Edible Schoolyard Bedford

Project Overview

YENC17-113
Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2017: $1,998.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2019
Grant Recipient: North Lawrence Community School System
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Manager:
Jamie Hooten
Lincoln Elementary School/Lincoln Green Thumbs

Information Products

NLCS: Elementary School Garden Guide (Article/Newsletter/Blog, Book/Handbook, Course or Curriculum, Database, Manual/Guide, Website)

Commodities

  • Agronomic: corn, mustard, peas (field, cowpeas), potatoes, radish (oilseed, daikon, forage), sunflower
  • Fruits: apples, berries (blueberries), berries (other), berries (strawberries), cherries, melons, peaches, pears
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), onions, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, trees
  • Animals: bees, Raised and set Monarch Butterflies, Praying Mantises, and Ladybugs free in our garden.

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health
  • Crop Production: continuous cropping, cover crops, crop rotation, double cropping, food processing, food processing facilities/community kitchens, food product quality/safety, greenhouses, high tunnels or hoop houses, irrigation, multiple cropping, no-till, nurseries, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, pollination, pollinator habitat, pollinator health, season extension types and construction, seed saving, water storage, windbreaks, winter storage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, focus group, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, study circle, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, farmers' markets/farm stands
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement
  • Pest Management: compost extracts, mulches - general, mulching - vegetative, prevention, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, permaculture
  • Soil Management: composting, earthworms, organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, community planning, community services, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, food hubs, partnerships, social networks, sustainability measures, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    This project seeks to improve and expand school gardens in the North Lawrence Community School System by connecting three teachers to learn more about options for curriculum integration and plant management from the Edible Schoolyard Academy in Berkeley, California. Project activities will include: 1) intensive group study of three different books about school garden development, 2) tours of 3-4 existing school garden programs in the Indianapolis area that are currently affiliated with the Edible Schoolyard Project Network, 3) development and expansion of an NLCS school garden demonstration site at Lincoln Elementary, and 4) district garden trainings for teachers.

     

    Detailed Project Plan and Timeline

    Students will specifically learn about sustainable agriculture through engagement with a garden classroom and school kitchen. The curriculum used in this space will follow the Edible Schoolyard model and focus on the following essential elements, all connected to the three pillars of a sustainable food system:

    • By providing physical and sensory engagement with the garden classroom, students will have the opportunity to touch, see, taste, and smell the natural world. The more they engage with the garden, the deeper their personal connection to the environment becomes. When students have a personal relationship with the natural world, they are more likely to become responsible land stewards as adults. A related lesson could be a compost experiment, where different types of small compost piles are built, managed, and compared to learn about matter cycles and soil microbe populations.
    • Students will have the opportunity to engage with the whole process of growing food; seeding plants, weeding, watering and harvesting them. We will then work with our school cafeteria to create opportunities for the students to practice eating the healthy fruits and vegetables that come from the garden. An example lesson could connect discussion of My Plate and the importance of vegetables in human health, to preparation and eating of a basic dressing and salad that incorporates different greens from the garden.
    • Life Skills. In collaboration with our school cafeteria, we will provide opportunities for students to learn and. practice cooking skills. They will experiment with reading recipes, selecting foods and spices that go together, using kitchen tools, and preparing healthy, balanced, delicious, and affordable meals. An example lesson could include preparing a soup with vegetables harvested from the fall garden and then calculating the cost of the meal ingredients, comparing the expense of store-bought produce with that harvested from a home garden.
    • Comprehension of traditional academic subjects will be improved by student engagement with the garden classroom. A science lesson about the water cycle and the greenhouse effect can be connected to the role of different garden mulches to conserve moisture and foster drought resilience in a changing climate. A history lesson about the ancient trade routes of the Chine Silk Road could be played out in a kitchen game where students must trade for ingredients to prepare a culturally relevant dish.
    • Communication. Cooperation is essential to th!;! success and sustainability of any community. Hands on work projects in the garden will provide students opportunities to work with and learn alongside other students who are different from them. They can practice collaboration and teamwork to successfully complete a common goal, learning important listening and leadership skills. An example lesson could be assigning groups of students to collectively press cider and present about the diversity of apple

