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School Garden

Compost Tea

Nov 14, 2022

Brew Compost Tea

Making compost tea is a fun and easy way to increase the microbe population in your soil and in turn, improve soil health. Compost tea is a liquid produced by extracting beneficial microbes from compost much like you extract flavor when steeping tea. The most common type of compost tea is aerated compost tea. This… 

soil microbes

Nov 14, 2022

Soils 101: Soil Microbes

Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself.” We may not know whether he specifically recognized the value of microbes to soil health, but he certainly understood the value of healthy productive soil to a society. Today, agronomists (soil scientists) and gardeners alike know that microbes are a key indicator… 

Information Text Examples

Nov 14, 2022

Support Informational Text Lessons with Garden + Pollinators

Teaching reading standards for informational text can be a challenge. Students have such a wide variety of interests it can be difficult to find one that engages all students. Pairing reading informational text with visits to the school garden can help to increase engagement.  Pollinators is one topic that most students will find interesting. When… 

Soil Your Undies

Sep 20, 2022

Soil your Undies

Healthy soil contains billions of microscopic organisms. Just one teaspoon of healthy soil contains more microbes than there are people on the planet! Soil microbes are constantly feeding on organic matter, like cotton underwear.  The Soil Your Undies Challenge started in Oregon as a way to bring awareness to soil health. Simply bury a pair of cotton… 

Soil Graphic

Sep 20, 2022

Soils 101: Why soil, not dirt?

Why is it that people like me (Doug) get bothered when someone refers to soil as “dirt”? Are there grounds for this minor irritation? (Perhaps.) Is it fair to expect those new to the world of gardening and the great outdoors to differentiate between two apparently synonymous words? (Probably not.) Let’s dig in and take… 

Soil Story Clip

Sep 20, 2022

Grow Your Soil

Last year our focus was on Social Emotional Learning; this year we will take a deep dive into soil. Each issue of our newsletter for the 2022-23 school year will include an article about some aspect of soil and supporting resources for you to explore. Climate change may seem like a daunting concept. Understanding carbon movement is… 

May 27, 2022

Growing School Gardens Summit

Amy and Doug were presenters at the Growing School Gardens Summit in Denver, Colorado, April 22-25. The conference gathered 400 folks together who are invested in school gardens. Those 400 participants represented 6,000 school gardens utilized by 2.5 million students. Among the attendees were three teachers Amy and Doug have worked with in the Cabarrus County School… 

May 27, 2022

Lessons from the Garden

I am often amazed at how many life lessons we can learn from observing the garden and how plants communicate their needs. Consider these three unexpected ways that students may relate to plants. 1. Let’s start with boundaries. I have struggled with setting boundaries in the past. I was worried about upsetting someone or letting others… 

May 27, 2022

Growing Sweet Potato Slips

Sweet potatoes are typically started by planting bare-root vegetative cuttings that have just begun to grow roots. Sweet potatoes are our favorite crop to plant at the end of the school year to provide a weed barrier in the beds through summer, while producing a crop that is ready to harvest when school starts back.…