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Modest Proposal for School Garden Viability - Partnering withFood Banks

  • Subject: [cg] Modest Proposal for School Garden Viability - Partnering withFood Banks
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 10:52:33 -0500

 Friends, 
 
The issue with school garden viability in colder climes is that many school gardens are not operated during the long summer vacations and have to be started up again in the fall ( tulip planting, brasscias, survivors from the previous spring). And then the spring season ending in mid June is all toO short for some plantings.  
 
This  can be kind of frustrating. Having set up a few school gardens as a parent and neighborhood volunteer, there comes the point that you want to slap the baby on the fanny, have it take a good deep breath and live without being on active life-support from the founders. 
 
And coordinating school gardens with teachers who are not gardeners, have to "teach from the textbook," and prepare kids for state examinations can be a nightmare.  Getting a teacher-gardener is idea, but it doesn't always happen, and parent-gardeners graduate with their kids, or get burnt out by the school bureaucracy. 
 
So what can one do? School gardens are a great idea for science, nutrition and recreational teaching. And often they do not work out for "people" reasons. Schools have their own raison d'etre - and it ain't gardening - they need an active partner. 
 
I propose that school gardens partner with local food banks/soup kitchens which get a certain number of rows for their use when school is in session, and  the use of the whole garden when the kids are away and thus sould have a vested interest in keeping the gardens up. This way high schoolers looking for ways to get recommendations for "do-gooding" on their transcripts could have an acceptable project at hand, the gardens would be maintained for educational use, and there would be a certain continuity in the gardens from school year to school year. 
 
One food bank with a couple of volunteer gardeners on bicycles ( with keys to the tool sheds, watering implements and the bathroom) could supplement their supply of fresh veggies, lettuces, sprouts - and maybe even get kids at the schools to get engaged in fall or spring canned food drives as well. 
 
A "win-win,"?
 
 
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Ann Cook <alcook@rocketmail.com>
To: Community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 06:03:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE: [cg] school gardening and garden start-up costs


One thing you may want to consider is planting crops that can be harvested 
throughout the winter using row covers and cold frames.  Elliot Coleman wrote a 
wonderful book called 'Four-Season Harvest' about such endeavors on the coast of 
Maine.  
   
  There are many salad greens that can be harvested along with other crops such 
as onions and carrots.  Your kids won't get the experience of growing warm 
season crops but they can still enjoy caring for, harvesting and eating 
vegetables during a time when most people put their gardens to rest.  It could 
be quite the educational experience for them.  Just a thought.  Good luck with 
your endeavors.  I would love to hear what you decide to do.
   
  Ann Mattingly
  Community Gardens Manager
  DE Center for Horticulture


Betsy Johnson <betsy@bgjohnson.com> wrote:
  Check out http://www.schoolgardenwizard.org/

Betsy Johnson
Executive Director
American Community Gardening Assoc.
877-275-2242 betsyjohnson@communitygarden.org


-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of
plcarol@region.waterloo.on.ca
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2006 9:48 AM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] school gardening and garden start-up costs

We are trying to get local school support for community gardening. The 
biggest road block cited is that the garden season is during summer break. 
Can you give me some creative suggestions to get around this. We thought 
that community partnership models might work but we have to make it seem 
easy to get buy in.

Also, the Ontario growing season is short - most of the harvest is over 
before school starts up again in September. Can you give me some ideas 
about spring or fall crops the kids can benefit from growing?

We also need a small cost analysis/budget for basic garden start-up 
(Canadian $ appreciated)


Carol Popovic R.N., B.Sc.N.,
Region of Waterloo Public Health
99 Regina St S., Wloo On. N2J4V3
Tele: (519) 883-2004 ext 5336
Fax 883-2241
e-mail: plcarol@region.waterloo.on.ca


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's
services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find
out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:
https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's 
services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out 
how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription: https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


        
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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's 
services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out 
how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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