Autumn Fun in the School Gardens

Fall 2017 was a fantastic season with our school gardens! Our school garden educators ran the after-school Dirt Club, winterized the garden beds for Farmer Days, and started our inaugural year of the Junior Master Gardeners program around the county.

Dirt Club was a blast this year! Kids at Needham, Park, and Riverview Elementary all participated in our biannual after school program. We did everything from harvesting veggies to finding bugs to decorating scarecrows! PS- if you want to join in the fun, our Spring Dirt Club is coming to the same schools in April & May so sign up before it fills up. Below is our fantastic scarecrow from Riverview’s Dirt Club (It was ninja themed!):

 

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Farmer Days closed out the autumn gardening season at Needham and Riverview Elementary. At Needham, Farmer Days was led by our wonderful school garden educators with the help of many local farmers. Teachers would bring their classes out for 30 minutes at a time to close down one of the garden beds while also getting to meet some of the folks that grow their food. Many of these farmers participate in the Farm-To-School program, so they actually supply fresh veggies to the cafeterias during the growing season.

At Riverview, Farmer Days was led by one-time Garden Project board member/ amazing science teacher Charlie Love. He would take his classes down to the Ohana Kuleana Community Garden where each of his grades has a garden bed. There, with the help of our school garden educators and local farmers, we would put the beds to sleep while throwing in a quick science lesson. All the students had a blast participating in this, as shown by this photo of the kids (and Will, one of our AmeriCorps members) getting a refreshing spray from the hose as a reward for working so hard:


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We are excited to be starting up our Junior Master Gardener programs for 2nd graders across the county! This is a close partnership between The Garden Project & Colorado State University 4-H program. We’re teaching all the 2nd graders at Needham, Animas Valley, and Fort Lewis Mesa Elementary this year about concepts relating to the garden. This Autumn, we taught them about the importance of eating fresh foods, weather & seasonality, and seed saving! We are hoping to expand these lessons even more in the coming years, and are grateful to have Greg Felson from the 4-H program to be working alongside us to teach these important lessons. Below, some 2nd grade students from Needham Elementary show off some cherry tomatoes the harvested during the lessons:

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