Gardening with Kids: Tips, Tricks + School Gardens

Gardening With Kids: Tips, Tricks + School Gardens

Thu 22 Sep 2011

Story by Shauna Nep @woollyschools

This week’s Food Revolution Twitter party was all about gardening with kids- tips, tricks, resources and of course, school gardens! We talked about the greatest challenges, and shared our best ideas for engaging kids in the garden. Thank you to all who participated, and shared their nifty tips and tricks!

Twitter Party: September 20th, 4pm PDT / 7pm EDT

Theme: Gardening with kids- tips, tricks, and school gardens!

Recipe Theme of the Week: School Lunches! The Food Revolution team wants to know what would be your ideal school lunch! You can post all your ideas, photos and recipes on the Food Revolution Community Facebook Wall.

It’s the first official day of Fall and school is in full gear- and inspired teachers, parents and principals all over the country are finding ways to bring garden and nutrition education to our children’s school. After all, kids will try new fruits and vegetables if they grow them themselves! Here are some of the great resources that were shared in our twitter party to help bring school gardens to any school. I hope that you can find some great tips for gardening with kids, and maybe even start a garden and nutrition program at your school!

Party Questions & Some of the Best Tweets

Q1. Kids who grow veggies, eat veggies! What is your favorite fall veggie to grow in the garden?

@Gardener_Bloome It's really fun to grow unusual colored veg with kids, like purple carrots. Hey, I'm an adult and I dig purple carrots!

@crunchacolor Radishes are also gr8 as they grow quickly! Quick results 4 the kiddos.

Q2. Tell us about your first time gardening. Who taught you how to garden?

@GreenFestival All of our staffers have great stories, but my mom taught me out in our home garden! Hello, cherry tomatoes!

@JaimeMorlin Trial and error. We learned ourselves. My daughter & I planted a garden at every apartment we lived in & they're still there #foodrevparty

Q3. What are your best "tips or tricks" for running a great #schoolgarden program or gardening with kids?

@lanaprekprogram Tip for gardening w/kids (IMO)- give them ownership. If they have the space/seeds/tools, they are thrilled w/what grows!

@pandora114 Best tips for gardening with kids? Have fun! Don't be afraid of a little dirt, it all washes off

Q4. What are the greatest challenges or barriers to starting a #schoolgarden?

@JaimeMorlin Space - We only have a blacktop

@Gardner_Bloome In fall, it seems like schools are time-crunched to get materials, volunteers in order so they can plant in time.

Q5. What are some exciting independent tasks for kids to do in the garden?

OutoftheBoxFood Dig, water, weed, harvest, decorate & label popsicle sticks w/ plant names #foodrevparty

@woollyschools Anyone ever planned a scavenger hunt in the garden? Could be fun :)

Q6. What's the number one reason school gardens are important? @foodrevteam #foodrevparty #FoodRevolution

@Lunchalicious Q6 Best reasons to have school gardens is to teach kids life skills, responsibility and sustainability! #foodrevparty

@Trevordcollins To learn about LIFE! Not everything can be taught indoors through textbooks. #foodrevPARTY

If you want to get involved, check out @JamieOliver’s activist map to find a group in your school district. There are also toolkits & support tools to start conversations on change.

Thanks for joining in on the conversation everyone!

About the author & host: Shauna Nep is passionate about bringing garden-based education to schools, and including our youth in an open and meaningful conversation about food, wellness, and sustainability. The Woolly School Garden program makes sustainable school gardens possible at any school, providing an easy and immediate solution for schools nationwide to create an outdoor garden classroom on any sunny wall or fence! Learn more here.


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