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Farm to Preschool_Garden Workshop_ From Seed to Snack
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Farm to Preschool_Garden Workshop_ From Seed to Snack


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  • 1. From Seed to Snack:Planting a Garden in Your PreschoolRosa Romero, Master Gardener, Farm to Preschool, UEPI, Occidental College Milli Macen-Moore, Master Gardener, Common Ground, UC Coop. Ext. Provided by the Farm to Preschool Program LAUP RENEW Garden Workshop– January 20, 2012
  • 2. Gardening With Students: Why Edible Gardening?• Encourages preference and consumption of fruits and vegetables (McAleese & Rankin, 2007)• Increases parental support and involvement (Alexander, North & Handren, 1995)• Improves student enthusiasm about school, teamwork skills and self- understanding (Robinson & Zajicek, 2005)
  • 3. Gardens: “Teachable Moments”
  • 4. Connecting the Garden to the Classroom Language & ArtsScience Surveys, Investigation Labs & Taste Tests/Cooking
  • 5. Before You Begin Planting• Tools• Site selection• Choose type of garden: – Raised beds, containers, in-ground
  • 6. Tools and Safety• Choose gardening tools – Watering can, spades, rakes, shovels, gloves• Teach that tools are not toys• Garden with them• Make sure students use child-size tools
  • 7. Site Selection• Sunlight – Spring/Summer 6-8 hrs – Fall/Winter 4-6 hrs – Place garden on Southside of building• Water – Close to water source
  • 8. Choose the type of garden that works best for you and your site Soil + Water + Love = Garden
  • 9. Directly in the Ground+ Cheaper+ Requires less watering than raised beds– Contamination: What was there before you? Contact Coop. Ext. for soil testing. When in doubt, grow in containers.
  • 10. Container GardeningPots + Can be moved easily – Pots dry out quickly, need to water often Drainage is important, make holes if needed Terra cotta: soak pot before plantingSoil- use potting mixFertilizer- apply compost every 4 weeksWhat to plant Shallow rooted crops: lettuce, radishes, spinach, herbs If pot is deeper, root crops are okay: carrots, turnips, potatoes
  • 11. Containers: Using Recycled MaterialsOld Kiddy Pools Wagons Tree StumpBuckets of any kind – just remember to make drainage holes!
  • 12. Recycled Materials as Containers Bags Barrels Car?!?!!! Shoe
  • 13. Traditional Raised Beds+ Good drainage and prevents soil compaction+ Prevents weeds, a barrier to some pests– Wood and soil can be expensive– More water required
  • 14. Creative Raised Beds+ Recycled materials save money+ Teaches children to think creatively Sand Bags Bottles Hay Bales
  • 15. Creative Raised Beds Cinder Blocks Recycled Concrete and BranchesWood Logs
  • 16. Building a Raise Bed• Build a raised bed between 3 x3 and 3 x 12 ft (easier to reach across)• Never use treated wood• Depth and width of at least 12 inches
  • 17. Raised Bed Demo To build a basic 3’x6’ bed you’ll need:• (4) 2”x6’ wood boards• (4) 2”x6’ wood boards• (4) 3”x3”x12” wood posts• Screws• Power Drill If you have a gopher problem add 1 piece 3’x6’ hardware cloth to the bottom From page 2 of the Preschool Garden Primer
  • 18. “Play” with Soil Before PlantingAdd Water Add air Once beds are planted, give children opportunities to play with soil
  • 19. Plant Parts Fruit/SeedLeaves StemsRoots
  • 20. Plant Selection• Plant vegetables in season (Burpee guide) Cold season crops (leaves and roots) kale, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes Warm season crops (fruits) tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini• Annuals and Perennials• Space: A Cabbage needs 4 sq ft. A Head of lettuce needs 1 sq ft. A Beet needs ¼ sq ft. Vines can grow vertically but need support
