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RE: School Gardening

>-----Original Message-----
>From: james cochran [mailto:cochranjames@hotmail.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 8:53 AM
>To: Community Food Security Coalition
>Subject: School Gardening

>Hello out there.

>I work for an organization that helps schools start gardening and does
education on basic principles of ecology and self-reliance. I am wondering 
>if anyone on this listserve knows of examples of surveys >to  assess
children's knowledge in these areas. Sort of like a proficiency test for
gardening;-) I would like examples of a test that can be >administered at
>beginning and end of a school year.

>Thanks very much,
>James Cochran

James et al-

what fortuitous timing, I was just wanting to send out a post soliciting
contact information for folks involved in school gardening programs. Here in
Columbia we are in the early planning stages of planning a gardening program
within our public school system. I was hoping to be able to contact a number
of organizers in other parts of the country to get some feedback on a number
of questions/issues that we are dealing with. 

In brief, we are concerned about:

-selling the idea to the school administration; we have a middle school
science teacher who is passionately engaged in both community gardening
efforts and with a garden at his school, but he feels that the
administration isn't ready to take the financial plunge.

-financing the program; we have a few good leads, but any suggestions for
funding sources (in general or specifically) would be appreciated.

-scope of programming; we've brainstormed just about every possibility that
gardens in schools could realize: growing food for use in school cafeterias,
raising food for donation to food pantries and soup kitchens, teaching
entrepreneurial skills through marketing the produce to farmers markets and
other local venues, value-added processing of produce, nutrition and cooking
skills, etc. What are the more successful aspects of school gardens?

Some big, open-ended questions there to be sure. We would greatly appreciate
any feedback or suggestions anyone has to offer. If you would prefer to talk
by phone, I'd be happy to call at your convenience.

Many thanks in advance for your time and thoughts,

     Kevin Webb
     Food Circles Networking Project
     Department of Rural Sociology
     University of Missouri-Columbia
     105 Sociology
     Columbia, MO  65211-1100
     (573) 882-3776
     [573] 882=1473 (fax)
     On the web at: http://www.foodcircles.missouri.edu

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