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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

  1. 1. From Seed to Snack: Planting a Garden in Your Preschool Rosa 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. 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. 3. Gardens: “Teachable Moments”
  4. 4. Connecting the Garden to the Classroom Language & Arts Science Surveys, Investigation Labs & Taste Tests/Cooking
  5. 5. Before You Begin Planting • Tools • Site selection • Choose type of garden: – Raised beds, containers, in-ground
  6. 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. 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. 8. Choose the type of garden that works best for you and your site Soil + Water + Love = Garden
  9. 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. 10. Container Gardening Pots + Can be moved easily – Pots dry out quickly, need to water often Drainage is important, make holes if needed Terra cotta: soak pot before planting Soil- use potting mix Fertilizer- apply compost every 4 weeks What to plant Shallow rooted crops: lettuce, radishes, spinach, herbs If pot is deeper, root crops are okay: carrots, turnips, potatoes
  11. 11. Containers: Using Recycled Materials Old Kiddy Pools Wagons Tree Stump Buckets of any kind – just remember to make drainage holes!
  12. 12. Recycled Materials as Containers Bags Barrels Car?!?!!! Shoe
  13. 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. 14. Creative Raised Beds + Recycled materials save money + Teaches children to think creatively Sand Bags Bottles Hay Bales
  15. 15. Creative Raised Beds Cinder Blocks Recycled Concrete and Branches Wood Logs
  16. 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. 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. 18. “Play” with Soil Before Planting Add Water Add air Once beds are planted, give children opportunities to play with soil
  19. 19. Plant Parts Fruit/Seed Leaves Stems Roots
  20. 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. 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. 22. Seed Starting + Cheaper than transplants + Know quality and variety of seed – 4-6 weeks until ready to transplant to soil – Not all seeds sprout Most seeds are best to start in containers But never transplant more than 3x breakfast ~ lunch ~ dinner Some seeds are best directly in the ground Plant seeds with children Extra seedlings can go home with parents ‘Seed starting’ is teachable moment
  23. 23. Transplanting + Transplant immediately, harvest sooner – More expensive – Quality and variety often unknown How to Transplant 1. Soil is damp but not soaking 2. Gently squeeze pot to loosen seedling Do not pull the stem 3. Gently place in hole, fill with dirt 4. Tamp down gently 5. Water Activity: “Tickle the roots”
  24. 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. 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. 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. 27. Good vs. Bad Bugs Beneficial Insects Harmful Pests
  28. 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. 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. 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. 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 garden Inter-planting • Save space • Help each other grow • Maximizes use of soil/nutrients • Different plants, means continuous harvesting
  32. 32. Designing Your Garden Sample 4 x 8 Fall/Winter Garden
  33. 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. 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. 35. Resources LA Cooperative Extension ~ Common Ground http://celosangeles.ucdavis.edu/Common_Ground_Garden_Program/ www.FarmToPreschool.org www.KidsGardening.org Rosa Romero rromero@oxy.edu Milli Macen-Moore milli@modern-sustainability.com
  36. 36. Stretch Break Tutti Fruiti Instant recess – Dr. Yancy, UCLA
  37. 37. Questions? ? ? ? ?
  38. 38. Transplants & Garden Visit Divide into two groups • Transplanting activity • Magnolia Place Preschool Garden Tour Switch activities Raffle!!

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