Put Your Plan to Paper
By now, seed catalogs are filling up mailboxes and inspiring experienced and novice gardeners, alike. (Request one this year and you’ll have multiple catalogs to review next winter!) Make a list of what worked and what didn’t in the garden last year, and set your priorities for spring. Get students involved in the planning process by having them graph out garden possibilities on paper. Or encourage them to research and create a “fantasy” garden based on a favorite book, TV show, video game, or sport. Pass around those seed catalogs and see what their creative minds come up with. A football garden might feature football-shaped Touchdown Cantaloupe, potatoes for potato chips, cotton for team jerseys…
Investigate Fundraising Opportunities
Raise money for your garden by selling copies of Our Generous Garden and the bilingual Nuestra Huerta Generosa, a true story of children who start a vegetable garden at their school and change their community. Contact us for details.
Apply for Grants
Grants are offered for just about every kind of garden initiative, from teaching healthy eating habits to tolerance. Explore the many grants out there, gather your information, and get writing. Start exploring grants.
Build a Bird Feeder
Draw in our feathered friends with easy-to-make bird feeders using pine cones (collect them with students if you have them on your school property), peanut butter and bird seed. Tie a string onto the pine cone, coat the cone with peanut butter using a plastic knife or popsicle stick, roll it in a bucket of bird seed and hang on trees or structures near your classroom window. This is a messy project, so you may want to have plenty of shallow boxes to hold students’ feeders until they get hung up outside. We've heard you can substitute suet for peanut butter if peanut allergies are an issue.
Garden Ice Sculptures
Take scissors and go on a winter scavenger hunt to collect bits of evergreen, pine cones, sticks, bark, winter berries, etc. Arrange the items in buckets and old plastic containers – one for each child – and pour water over them. Set them outdoors for one to two days, depending on the weather. (This process may be best done outdoors so the students don’t get wet carrying water-filled containers.) Once frozen, turn the buckets over to release the ice. (You may need to dip them in warm water first, or bring them inside for a few minutes if they’re really frozen hard.) Arrange the sculptures along the walkway to the school or around the garden.
copyright Anne Nagro