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Re: school gardening and garden start-up costs

  • Subject: Re: [cg] school gardening and garden start-up costs
  • From: Grow19@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 10:35:56 EST

I'd suggest that with regard to summer that family stewardship is a good  
plan ... as soon as possible during the school year, invite families to visit  
and tour the garden.  
* Alternative #1-invite families to adopt specific parts of  the garden (and 
if this is a food growing garden, invite their decisions on  what will be 
growing during the summer).  Aim for 2-3 families to steward  each section, so 
that their 'workload' each week during the summer is minimal  and if someone 
doesn't do what's expected, others will come through.  Hold  another orientation 
session toward the end of the school year, to be sure  families have access to 
the tools they'll need, teach them to do the basic tasks  needed (weed, water, 
harvest, etc), handout a short tasks guide and a formal  schedule for how 
often they should come.  Have 1-2 adults volunteer to  coordinate, just to remind 
families to followthru, etc.
* Alternative #2-much like the above, but not by section.  Create an  upkeep 
guide (short, picture guide to weeds, reminders of what to do, etc), and  a 
formal schedule listing the steward families for each week during the whole  
summer.  Again 2-3 families per week, so care is certain but not very  demanding. 
 Again, hold an orientation several weeks before school is out  to hand out 
the schedule, 'train' the families, be sure they know where  everything is, etc.
In either case, be clear about what they can harvest (veggies, flowers,  etc) 
so the families are getting something out of it.  Have a thank you  potluck 
for the families in the fall, thank them in the school newsletter,  ...  It's 
less the idea of buy-in as it is fun and something for  them.  
As to the fall, I'm not knowledgeable about the growing season where you  
are, but perhaps a variety of cover crops, different ones in different beds, to  
do observations about how they all grow and benefit the soil (soil test before 
 they are planted, again in the spring before anything else is planted).   
Also could experiment on some of the beds with crop extension techniques (hoops, 
 double hoops, etc per Elliot Coleman) and seeing what might grow / or not.
Judy Tiger Washington DC
In a message dated 2/9/2006 6:54:45 AM Pacific Standard Time,  
plcarol@region.waterloo.on.ca writes: ....summer  break....suggestions to get around this.  
Also, the Ontario growing  season is short....

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