Archive for the ‘Soil’ Category

bnatalie

5 Fun Activities to Celebrate Earth Day!

Monday, April 18th, 2016
Dig into the Earth on Earth day. Less than 3% of the entire Earth’s surface is ideal for growing our food.  So why not, dig in and experience it. Here are some fun ideas: (more…)
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The Resources You Need To Start Your School Garden

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
  I believe every school should have a garden. Think back to your education, what do you remember? What teacher had an impact? I bet those memories are tied to an activity or teacher who brought innovation and experiential learning to the classroom.   What makes a school garden successful? Purpose, People and Passion   “Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.” -Lou Erickson   Purpose: The success of a school garden depends upon the fertility of the soil and the number of times the garden is used. The garden has to have purpose. The class has to have a reason to visit the garden, if not it sits idle, full of potential and completely untapped. Bring the class to the garden every day, even if just for a minute. A garden that is seen is a garden that thrives. Find curriculum that enhances the classroom academic standards. Use curriculum that gives you a reason to spend time in the garden; incorporate science, math, English, reading, nutrition and exercise into garden time. If the garden has purpose, it will be used and it will produce more than fruit; it will produce knowledge, understanding, application, and change.   People: It’s nearly impossible to build, maintain and grow a school garden by yourself. It takes a team of people. Create a committee; include staff, custodial team members, administration, parents and students. Communicate frequently, share a vision and move forward together.   Passion: A garden is living and it takes dedication to make it productive, especially in a school setting. Most school gardens begin when one or two individuals have a strong desire. Passion can dwindle as weeds grow, in addition to time and financial constraints. The passion to keep a garden growing must be continually fertilized with…
Fkyle

Behind the Scenes: From Soil to Store Virtual Field Trip

Monday, January 11th, 2016
  Wow! Over 54,000 students joined us in December for our Live from the Farm: From Soil to Store virtual field trip event! If you were one of them, thank you for tuning in. (more…)
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Garden Calendar: August Tips

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
It was a root and tuber kind of weekend; we pulled carrots and dug potatoes. The harvest makes me thankful for the hours of sweat I put into keeping the weeds out and the soil fertile. August finds me in the kitchen preserving produce from the garden. It makes for some long days but it is well worth it! (more…)
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Garden Calendar: July Tips

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
It’s July! The garden is starting to burst! July meals will be full of freshness and flavor. Right now I spend half my time harvesting and the other half pulling weeds. I hope your garden has more harvest than weeds! Here’s to a delicious July! (more…)
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Keep Your Potted Plants Blooming

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Potted plants bring color to the deck or front door step. To keep them blooming and growing fertilizer is key. That’s how the grower got them so gorgeous and eye catching! (more…)
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Garden Calendar: June Tips

Monday, June 1st, 2015
There is lots of gardening to do in June! The garden is growing and so are the weeds! Check out my garden help; don’t let the photo fool you. They were in the garden for less than fifteen minutes, but I’ll take what I can get. (more…)
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Gardening Calendar: April Tips

Monday, April 20th, 2015
The grass is green and the trees are budding! When you head outside here are a few things you can do around the house and garden. (more…)
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Planting 101: Healthy Soil

Monday, April 6th, 2015
It’s dirty nail season. This time of year, I have a hard time keeping my fingernails clean cause I am digging in the earth! (more…)
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Gardening Calendar: Spring Garden Tips

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Today is the first day of Spring! That means fun in the mud at my house! Spring means different things around the country; it’s time take advantage of the warmer weather and start prepping the garden and yard. Here’s a look at your March to-do list. Pick your region and get to work. (more…)
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Preparing Soil for Winter

Monday, October 27th, 2014
Leaves are falling and the air is crisp; fall is definitely here. Another year eaten, canned and preserved! The garden season is over. It’s time to put away canning supplies, garden tools and prepare for winter to come. The garden looks barren and boring. I already miss the color and purpose of this space. In preparation for spring, consider Ward Upham’s, K-State Extension Agent’s, advice: “Fall is the preferred time to prepare garden soil for next spring’s vegetable garden. Spring is often wet making it difficult to work soil without forming clods that remain the rest of the season. Fall usually is drier allowing more time to work the soil when it is at the correct soil moisture content. Even if you work soil wet in the fall and form clods, the freezing and thawing that takes place in the winter will break them down, leaving a mellow soil the following spring. Insects often hide in garden debris. If that debris is worked into the soil, insects will be less likely to survive the winter. Diseases are also less likely to overwinter if old plants are worked under. Also, garden debris will increase the organic matter content of the soil. Working the debris into the soil is easier if you mow the old vegetable plants several times to reduce the size of the debris. Fall is an excellent time to add organic matter. Not only are organic materials usually more available in the fall (leaves, rotten hay or silage, grass clippings) but fresher materials can be added in the fall than in the spring because there is more time for them to break down before spring planting. As a general rule, add 2 inches of organic material to the surface of the soil and till it in. Be careful not…