Ready, Set, Grow: School Garden Program


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Ready, Set, Grow: School Garden Program
For more information, Please see websites below:
Organic Edible Schoolyards & Gardening with Children
Double Food Production from your School Garden with Organic Tech
Free School Gardening Art Posters`
Companion Planting Increases Food Production from School Gardens
Healthy Foods Dramatically Improves Student Academic Success
City Chickens for your Organic School Garden
Simple Square Foot Gardening for Schools - Teacher Guide

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Ready, Set, Grow: School Garden Program

  1. 1. 2 Program description / summary School gardens offer a place of rich teaching while providing a unique learning environment for students. School gardens are a great way for schools to promote environmental and sustainability learning and to connect their students with healthy food and lifestyles while also learning valuable waste reduction messages such as:  food scraps as a resource not a waste;  growing your own food reduces packaging waste;  composting and worm farming reduce the need for chemicals thereby providing a safer environment The “Ready, Set, Grow” Schools program is aimed at encouraging and supporting the creation of sustainable school fruit and vegetable gardens where concepts such as composting, consumption and recycling can be introduced. The program will encourage links to the Schools Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) and curriculum through the garden which will assist with the teaching of resource management, reduction of waste and healthy eating. Schools will be assisted in the creation of sustainable gardens through a series of workshops ensuring schools have assistance and advice on how to start, maintain and/or expand a school food garden. The program will also provide funding opportunities through grants, sponsorship or incentive payments. Rational / Aims & Objectives  Provide better, more sustainable solutions for resource management to schools  Preventing schools food waste going to landfill through composting and/or worm farming  Reduction in packaging waste generated by growing own food  Closing the loop on recycling using food scraps as a resource (composting) and growing food  Students learn the life skills of using less chemicals by growing organic food and the systems within them  Learn about nutrition and healthy eating through school gardens  Garden as a classroom  Creation of sustainable gardens  Involvement of broader school community linking to the wider community
  2. 2. 3 Partnerships & Stakeholders  Schools  Northern Sydney Central Coast Health Promotion  DECCW – Love Food Hate Waste Program  DET – Sustainable Schools Program  Hardware stores  Nurseries (Nursery and Garden Industry Aust Ltd – kids grow)  Parents  Broader School Community Target audience  Teachers  Students and their families  School Environmental and Canteen committees  P&C and parent volunteers  School gardeners Method The “Ready, Set, Grow” Program will provide schools with practical assistance by offering a series of workshops on how to start, maintain or expand a sustainable school food garden. The program will also give schools access to funding either through sponsorship or grants. Schools will be required to show their commitment to the program by attending an introductory workshop which will enable the school to begin to develop a School Action Plan for their school garden. Once the School Action Plan has been received by Council and agreed, the school will be presented with a kit to assist with the implementation of the actions required by the School Action Plan. The program will have agreed milestones set which will reward schools along the way eg setting up a compost system in the school; a visit to the eco garden at Fagan Park; involvement of the broader school community. Schools will also be rewarded for their participation in other programs which can be linked to the “Ready, Set, Grow” Program eg “Crunch and Sip” and “NSROC Regional Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge”, “Love Food Hate Waste” program etc. Participants in the program will be given a plaque to be displayed at the front of their school indicating their participation and achievements as part of the “Ready, Set, Grow” Program.
  3. 3. 4 The development of a sustainable school garden in a school will be linked to the Northern Sydney Central Coast Health Promotion ‘Coal Loader Program’ – a series of lessons linked to the curriculum around the garden and healthy eating. Sponsorship will be sought from hardware stores, nurseries, etc to provide materials for the start up kit, to run workshops and to provide a cash grant to assist schools to purchase plants etc. Implementation At the beginning of Term 1 2011, all schools in the Hornsby Shire will be invited to participate in the Ready, Set, Grow program. The program will comprise a series of workshops to provide teachers, students and parents with the skills to enable them to start, maintain or expand their sustainable school fruit and vegetable garden. The workshop modules offered will include the following: The introductory planning workshop; which all interested parties including teachers, parents, students and ground staff can attend, will outline the requirements for developing a sustainable school garden. If necessary this workshop could split into two streams depending on the experience of those attending. How your school can become sustainable (Megan Craig DECCW) o How school gardens become imbedded in the SEMP? o How this fits with becoming imbedded in the curriculum? Introduction to Ecology and the ADAM principles o Why not to use chemicals in the garden o It’s all about the soil How to manage Waste at School through o collection of food scraps o composting o worm farming How to establish and manage your edible school garden o Basics on choosing a site for your edible school garden: light, drainage, access to water, soil type, protection from kids and animals o Build and plant a new no dig edible garden Linking the garden to healthy eating o Programs on offer o Basics of healthy eating o Linking the garden to the curriculum At this workshop participants will begin to develop a School Action Plan for their school garden.
