“Thanks for the bins, the kids are happy that they can start planting things”
—- Gwen Bouler, teacher/garden coordinator —-
We started the year with a program/project outline to give the students something to do as we waited for spring to arrive and as a guide for Ms. Bouler to follow.
- Mid-January to early-February start the lesser grades (K – 4) of students with the sprout-in-a-jar project. You would need 8 to 10 jars (2 per class). The per class numbers could change if classroom numbers vary. This program could go on for several weeks, since the germination process is so quick on most of the vegetables that you would use for sprouting. Therefore, you could rotate the program and include more classrooms.
- Create a backward timeline beginning in May to develop a seed-starting program to grow transplants for the garden. The excel spreadsheet I gave you will help you do that. You will be given a greenhouse kit, planting cups, growing media (peat pod or potting soil) and a few more pots to plant/start your sprout program. You could set it up so that one class (5th – 8th) gets the greenhouse kit and a group of 20 students (representing 4 or 5 classrooms) will get the cups. Your classroom will keep all of the pots where they will be used in the greenhouse. I recommend that you use the pots to grow vegetables like lettuces, spinach, cabbage and lettuce mixes, and greens. The planting to harvest period on all of these plants is pretty short and harvesting can continue up to the point you need the pots for other things, like starting your tomato, pepper and squash plants.
- In April we should be able to get compost for your greenhouse for free. So some time in March we should start to get your greenhouse ready. April is also the time to clean and prepare your outdoor beds for growing a few cold weather crops. Testing the soil will be a classroom project. We will be able to plant peas, lettuces, carrots, turnips, cabbages and spinach during this month. The lettuces, greens and cabbages that were started indoors can go out then.
- In late April or early May your raised beds, courtesy of Keep Growing Detroit, should be built. Typically, they will put in 2 or 3 large beds. It might be worth considering several small beds that may be a little easier for everybody (young kids and up) to work with.
- Once you are in Keep Growing Detroit you will be able to pick up seeds (March); cold-weather plants (April); warm-weather plant (May); and fall plants (July). So it is very important that we get your membership established as soon as possible. Additionally, we could undoubtedly use their help in getting your greenhouse up to snuff.
- By May you should know who is going to work on the garden throughout the summer. A work schedule needs to be made. You will need parent’s name, phone numbers, student’s home address, email (of both parent and student, if possible) so you can contact them whenever necessary. Keep Growing Detroit (KGD) also has a lot of classes, volunteer workdays and events that you might want to participate in. If you haven’t already, now is the time to acknowledge what event(s) you’d like to participate so that you can coordinate the program with the parents.
- By mid-April you need to schedule your major planting day. Keep in mind that it will have to happen after the KGD’s warm-weather plant distribution. If you want to have any volunteer support we will need a firm date (weather permitting, of course) to target for their help.
School Garden Collaborative applications due this month; workshops to begin in March.
The School Garden Collaborative is a ambitious program which initially will include nearly 45 Detroit Public Schools. The program will provide raised beds, plants, tools, supplies and learning resources to the schools. One of the goals of the effort is to supplement the nutrition program of each participating school by incorporating the food raised in the garden in the school lunch program.
“If this program can actually deliver on its many promises, it would be very good for the schools, the kids/students and the immediate community adjacent to the schools.”
March 18: Classroom project – making sprouts. For a science project the students grew radish sprouts in petri dishes.
School Garden Collaborative Workshop –
“The workshop was interesting. There were over one hundred of us. The six beds are built and ready to be delivered. Our installation date is May 4, which is a Saturday. It will take four hours. We were scheduled on Saturday because the United Way wanted to volunteer to help us. Great! I need your input on where to place the beds. They are eight feet by four I think. Should we use the space where the other beds are or should we put three in the courtyard where the greenhouse is? I will check the water sources because we will need access to the faucet outside which one is near the beds now. We are so ready. Thanks for staying with us.”
—- Gwen Bouler, teacher/garden coordinator —-
- Getting Started! (johnrkingacademicperformingartsacademy.wordpress.com)
- Having A Plan For Your New Garden To Ensure Success (diariesofarealtor.wordpress.com)
- To Your Health: Helpful Organic Gardening Advice (diariesofarealtor.wordpress.com)
- Welcome (johnrkingacademicperformingartsacademy.wordpress.com)
- Give Students the Gift of Growing (growerssupply.wordpress.com)
- World’s Turning…Keep Growing Detroit (ninedegreesbelowzero.wordpress.com)
- Detroit School Garden Collaborative…The New Game in Town! (beculturallyexposed.wordpress.com)
- Who’s Minding the Store? The Ladies of Nolan Elementary-Middle School (Part 3) (beculturallyexposed.wordpress.com)
- Students Garden with Cooking in Mind (freshstartsculinary.wordpress.com)