Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor classroom’

Fall Lawn and Garden Update

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Harvest here in Northwest Iowa will wrap up soon. Lush green fields have been replaced with brown stubble. I enjoy watching the combines roll over the fields and grain dust fill the air. I often pause and reflect that harvest, whether it in a field or a garden, is the result of hard work and yields food for all of us. Here are a few updates and tips for preparing your lawn and garden for spring. I am savoring these gorgeous fall days! Have you taken the time to rake up (I mean play in...) the leaves? Leaves provide organic matter to the soil. Mulching mowers break down the leaves and allow your yard to benefit from its organic matter. Leaves also can be added to the garden. As they breakdown they deposit organic matter into the soil. Fall is a great time to divide most perennials. Dividing in the fall gives plants time to set new roots before the summer heat. Before replanting, add compost to the soil. This will replenish nutrients that were lost and builds the soil fertility. I am ready to put the lawnmower away for winter. I complain about mowing, but I’ll be the first to admit, I love a green lush lawn. To ensure a green lawn next spring, I apply a winterizer fertilizer. Winter care for your lawn is a great habit to start and your local garden centers will have what you need. I have a few favorite perennials in the landscape. Each fall, I collect the seeds from my favorites and save the seed to spread in the spring. Daffodils and Tulips! I just don’t think I can ever plant too many. Our 4-H Clover Kids planted tulips and daffodils in the city park. We tucked the bulbs into the ground and said, “See you in…

Fall Lawn and Garden Checklist

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
There is a worn path in the grass that leads from the garden to the kitchen. After months of hard work, I am met with the excitement of enough vegetables to preserve; green beans to can, sweet corn to freeze, and cucumbers to pickle... you get the idea! (more…)

FFA Friday: Louisiana

Friday, October 10th, 2014
Ponchatoula FFA Takes First Place Award Honors, Central LaFourche FFA Wins Second, and St. Amante FFA Wins Third Place Happy FFA Friday! Louisiana had six participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow Program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Ponchatoula FFA, Central LaFourche FFA, and St. Amante FFA. Ponchatoula FFA won first place by creating and presenting exhibits for community events. The chapter presented fertilizer and planting demonstrations for strawberries to over 10,000 visitors at their town’s annual Strawberry Festival. The chapter also volunteered at a local organization for people with disabilities, helping them evaluate thefertilizer needs for the soil in their  raised bed gardens. Central LaFourche FFA won second place for their nutrient lessons for fourth and fifth grade students. The chapter split into teams of two and visited classrooms demonstrating the soil components, they discussed which nutrients are required to help plants grow, and raised awareness of coastal erosion. They used the Nutrients for Life curriculum to design experiments for the students, including a bean plant and soil layers experiment. The St. Amante FFA chapter won third place for developing hands-on workshops for elementary school students. The workshops focused on plant development, soil testing, planting vegetables, and how to apply fertilizer to gardens. They also taught the students how to track how fertilizer increases plant production. Congratulations to all the chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Louisiana is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, PotashCorp. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at here.

FFA Friday: At Large

Friday, August 15th, 2014
It’s FFA Friday! Today we are highlighting the top chapters from the At Large category. The Helping Communities Grow program’s at large category had eleven participating FFA chapters this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Canby FFA, Troy FFA, and Corinth Holders FFA. (more…)

Contest: Racing to Feed the World through Soil Science

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Attention High School Science Teachers: Start Your Engines! Nutrients for Life Foundation has partnered with BRANDT Consolidated - a leading agricultural company that serves growers around the globe –to organize a “Racing to Feed the World” contest for high school students. (more…)

Garden Spotlight: Sue Meggers & Hannah Ludwig

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Sue Meggers has gardened for many reasons over the course of her life.  When she was young, she gardened because her grandparents did.   (more…)

Garden Spotlight: Micah Weber

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
"Just plant it, seed is cheap!" says Micah Weber of Rock Valley, Iowa.  Mr. Weber has been the Agriculture Education Instructor for grades seven through twelve at Rock Valley Community School for the past 13 years.   (more…)

School Garden Spotlight: John Cole

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
John Cole heard about the Helping Communities Grow program for FFA chapters and thought, "my students would enjoy that."  Little did he know, deciding to participate in the competition would lead to reconnecting with a classmate from over 40 years ago and so, so much more.   (more…)

School Garden Spotlight: Tracy Mendoza

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
"Gardens make children better, happier and more helpful" is Tracy Mendoza's motto when talking about her students and their school garden. (more…)

Watermelon Invasion!

Friday, September 13th, 2013
My girls love watermelon. We buy watermelon flavored candy, lip gloss, toothpaste, and drinks! So, of course, our garden has watermelon, too! (more…)

Smithsonian Exhibit Satisfies Food History Craving

Friday, September 6th, 2013
From the time you step off the curb, you begin experiencing the Smithsonian through their expansive gardens. About 20 Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia recently took a “field trip” to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. (more…)