Bridgette Brick-Wells, founder of the Healthy Lunch & Lifestyles Project working in Shasta, Tehama and Butte Counties; Gina Sims, Garden Coordinator at Chico Country Day Charter School and also working with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at CSU, Chico; and Debra Abbott, School Garden Educator in the Chico Unified School District as well as with the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD), all joined me for special one-hour live program on Tuesday October 19th from 10 am – 11 am. We discussed how school gardens, farm-to-school connections and healthy school lunch options are sowing the seeds for better life-long physical, cultural, environmental and economic health throughout our region. Photo: Kids in a young gardening program at Chico Christian School in Chico.
It was a lively, interesting and inspiring conversation between three women who are out in our communities every day making these connections and nurturing these seeds of ideas and programs along. In my opinion, these women are heroic in the most mighty meaning of the word. Photo: Garden snacks eaten with gusto.
As a follow-up to the program, here is a list of resources ideas these women turn to time and again in their work on all of these fronts. If you have resources you would like to see added, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org: Photo: Ahh, worms, and other friends we meet in the garden.
“Garden Adventures,” Exploring plants with young children
“Sowing the Seeds of Wonder – Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education”
“The Growing Classroom,” Garden Based Science developed by LifeLab
“Growing Food,” developed by educators at Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
“Farm to table and beyond,” developed by educators at Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
“Gardens for Learning,” free download from California School Garden Network, “This is my go to reference,” writes Gina Sims.
“The Edible Schoolyard,” by Alice Waters
“The Omnivore’s Dilemna,” by Michael Pollan, “The young readers edition is inspiring for kids,” Gina tells us.
Photo: Working in a garden journal and practicing the art of observation.
NON-SCHOOL BASED TEACHING GARDENS and Farms that host Educational Outreach:
Chaffin Family Farms – an integrated family farm hosting educational events throughout the year including the upcoming Wheeled Migration: October 30 – Chico: Wheeled Migration first annual Bicycle Harvest – a costumed bike ride and overnight festival to celebrate the tradition of harvest, local splendor, and bicycles. The fully supported (with luggage van and bicycle mechanics), twenty mile bike social departs at noon October 30 from Chico’s GRUB Cooperative and merrily rolls to Chaffin Family Orchards in the foothills of Table Mountain. Your luggage will be waiting for you when you arrive. Three hundred people on bicycles in costume! And that’s only the commute. The festivities will be set within the historic 100-year-old olive groves of Chaffin Family Orchards and include pedal-powered music, contra dancing, hay rides with the Railflowers, farm tours, incredible organic food, beer and cider, bobbing for apples, a pumpkin carving contest, gunny sack races, a hammock village, late night theater and camping in the orchard under a harvest moon. Buy your tickets in advance for only $35. Or wait on it and pay $45 at the gate. Tickets available from us here online , at Lyon Books in Chico (530) 891-3338), and at Chico Natural Foods Cooperative.
The Community Teaching Garden, on the campus of Shasta College.
GRUB, Chico, a communal, educational farm and CSA, hosting a Harvest Moon Festival on October 23rd: 1 pm – 10 pm a benifet for the GRUB education program. All day learning and games for kids and adults alike! Music and Food starting at 5 pm. $12-$15 for adults. Children 12-5 for $5. 4 &under free. At the GRUB cooperative 1525 Dayton Road, Chico. For more info: Grubchico.org.
McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, with which HELP Shasta is currently developing a teaching and demonstration edible garden.
Photo: School Garden Educator Debra Abbott talking to her kids about the Trombetta squash they grew in their garden. They had lightly cooked it in butter and had it for after-school snack the week before, and the coming week were going to learn how to pickle it.
(available in stock or by special order from Lyon Books in Chico):
“Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children,”
by Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes
“How to Grow a School Garden,” by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle
“The Edible Schoolyard,” by Alice Waters
“The Growing Classroom,” Roberta Jaffe and Gary Appel
“Gardens for Learning,” published by the California School Garden Network
“Gardening with Children,” published by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
“Ready Set Grow!” published by DK Books
“How Groundhog’s Garden Grew,” by Lynne Cherry
“In Defense of Food,” by Michael Pollan
“Healthy Foods from Healthy Soils,” by Elizabeth Patten and Kathy Lyons
“A Seed is Sleepy,” by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
“Eddie’s Garden and How to Make Things Grow,” by Sarah Garland
“The Gardener,” by Sarah Stewart
School Garden Weekly, www.schoolgardenweekly.com (Debra Abbott noted that “The Oct 2 issue has numerous great garden lessons!”)
Life Lab, lifelab.org
Center for Ecoliteracy, www.centerforecoliteracy.org
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom WE Garden cfaitc.org/wegarden
California School Garden Network, www.csgn.org
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children, www.chefann.com
The National Gardening Association, http://www.garden.org/
California Garden Clubs, Inc., http://californiagardenclubs.com/content/youth-programs
Kids Growing Strong, http://kidsgrowingstrong.com/
Bridgette Brick-Wells, Gina Sims and Debra Abbott suggest that if you are interested in starting your own school garden, farm-to-school connection or wellness-policy/healthy school lunch project that you first do a little research (the resources above are a good place to start), then form a committee of helpers and then form a plan. When going after seed-money to start your program, these women recommend that you start local – talk to local foundations, garden clubs, plant societies, nurseries, landscapers and master gardeners. These resources are the most likely to be able to donate small to mid-level funds, materials and/or time and expertise. For a list of local garden clubs, independent nurseries and master gardeners, see the Jewellgarden.com Links and Resources Page. Photo: The 1st graders of Marigold Elementary in Chico have a donated garden bed, soil and seeds on the grounds of their neighboring Magnolia Gift & Garden nursery.
Northstate Public Radio plants and nurtures a remarkable number of seeds in our community throughout the year – including the production of local programming such as In a North State Garden – DONATE HERE AND NOW – you’ll be glad you did! Photo: Snacks from the garden enjoyed by Debra Abbott’s after-school class at McManus Elementary.
In the Garden: note card, journal and 2011 calendar collections. Support In a North State Garden AND Delight the gardeners, readers, writers and food lovers in your life with thoughtful, sophisticated and artfully unique note card sets, journals and calendars from Jewellgarden.com. Dedicated to the art, craft and science of gardening, produced wholly in the North State on recycled papers, Choose from Holiday Cards (shown above) Natives in the Garden, Edibles in the Garden and the NEW Seed Series. Available now on-line or at local fine shops near you. All of Jewellgarden.com’s cards are printed in Chico by Quadco printing using recycled paper and vegetable-based ink in many cases.
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In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California and made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.