Author: Toni Dauwalter
SO much learning can happen in the school garden! I love helping teachers connect standards to learning in the garden. Often this is many students’ first experience with agriculture! Teachers often are learning as they go too; it is an awesome thing for students to see that even their teacher gets to learn! There are MAITC Regional Specialists all around the state that would be happy to connect you to quality lessons you can use in your school gardens. We are by no means garden experts – we also are always learning!
School Garden Food Safety
I love how Anne Sawyer from MN Extension states in her article, Keep fruit & veggies in School Gardens clean and safe to eat!:
“I like to remind people that the school garden is really an extension of the kitchen – except that it’s outside.”
I have to admit that in my own backyard garden, I sometimes forget this concept. We always remember to wash our hands in the kitchen before preparing food, but it gets forgotten when we are out in the garden. MN Extension has a GREAT resource for solving that problem! Here is a link to their simple plans for building your own handwashing station at your schoolyard garden. It is simple and inexpensive (less than $20!)! I talked to teacher, Anna Edlund at Bluff Creek Elementary about theirs. They had parent volunteers build it and say it works great!
Here is a video showing how it’s done!
I went to check out the hand washing station at a local elementary school! It works GREAT!
If you haven’t seen the videos from Jeffers Foundation highlighting successful school gardens from around the state of MN, now is your chance to check them out: https://jeffersfoundation.org/programs/a-garden-for-every-school/
Also – the MN Schoolyard Garden Coalition has GREAT information and an awesome new website: https://sites.google.com/view/school-based-garden-f2s/home
AND…Don’t forget that the Virtual Teacher Tours this summer has one session ALL about school gardens. I visited East Union Elementary school garden and shared the news:
See our awesome Regional Specialist share about our ‘Three Sisters’ lesson kit for teachers (our specialists might still have some left to give to teachers – contact yours if you want one!)
Check out the SUPER cool book ‘Anywhere Farm’ from a MN Author! Kirsten Saylor, who will be with us on our Virtual Teacher Tour on June 30th reads to us:
Here are some of my favorite lessons:
– Power Potato — I’ve had such success with school gardens planting potatoes!!