  • 21. Soil• Feeds your plant nutrients• Alive with worms & microorganisms• Fill garden bed with organic soil from a nursery OR• Mix your own soil – equal parts compost, vermiculture & coconut coir• Compost is the best fertilizer – “amends” any type of soil: sandy, clay or loamy – add compost every 4 weeks Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants
  • 22. Seed Starting+ Cheaper than transplants+ Know quality and variety of seed– 4-6 weeks until ready to transplant to soil– Not all seeds sproutMost seeds are best to start in containersBut never transplant more than 3x breakfast ~ lunch ~ dinnerSome seeds are best directly in the ground Plant seeds with children Extra seedlings can go home with parents ‘Seed starting’ is teachable moment
  • 23. Transplanting+ Transplant immediately, harvest sooner– More expensive– Quality and variety often unknownHow to Transplant1. Soil is damp but not soaking2. Gently squeeze pot to loosen seedling Do not pull the stem3. Gently place in hole, fill with dirt4. Tamp down gently5. Water Activity: “Tickle the roots”
  • 24. Watering the Top Soil• Water the soil, Not the plant• Water before mid-morning• Hand water with a watering can or hose - encourages preschooler’s participation -only waters the surface of soil• Must use the right nozzle or will harm top roots Water Wand Spray Nozzle Not
  • 25. Watering Deep Roots• Deep and infrequent watering needed • Once a week in fall/winter • Twice a week in spring/summer• Standard Hose + Less expensive - Time consuming - Uneven watering - Closely monitor and move frequently
  • 26. Watering Deep Roots• Drip irrigation + system of applying water to soil slowly - expensive, installation required - often gets clogged• Soaker hoses + tiny holes along hose to apply water to soil slowly - when under mulch, may be pierced when digging
  • 27. Good vs. Bad BugsBeneficial InsectsHarmful Pests
  • 28. Homemade Remedies for Pests• Encourage birds with bird feeders and fountains• Use high pressure hose or wipe leaves• Aphids and others: Make a solution - Soapy water with vegetable oil - garlic or hot pepper water (1 part to 9 parts water)• Slugs – Fill small low container with cheap beer – Crumble eggshells
  • 29. Companion Planting• Interplant garlic, onions and marigolds (other herbs) amongst edibles to repel insects• Some plants behave well with others – Carrots and tomatoes – Corn, beans and squash – Peas with lettuce• Some plants don’t behave well with others - Beets and Climbing Beans - Potatoes and Tomatoes
  • 30. Poisonous or Dangerous Plants• Talk with children about what plant parts we eat and which we do not – Tomato, potato & eggplant leaves and stems are poisonous• Avoid hot chili peppers• Avoid non-edible flowers• Avoid or use caution with berries (thorns)
  • 31. Spacing and Inter-planting• Each vegetable needs different space to grow in - cabbage needs 4 sq ft, a beet only ¼ sq ft• Tall plants and vine on North and West side of gardenInter-planting• Save space• Help each other grow• Maximizes use of soil/nutrients• Different plants, means continuous harvesting
  • 32. Designing Your GardenSample 4 x 8 Fall/Winter Garden
  • 33. Harvesting• Early in the morning• Leafy vegetables- harvest outer leaves for continual harvest through the season• Pick vegetables often to promote new growth• Harvest only what will be eaten in next day or two
  • 34. Sustaining your garden• Garden parent committee• Hold garden “work days” twice a month• Fundraisers -Sell decorated garden stones/pots -Sell seedlings, seeds, herbs
  • 35. ResourcesLA Cooperative Extension ~ Common Ground Rosa Romero rromero@oxy.eduMilli Macen-Moore
  • 36. Stretch Break Tutti Fruiti Instant recess – Dr. Yancy, UCLA
  • 37. Questions? ? ?? ?
  • 38. Transplants & Garden VisitDivide into two groups• Transplanting activity• Magnolia Place Preschool Garden TourSwitch activities Raffle!!