Thursday, July 10, 2014

PHS Green City Teachers and Kelly School Garden

Michele Koskinen

A few weeks ago Dennis Barneby the Organizer of Kelly Green Project told me he had asked for the Green City Teachers program to use Kelly as their training laboratory this year. I was thrilled.

On June 25 and 26 the PHS Green City Teacher program came to the JB Kelly school for two days of information, hands on projects and sharing stories and information about gardens to be planned, renewed, or made larger. This program is for educators that want to put a school garden in as a way to teach sustainability, nutrition and ecology to their school population and engage the parents and community in the project.

Worker bees shoveling soil, weeding, planting and checking
outplants already established
Participants learned about building 4x8 raised beds, making a site selection, discussing issues of maintenance, how to keep the interest of the students, how to plant "hard scrabble plant"s in difficult places, planting a pollinator garden, planting a shade garden and containers, how to incorporate vegetables and flowers together for interest, tree tenders and planting trees, watershed and storwater management talk, and finally seed sowing and season extension. There is always much more to be learned but this workshop is a great experience that could be taken more than once by anyone that wants to continue learning about teaching gardening in their classrooms.

Naomi Carter the science teacher and garden club sponsor and I, learned some new things and helped direct the addition of several more raised beds to the garden. Gardneing with children is a wonderful entrance for them into the sciences, math, language arts, ecology, botany and more. It is a way to teach the students where their food comes from, how it grows, is harvested, prepared for eating, how bees and pollinators are valuable, types of plants to use for different growing conditions such as the shade vs sun, the difference between a perennials vs annual gardens, and finally the importance of vegetables and the relation to healthy nutrition.

Classroom Activities for different times
of the year and setting curriculum goals.
I hope everyone had as rewarding time as we Kelly Gardeners did. Thanks to all the participants and PHS Sally McCabe and her wonderful team for a great two days. If you are an educator or someone that wants to build a children's garden come to the next workshop. You will not be disappointed.
Go to

How to plant a tree with Mindy Maslin Tree Tenders

How to build a raised bed

Placing the raised bed, putting down cardboard and filling
with soil for planting

A brief lesson on plants with Patricia Schrieber

Planting the pollinator garden

Planning the shade garden behind the new shed
built through the Mural Arts program

Labels on new shade garden plants

New bed with seeds planted September picking

New beds for pollinator garden, fall cole crops planting,
and flowers for now

With the continued help of the Kelly Green Project and the school, this garden should be a successful addition to the community for years to come.

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