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School Garden Layout Design Elementary School

 
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I have the opportunity to help design a school garden. We are getting input from the stakeholders (kids, teachers, community) but the more input the better.

I do garden design and work with another school garden, which is why I was put to the task. Since we can do about anything that fits in the designated area, I am looking for input.  Especially on the aspect of setting up raised beds by class or by subject matter.

At first we talked about having it by class because that's how most public schools are organized, but we are fighting a battle of "garden" is not a subject that gets tested, therefore unless the science teacher has it in their curriculum, it's not useful.

We also plan on using the produce during summer to create a CSA and fund the garden, thus growing enough edibles is a constraint too.  We will be trialing one garden CSA this year.

As for the organization:
Art is subject easy enough to make a bed for.
Ecology could be a small food forest.
Lifecycle could be some quail.
Math could be a square foot bed and the produce stand.
What about English, Political Science, History, etc.?

Thanks!
 
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Amit Enventres wrote:I have the opportunity to help design a school garden. We are getting input from the stakeholders (kids, teachers, community) but the more input the better.

I do garden design and work with another school garden, which is why I was put to the task. Since we can do about anything that fits in the designated area, I am looking for input.  Especially on the aspect of setting up raised beds by class or by subject matter.

At first we talked about having it by class because that's how most public schools are organized, but we are fighting a battle of "garden" is not a subject that gets tested, therefore unless the science teacher has it in their curriculum, it's not useful.

We also plan on using the produce during summer to create a CSA and fund the garden, thus growing enough edibles is a constraint too.  We will be trialing one garden CSA this year.

As for the organization:
Art is subject easy enough to make a bed for.
Ecology could be a small food forest.
Lifecycle could be some quail.
Math could be a square foot bed and the produce stand.
What about English, Political Science, History, etc.?

Thanks!


History could be about the historical/traditional plants grown in your area and their uses, so you can plant native or historical plants. English for the correct spelling/labeling of the plant names and have a display that has a sentence or two about the nutritional or medicinal values of any plants.
 
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Janeen Reavis wrote:
History could be about the historical/traditional plants grown in your area and their uses, so you can plant native or historical plants. English for the correct spelling/labeling of the plant names and have a display that has a sentence or two about the nutritional or medicinal values of any plants.



Building off of this, you could have gardens for traditional foods from different eras and places. A three sisters garden to teach how Native American's gardened. A medieval pottage garden, laid out in the same manner with the same foods. A garden from the Andes with potatoes and oca and tomatoes. A Mediterranean garden, etc. When I was in school, each year we had a focus. One year we learned about South American societies. Another year we learned about pilgrims, and another year we learned about pioneers. One year we learned about our local Native American tribes, and another year we immersed ourself into medieval times. I think it would have been SO COOL if we'd grown and tended a garden just like the people we studied had done!

Also for social studies, the kids could make maps of their gardens--which also works with art and potentially math if one does it to scale at older ages.

For English, there could be label writing, as well as perhaps keeping a garden journal to note when plants blooms and produced fruit and changes in weather, etc. This also constitutes science, as record keeping is essential to science.

For political science, there could be discussion of how gardens--and diets--changed due to colonization and western expansion. How the potato allowed for a population explosion, and then the potato blight wiped out so many people. Discussion of how subsidies change the prices of food. Write down how much is spent on their gardens, and look at the numbers for whether it's cheaper or more expensive than the store, and why. Discuss HOAs and how they don't allow gardens, and how some states and cities encourage gardens and wetland ponds and rainwater catchment, while others ban such things. Discuss the kids neighborhoods and how they differ.
 
Amit Enventres
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Maybe we could have a "bed of the world" for political science where they can research and grow different foods from around the world.

I'd like to have a board or something we could display the kids poems or other writings about the garden on/in. Maybe we can just use the support beams in the fence?
 
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