Thursday, November 5, 2009

Connecting Gardens with Education - Resources for Educators

The school garden movement is alive and well on the Southcoast, with a number of projects thriving...

Since early October, we have been working with Watson Elementary School in Fall River to continue to development of their Watson School Garden. The Garden was started this past Spring thanks in part to funding from the Children in Balance Program in Fall River and through the vision of community members, teachers, and the school's principal Nancy Martin-Bernier.

This fall we, alongside 4th grade teacher Jasmine Olean and community members, have been working with 3 different groups of students (K-5) in an afterschool program titled, Worms, Worms, Worms. Over the past few weeks we have been busy filling 3 new beds that will provide a total of 600 sq. feet of garden beds for next seasons garden. Once we are finished filling the beds, we'll be busy seeding garlic before winter sets in, and then move our efforts into stewarding and studying the new worm composting bins set up in the classroom.

The Watson school garden is just one of many school gardens thriving in our area; the Friends Academy just down the road from the farm has been enjoying a wildly successful growing season and Hayden-McFadden Elementary school in New Bedford is focusing on re-energizing their garden beds that have been active for years.

We have a partial list of community and education gardens on the Southcoast from this past Summer. Please check out our list of Resources for Garden Based Education for great websites and book recommendations. SEEAL (Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance) is another great organization working on sustainability and education in the area.

Nothing compares to sharing the flavors and tastes of fresh grown produce with our youth, who knew turnips could taste so good?

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