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Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

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Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  miinva on 1/3/2011, 11:52 pm

Thanks to this post about Josh's fame, I've been considering a new project. I was at the school today and mentioned the carrots we grew and that I'd canned them yesterday and the principal floored me by showing my the Vegetable Gardening Handbook that she'd borrowed from a teacher over Christmas break! I gushed about SFG, of course, and she's really interested! I'm hoping she'll do it as an after-school group instead of a class project since the kids are 3rd-5th graders and I'm a bit worried about trouble-makers tearing things up, but whatever she decides I think an SFG or three would be a great step forward! Of course I could be volunteering myself for more beds to tend all summer... good thing the school is right around the corner! Very Happy

Has anyone else attempted anything like this? I'm not a certified teacher, I'm just a passionate SFG'er, but I figure under-qualified is better than nothing at all.

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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/4/2011, 12:18 am

I think this is awesome!! I will follow any updates you do, because I am thinking of the same thing. We have an "outdoor experience" area set up at our school. I want to approach the lady in charge about SFG and see if the school will sponsor a 4x4 box to start. Just to teach the kids about horticulture, science, and math....let alone grow something for the rectory to use if they desire.

Please keep us updated on how you accomplish this going forward.
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  miinva on 1/4/2011, 12:22 am

Did you see the lesson plan on the main site? It's only $18, so I might get one even if the school project doesn't work out Smile I just might try to write an essay for the January Contest just because I want that lesson plan! *giggle*

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preschool garden

Post  ander217 on 1/4/2011, 8:39 am

Our daughter was so thrilled with her first SFG that she purchased a ready-made kit from the foundation and donated it to her sons' preschool. She said it went over extremely well with the teachers and students. Students were allowed to choose most of the veggies they planted, and they watered them each day. They especially loved harvesting their cherry tomatoes and sharing their food with each other. (Don't we all?)

That's a valuable hands-on lesson IMO, even for preschoolers.

Don't forget to check out my previous post about free seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for schools and community gardens.
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  WardinWake on 1/4/2011, 10:28 am

Howdy:
@ander217 wrote:
Don't forget to check out my previous post about free seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for schools and community gardens.

Also check with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for "freebes".

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/4/2011, 11:18 am

I have seen the guide in the store, and will buy it. But, I will do so later when time gets closer.

What a fabulous idea to preschoolers!! If anyone would get a kick out of planting and picking plants, it's a 3 and 4 year old wide-eyed, cute kid. Those little guys have such zest.

You have me thinking of pitching several 4x4's to the school now. Heck, maybe they break into grade levels and have a contest?

Oh, the possibilities!!
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  Megan on 1/4/2011, 9:21 pm

Oh boy, do you guys have me thinking now. I have an elementary school (and a preschool, actually), not a block away.
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  middlemamma on 1/5/2011, 12:51 am

OH OH OH OH OH!!!!! Megan....just ask if you can put your garden THERE!!!!! No HOA....Smile And you can use the kids as manual labor! LMABO!!! Very Happy

thinking
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/5/2011, 1:06 am

+1 +1 +1 to middlemamma's post bounce
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  Megan on 1/5/2011, 5:43 pm

It definitely bears thinking upon......
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  miinva on 1/19/2011, 1:34 pm

I got an email from the principal today and she's definitely interested! Very Happy How exciting is that?! *giggle*

*wondering what to plant in the first bed*

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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  quill33 on 1/19/2011, 4:50 pm

I did exactly that at my child's school. I converted all their garden beds to SFG beds.

I did it for under $20 out of pocket, too.

I simply spent some time writing letters to all the 'big box' stores as well as the local home improvement stores and local garden centers, giving an itemized list of what was needed (I went on a walk thru and wrote down upc/item numbers, price, item description and quantity needed) and asked them to donate the items. Followed up with face to face requests and sent thank you notes afterwards.

I ended up with exactly what we needed and only had to buy some compost (was charged 1/2 price for the compost AND was donated ALL the vermiculite needed for the conversion as well as many seeds, etc.).

I requested volunteers for a certain week - 2 hours/daily for 4 days - to empty the existing raised beds (full of gravel, sand, and top soil :eyeroll:) and we did it. We mixed up the Mel's mix on a huge tarp I own in small batches and it was done in less than a week.

Now it's ready for them to plant as they see fit.

I also got them the school sfg text that Mel sells. Smile

It took me about a month to get all that done and coordinated. I even got a tumbling composter donated as well, so that the kitchen veg scraps (they have a daily fresh veg for snack) now has a place to compost tidily.

Go for it! You'll be glad you did. And then the children can actually plant spring crops earlier and see the harvest before school lets out.

It was probably all told about 100 hours I invested into the project. Smile (Thought you might be interested in the time commitment.)


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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  miinva on 1/19/2011, 5:33 pm

Thank you for the encouragement! I was just sitting here thinking that I'm dreaming of beautiful pea blooms... and the kids could have a garden full of them! Very Happy I'm going to get a solid commitment from the principal tomorrow when I'm at the school volunteering and then I'll give it a go. I really, really appreciate you sharing your story because I hadn't even considered asking for donations.

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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  Chopper on 1/19/2011, 5:39 pm

I am impressed quill33! One wonders why the gravel topsoil garden did not thrive. LOL

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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  Megan on 1/19/2011, 8:23 pm

Wow, Quill. I am absolutely blown away. You rock!!! rock on
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

Post  Ha-v-v on 1/20/2011, 6:53 am

@miinva wrote:I got an email from the principal today and she's definitely interested! Very Happy How exciting is that?! *giggle*

*wondering what to plant in the first bed*
Im so excited for you, this sounds like so much fun!!
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Re: Considering spearheading an SFG at my son's elementary school

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