Posts Tagged ‘School Garden’

Pick Strawberries Near You!

Friday, May 20th, 2016
Today is Pick Strawberries Day! Have you and your family been out to pick these delicious berries right off the plant yet this spring? There's something wonderful about fresh strawberries eaten straight from the plant.  With each bite, one can taste the careful care taken to produce the delicious red fruit. (more…)

Getting Started in the Garden

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
I finally got to my happy place, the garden! I have been dealing with a bit of garden guilt! The seed packets, transplants, fertilizer and hoe have been sitting at the garage door calling me to be planted and used. It felt great to dig, plant, and water. The garden is only half way planted but I am completely satisfied today! All three of my girls helped plant. We planted sweetcorn and potatoes for the oldest, sunflowers for the middle daughter and for the youngest, carrots and green beans. Over the years, they have their favorites. (more…)

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…

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: Iowa

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA Takes First Place Award Honors, South-Tama County FFA Wins Second, and Westwood FFA Wins Third Place We are back with another FFA Friday post! Iowa had eighteen participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA, South-Tama FFA, and Westwood FFA. Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA took first prize with their fertilizer and seed germination experiment project. The chapter developed lessons and activities to do with elementary school students. During the experiment about the students saw how plants germinate. .The experiments also showed how different levels of nutrients in the soil affected plant growth and development. South-Tama FFA won second place by starting a recycling and composting program at their school. FFA members gathered food waste and placed it in a composter. They presented their composting project and results at an Ag Expo during National FFA week. Westwood FFA won third place by doing a variety of activities about plant nutrients and fertilizer. The chapter visited elementary school students and taught lessons on the vital nutrients plants need to grow and develop into a consumable product. The chapter also created an interactive game called “Feed the Corn” to learn about the nutrients plants need to grow. Congratulations to all of the chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Iowa is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, CF Industries. 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: Idaho

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Another FFA Friday post!  Idaho had eleven participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Salmon FFA, Hansen FFA, and Genesee FFA. (more…)

FFA Friday: California

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Welcome back for another FFA Friday Post! The 2013-2014 Helping Communities Grow program in California had eleven participating FFA chapters. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Hughson FFA, Liberty Ranch FFA and Healdsburg FFA! (more…)

Pink Tractor: Balcony Garden

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
This is our second guest post from Pink Tractor and we love the topic! I have mentioned before that while working on our advanced degrees, my husband and I lived in a tiny apartment with an even tinier balcony. We were living off student loans and trying to make the most of it. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 13: 5 Steps To Directly Sow Seeds

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Between soccer games, track practice, birthday parties, and life we finally started planting the garden. The girls were as excited as I was to be digging and planting. We had limited time before the sun set, so I handed the camera to twelve year old and started sowing. (more…)

School Garden Spotlight: Tony Jensen

Monday, March 24th, 2014
Mr. Jensen, agriculture teacher in Nebraska, has always spent a lot of time outside.  From landscaping with his wife to activities like hiking and camping, he knows the value of getting some fresh air.  Now, with the creation of a growing dome, his students are able to connect with nature while at school!  The garden is almost a year old and has already had two successful seasons of growing vegetables.  Below, Mr. Jensen shares the challenges and opportunities of creating a school garden. Name: Tony Jensen School: Freeman Public School County, State: Gage County, Nebraska Grade, Class: 7-12th Grade Agriculture   Tell us about your background with soil science, nutrients, and gardening. I have always enjoyed being outdoors doing activities like fishing, hiking, and camping.  My wife has a horticulture background so our family spends a lot of time in the garden and working on landscaping around our home and community. Why did you decide to start a school garden? We constructed a growing dome greenhouse in May 2013 and are using the raised beds inside the growing dome to grow vegetables year-round.  We then donate our harvests to local food banks and pantries to provide for our neighbors in need. To me, there are many teachable moments that come from this facility.  We can teach about crop production, soil science, renewable energy, healthy eating, food safety, and service to others through hands-on activities. What were the first steps in making the growing dome a reality?  We researched a feasible option for a greenhouse structure that would meet the needs of our school, we set goals for our project, and then began raising funds for the structure. What did you grow and how did you choose that plant?  The first year, we decided to experiment with a variety of different vegetables to…

Helping Communities Grow 2012-2013 Winners and Project Summaries

Friday, January 17th, 2014
  The Helping Communities Grow outreach program is administered by the Nutrients for Life Foundation and is offered to FFA chapters. The Helping Communities Grow award program encourages FFA members to teach others about the importance of fertilizer and the role that it plays in one of two categories:  1) providing a safe and nourishing food supply; or 2) keeping the Earth green. In 2013, seventy-four FFA chapters were awarded for creating hands-on innovative programs to educate and engage their community on plant nutrition, fertilizer, soil science and crop related agricultural issues and the positive and critical role they play in food production. The top three chapters in each state and in the At-Large category received monetary awards of $5,000, $3,000, and $1,000 for first, second and third place. All other participants were awarded $500. “I am so impressed with the quality of projects we received in our Helping Communities Grow FFA chapter recognition program,” said Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “It gives us great honor to award these checks to such deserving students. Not only did they educate fellow students and their communities about the important value of fertilizer, they expanded their leadership ability, communication skills and knowledge base during the year-long projects.”     At-Large First Place: Plateau Valley FFA, Colorado The Plateau Valley FFA members conducted an experiment on lettuce by studying how different types and rates of fertilizers effect plant growth. As a result, they learned soil type and quality had a large influence on their ability to grow the lettuce. Their experiment was conducted on growing stands they constructed out of wood and PVC pipe.  FFA members reported that the most rewarding part of the project was serving lettuce to community members at their annual FFA banquet and knowing it was FFA…