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Category Archives: School Garden Ideas

Gardening With Grandma During The Pandemic

Two years ago when my granddaughter was 8, I gave her this gardening book for children purchased from an online used bookstore.

She loves to garden at my house and seems to find it empowering to trim the suckers off the photinia.  However, I didn’t get any feedback about the book.  

Earlier this year I was surprised to find that she had read the book from cover to cover and had been doing the seasonal activities from it all along.

 We can’t be together or garden for a while so I send pictures to her parents to share with her. 

She has enjoyed following the progress of this “bookshelf garden” that I keep in a sunny window. The leftovers of green onions, carrots, and radishes were planted and are now growing again.

Beverly’s bookshelf garden of repurposed kitchen scraps

I look forward to future in-person gardening projects with my grandaughter but until then I am thankful for this way of continuing our shared love of growing plants. This project has been a helpful tool for teaching propagation, the importance of recycling, and the joy of gardening.

Here is a link describing how children can make their own indoor edible gardens. 

 Gardening Activities-Kitchen Scrap Gardening

Beverly Allen

School Days, Time to Schedule 2015 Field Trips!

Welcome to the RAINCATCHER’S GARDEN OF MIDWAY HILLS

A One-acre Garden Designed for Students to Learn about Nature

West Dallas Community School Kids Enjoying a Field Trip to The Raincatcher's Garden

West Dallas Community School Kids Enjoying a Field Trip to The Raincatcher’s Garden

In Our Garden Classroom:

Hold a Chicken

Smell an Herb

Find a Caterpillar

Plant a Seed

Taste a Vegetable Warm from the Sun

Feed a Compost Pile

Students are taught by Dallas County Master Gardeners, Gardening Experts with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension using Junior Master Gardener ® Curriculum aligned with Texas standardized testing.

 

Above: Field Trip and Master Gardeners and Visiting Chickens

Above: Field Trip and Master Gardeners and Visiting Chickens

 

Schedule a Free Field Trip by contacting dallasgardenbuzz@gmail.com or clicking on the School Field Trip Request Form.

 

Location:  THE RAINCATCHER’S GARDEN OF MIDWAY HILLS

11001 Midway Road, Dallas (between Forest & Royal Lanes)

 

 We’ll leave the Garden Gate Open for You

 More information about our Free School Field Trips: page one, page two

Grace Academy’s Fall Field Trip to the Demonstration Garden

For five years we have enjoyed our relationship with Grace Academy kids.  We see them as first graders in May, they return as second graders in the fall with remarkable growth!

Grace Academy  Second Graders and Teachers, 2014

Grace Academy Second Graders and Teachers, 2014

As Dallas County Master Gardeners, we spend vast amounts of time preparing for these visits and a lot of heart goes into our preparation.   We introduced  them to photosynthesis, seed formation, and plant identification.  Their faces lit up with the wonder of it all.Grace Academy and Michele-plant ID

Cotton is a favorite topic: how to grow it, how it’s used, and how to spin it.  It’s an enthralling topic for all of us. Brush up on your knowledge of cotton here.

Grace Academy kids spinning cotton with Carolyn

The children made self watering containers using recycled water bottles. A Hyacinth Bean seed is planted in each container. It’s important to talk about seeds and the energy they have to create a new plant.

Grace Academy kids making self watering containers

After all, every beginning starts with a seed.

Ann

 

Texas Can Academy Visits The Demonstration Garden

Texas Can Academy visited us Tuesday bringing 39 kids and 3 adults. Instead of the usual field trips to water parks and amusement centers the teachers wanted to build on what they are learning in class about healthy eating and nutrition.  Gardening efforts were already underway at Texas Can Academy with the students planting squash, green beans, peas, and tomatoes. They wanted to learn more about how to set up a “real garden” so a trip to our Demonstration Garden was the perfect next step. 

Keeping a Garden Journal is introduced to our students. This future gardener is writing about herbs he has just tasted, touched, and smelled.

Keeping a Garden Journal is introduced to our students. This future gardener is writing about herbs he has just tasted, touched, and smelled.

We have had 210 students visiting our gardens since the beginning of April, 2014. Our Field Trips are designed to augment the school’s curriculum.  Annette, our educational director, works with teachers to set up learning centers in our gardens taught by Dallas County Master Gardeners.

This little girl is holding up a self watering container she made.  She will be able to take this home and sprout her own seeds.

This little girl is holding up a self watering container she made. She will be able to take this home and sprout her own seeds.

 It’s rewarding to introduce these little children to the joys of gardening.  We like to remind little folks that their t-shirts and jeans are made from the produce of this plant. Note the wonder and surprise in this little girl’s face; a precious moment for us as well. Read more about cotton here.

Excitement in the garden is contagious.  Jim is showing students our cotton plants and cotton bolls.

Excitement in the garden is contagious. Jim is showing students our cotton plants and cotton bolls.

Dallas County Master Gardeners spend a good deal of time and energy with compost! Grass clippings, brown leaves, and vegetable and fruit scraps create the fertilizer for our gardens which eventually feeds us.  We hope to inspire a whole new generation of future composters.

Good compost smells good!

Good compost smells good!

Improve your compost skills by reading Cindy’s Compost tips and you will see why we call her “the compassionate composter”.  For more field trip information click on this link.  Plan your fall visit now.

Thank you Texas Can Academy for visiting us, we will see you again in the fall!

Ann and Annette

Pictures by Starla

West Dallas Community School Third Graders In The Garden

The 28 third graders who came to our garden Tuesday did not need much coaching in appreciating nature.

WDCS Third Graders Harvest A Carrot The loved the carrots and took them back to school for afternoon snacks.. Rosemary was another hit. Last week one of the kids  said he would sleep with Rosemary under his pillow. Maybe  there  will be alot of Rosemary under pillows this week!

WDCS Children PIcking Rosemary

It was a day of garden based education:  learning  the science of compost, how to attract wildlife to the garden, growing vegetables like beans, carrots, lettuce, and swiss chard; and how flowers  regenerate by seed.  Third Graders At The Demonstration Garden From West Dallas Community School

Class dismissed!

Ann

Spring Field Trips, West Dallas Community School Returns To The Demonstration Garden

 At The Demonstration Garden we have enjoyed having West Dallas Community School 4th and 5th graders come to our garden.   The students at  have a nature studies class and come to our garden well prepared. 

They experience nature on a daily basis with their very own garden at school and by coming to our garden on field trips.  These students are tasting fava beans for the first time.  Notice the smiles on their faces and carrot and rosemary in the pocket.Fifth Graders From West Dallas Community School and Dallas County Master Gardener, Abbe in background

These boys are looking  carefully for ladybugs on the roses.

West Dallas Community School Boys Visiting The Demonstration Garden

We are happy to have children come to our garden and they are happy!

West Dallas Community School Spring 2013 At The Demonstration Garden

A WIN/WIN SITUATION FOR EVERYONE!

Ann

Pictures by Starla

“Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….

A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.”

Natural Learning, Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching, Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

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