  4. 4. 5 The final School Action Plan, signed by the principal acknowledging their support, should be received by Council within one month of attending the introductory workshop. Schools which have not responded will be contacted and encouraged to complete their Action Plan. Once schools have shown their commitment to the program through their School Action Plan they will be provided with a garden start up pack and access to funding toward contracting a school garden expert(s), nurseries etc for ongoing support and access to materials to assist with the implementation of the actions required by the School Action Plan. (As required) Depending on the School Action Plan and how much assistance is needed the school may not require all workshops. Other than the Introductory Workshop (which is compulsory) the READY, SET, GROW workshops are optional, a school may select, all or some. Getting “READY” workshops will be tailored to suit individual schools depending on what sustainable activities the school already has in place the ‘READY” workshop will include o Planning and implementation of a food collection system o Setting up a composting and/or worm farming system o If a compost system already exists, ensuring that everything is working well o Choosing the garden site, planning what to plant o How to grow plants from seeds, includes making pots from newspaper The “SET” ½ day workshop will include o Building your no dig edible school garden with advice on managing soil health, natural fertilizers etc o Ensuring composting and worm farms are working well The “GROW” workshop will include o Planting if required o Ensuring the school understands and has gained the experience of managing an efficient and aerobic composting and/or worm farming system o Advice on management of compost, worms and gardens during holiday times o Plans for ongoing management of edible gardens o What to do with what you grow Promotions  Promotion to HENS meeting in Term 4 2010, flyer to be handed out  Inclusion in HENS bulletin Term 4 2010  Inclusion in school newsletters (interested parents) 2010/ 2011  Letter of invitation and program outline sent to schools end of Term 4, 2010, hard copy and email. Follow up letter beginning of Term 1, 2011  Council website  School website  Northern Sydney Central Coast Health Promotion ‘Project’s 2011 flyer’
  5. 5. 6 Resources –materials Resources will be dependant on funding eg sponsorship etc as to what can be offered to the schools. Schools may have to fund READY, SET, GROW workshops themselves.  Intro workshop o 2 x waste educators x 1 day each o workshop facilitator x 1 day o 1 x Health promotion officer x 1 day o sample bag to include eg manual, gloves, notepad, pen, etc etc  Ready Workshop o 2 x Waste educators @ ½ day each o 1 x nurseryman/eco gardener x ½ day o seeds, plants, o compost bin, o compost turner o hessian o workbook  Set Workshop o 2 x waste educators x ½ day each o 1 x nurseryman/eco gardener x ½ day  Grow workshop o 1 x waste educators x ½ day o 1 x nurseryman/eco gardener x ½ day Cash grants will be provided to schools that have completed their School Action Plan to be used for materials, plants, eco gardener etc. – Dependant on funds being available from Council, NSW Health, DECCW etc. Workshops to be partially sponsored by sponsorships. Sponsorship opportunities will be sought from local nurseries and hardware stores such as Bunnings and Mitre 10. The “Ready, Set, Grow” program will provide opportunities for local nurseries to become involved in their school community by providing expert advise on all aspects of starting, maintaining or expanding a school garden. Prizes/trophies/awards to be awarded as schools reach milestones – could be gift vouchers donated by participating nurseries or hardware stores. Plaque/banner for display at the front of the school. As milestones are reached the plaque will be adapted to reflect that the milestones have been reached. This will promote to the wider community the schools activities and achievements.
  6. 6. 7 Evaluation  Number of schools who participate in the program  School gardens started or expanded as part of the program  Number of food collection systems set up as part of the program  Composting systems set up as part of the program  Number of healthy eating based programs implemented  Feedback from school families ie messages reaching the home  Number of gardens still going 1 year later Environmental Outcomes Short/ Medium/ long The “Ready, Set, Grow” school gardens program should be a student based program o the students help design the garden o the students implement the garden with the local school community o the students maintain the garden o the students enjoy the food from the garden The environmental outcomes to the school and the students are:  Food scraps seen as a resource not a waste  Management of school resources  Use of sustainable gardening practices; use of organic fertilizers such as compost on school gardens  Connects students to nature and to each other  Students learn about healthy eating  Students learn the life skill of growing organic food and the systems within them  Introduction of composting/worm farming, food gardens into the home of the students Links to NSROC Rubbish Free Lunch Program Crunch and Sip program Coal Loader program Love Food Hate Waste program