Posts Tagged ‘Soil’

Fertilizing the Garden with the 4R’s of Nutrient Management

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
The garden looks green and healthy. I spent the last hour pulling weeds! Boy, do they grow fast! The carrots are thinner than I want and my green bean stand is weak as well. I will plant a few more rows of green beans to make up for what didn’t germinate earlier this spring. I have spent hours planting, watering, tilling, hoeing, weeding and now it’s time to fertilize! (more…)

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…)

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…)

New High School Resource: Feeding the World & Protecting the Environment

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Recently, the Nutrients for Life Foundation released the latest resource for high school teachers entitled Feeding the World & Protecting the Environment. “We are thrilled to offer this resource at a time of world environmental awareness and unparalleled technological advancements that support responsible fertilizer use,” says Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. (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…

New Resource: High School Interactive Lessons

Monday, February 29th, 2016
  As an organization that tries to make teaching about soil nutrients as easy as possible, we are excited to provide a new, supplemental resource: Interactive Lesson Plans! Interactive Lesson plans are ready-to-go slide decks that correspond to the Foundation’s Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century curriculum. Available via download, the Interactive Lessons provide enriching visuals and interactive opportunities for students to gain a deep understanding of soil and crop nutrients. Take a look... (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)