plant parts and growth. Other science lessons that can be used with the help of the garden may pertain to soil composition, composting, weather, insects (especially if you have a butterfly garden), and many, many more. Allowing your students to help plan and design the garden can help them learn about measuring, calculating, budgeting, and planning ahead. History and language arts lessons can also be enhanced with the garden. Students can learn about the history of food production both by early settlers and Native American, African American and Latin American as with Nordic, etc. They can compare the types of food eaten around the world, throughout history, and in their homes. Poets and writers have been writing about gardens and plants for centuries, and students may find this type of literature more interesting if they have an actual garden to compare with the literature. Additionally, artists around the world have painted gardens in every imaginable wayâ€”just imagine what works of art the garden may inspire your students to create. LUNCHROOM In 2010, the Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley released an evaluation report of the School Lunch Initiative and its impact on childrenâ€™s attitudes, behavior and knowledge towards food. The results confirmed our anecdotal experience that indeed when children are engaged in the growing, harvesting and preparing of food they are far more likely to eat it. The School Lunch Initiative is recognized nationally as an innovative and effective food service program that continues to inspire reform. Right there, in the middle of every school day, lies time and energy already devoted to the feeding of children. We have the power to turn that daily school lunch from an afterthought into a joyous education, a way of caring for out health, our environment and our community. â€“ Alice Waters, Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea
Containers: If you have a small area or don't have the capacity to grow a large garden, consider container gardening. Gardening in containers can be just as rewarding as having a full-size garden. Many plants grow in pots just as well as they do in the ground. There are a few things to consider when planning for a successful container garden. The first is the plants. If you are planting more than one plant in the same pot, which many do for an attractive and interesting container garden, be sure that all your plants meet the same requirements. Requirements to consider are amount of light, amount of water, and fertilizer scheduling. Also be sure that the size of the container matches the size of your plant. Some other things you might consider when planning your container garden are height, color, and texture. Variations of these elements will make your container gardens more attractive and very interesting to look at. When watering your container gardens, the best time to do so is in the morning. Watering in the morning allows your leaves and soil to dry out, preventing diseases and viruses. You should water your plant accordingly. You should check to see if your plants need watering before adding more.
6 Overwatering is the most common reason for container plants dying. If you push your finger into the soil, this should give you an idea of how moist or dry the soil is. Do not water a plant if the soil is already moist. When it comes to fertilizing your container gardens, fertilize only as needed. Over-fertilization will result in a buildup of salts and will burn the roots of your plants. Fertilize your plants during the growing season, and only if needed during the dormant seasons. The most important thing is to be creative with your container gardens. Try a variety of plants in one container garden. Something else fun to try is to let your students paint designs on the containers. Don't limit your container gardens to flowers--many vegetables can be grown in a container and actually do quite well. There really is no limit to what can be done in a container! A school garden can become an integral part of your classroom and may ultimately improve student learning. Teachers throughout the country are finding that learning in such a way is enjoyable to both the students and themselves.
FUNDRAISERS SEPTEMBER 9-25th 2013 Schools across the country are taking a break from the standard candy and wrapping paper fundraisers with Growums Garden Kits, offering a fresh and healthy approach that benefits schools, our planet and the lives of todayâ€™s children. With the First Ladyâ€™s announcement of the new MyPlate food diagram as an important tool in the battle against childhood obesity, the specialty-themed garden kits are a fun and simple learning tool that teach children and adults alike the joys and benefits of growing their own food. This fresh approach to fundraising offers a fun and lucrative opportunity to schools and clubs to raise funds for their organizations as they deliver important messaging to encourage healthy eating habits, a greener environment and stronger families. Participating organizations receive half of the proceeds of sales â€“ each Growums
7 garden kit sells for $10 — and an additional portion of all proceeds goes directly from Preferred Commerce, Inc. toward helping to feed needy children. Growums garden kits for kids combine learning and fun with a unique and exciting online educational experience to grow vegetables and herbs from seed to harvest; all with a little help from an animated cast of herb and vegetable characters at www.growums.com . The characters enhance the entire gardening experience with a fun and entertaining approach that gets kids into the garden and on the path to healthy eating. Kids can choose from six fun kits including Herb Garden, Pizza Garden, Salad Garden, Stir-fry Garden, Taco Garden and Ratatouille Garden to grow a real garden with virtual world fun. Each garden kit features unique, magical coco or peat pellets that make planting and growing practically foolproof. REFERENCES: Florida School Garden Competition, UF/IFAS Edible Schoolyards, Berkley CA Edible Orlando Magazine MommysMemorandum.com (blog) Growums.com *Alice Waters is a restaurateur, teacher, activist, author, and proprietor of Chez Panisse Restaurant & Café. – how I initially knew her best. She is a pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on fresh seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally. Over the course of 40 years, Chez Panisse has created a network of 85 local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures the restaurant and cafe a steady supply of fresh, pure ingredients. Alice is an advocate for a food economy that is “good, clean, and fair.”