     

    Implementation Timeline:

    March- May 2017

    • Purchase books for garden team group study:
    1. Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea by Alice Waters
    2. How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers by Bucklin-Sporer and Pringle
    3. The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy, & Art by Cathy James
      • Establish framework for garden expansion at Lincoln Elementary: install raise beds, fill with soil, mulch paths, start seeds, plant fruit

     

    June and July 2017

    • Host weekly Edible Schoolyard garden book study at Lincoln Elementary
    • Tour 3-4 Indianapolis school gardens affiliated with the Edible Schoolyard Project Possible locations include: a) IPNButler University Laboratory School Garden, b) Paramount School of Excellence STEAM Program, c) The Orchard School, d) IPS #87.
    • Teaching team experiments with garden design and August 2017
    • Share a slideshow about summer garden research and experiments with all Lincoln Elementary teachers at the start of the school
    • Collaborate with interested teaching team to design curriculum and garden changes based on information learned through summer book study and Indianapolis garden
    • Plant Lincoln Elementary fall garden at the beginning of the school year. September and October 2017
    • Continue garden management
    • Implement new lesson plans
    • Organize 2-4 kitchen classes with NLCS Food Service Director and Lincoln Cafeteria November 2017 - February 2018
    • Compile an el ctronic resource binder for other corporation schools interested in starting a garden. Include sample garden design, planting and maintenance schedule, garden budget, fundraising resources, volunteer resources, and lesson
    • Prepare presentation about lessons learned from book study, garden tours, and implementation at Lincoln Elementary demonstration site. Share presentation at staff meetings for four NLCS schools in the city of Bedford: Parkview Elementary, Parkview Intermediate, Stalker Elementary, and Bedford Middle School.
    • Answer questions from interested teachers. Work with Purdue Extension and Master Gardeners to help other schools develop their own garden project
    • Create 2018 Lincoln Elementary Garden plan, based on ESY examples and
    • Develop additional lesson plans, based on ESY examples and

     

    April-May 2018

    • Prep and plant spring and summer gardens.
    • Implement new ESY lesson
    • Organize a family volunteer group to manage the gardens over summer
    • June-July 2018
    • Organize and implement bi-weekly summer enrichment activities based in the
    • Compile an electronic resource binder for other corporation schools interested in starting a Include sample garden design, planting and maintenance.schedule,garden budget, fundraising resources, volunteer resources, and lesson samples.
    • Attend the Edible Schoolyard Academy training in Berkeley,

     

    August 2018

    • Hold open house for NLCS teachers and students to see progress and changes at the Lincoln Elementary

     

    Resources Used

    Information for carrying out this project will primarily come from the Edible Schoolyard Project.  We will rely heavily on the book Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea by founder Alice Waters. The ESY website also has a wide variety of lesson ideas, informational videos, article links, recipes, evaluation tools, volunteer management resources, fundraising suggestions, and more. http://edibleschoolyard.org/resources-tools. Our field trips to ESY affiliated school gardens in Indianapolis will also be hugely informative.  In addition, we will utilize information from the other two selected study texts: How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers and The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy, & Art.

    We will continue to work with our local implementation partners as well.  The Land of Limestone Master Gardeners, Indiana University Hilltop Garden Center, and Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program all have a wealth of relevant expertise and have been involved in helping to develop the Lincoln Elementary school garden

    as it exists today. They are excited to continue working with us and also eager to help support our efforts to share information about the value of gardens with other teachers and schools in our North Lawrence Community School System.

    We also hope to work closely with the Indiana Farm to School Program, helping them to connect with our NLCS Food Service Program by way of our garden project. Information on their website includes important resources about food safety, finding and procuring local produce for meals, as well as policy and protocol suggestions for safely dealing with garden produce in cafeterias.

    Finally, we will continue to seek out community donations for funding garden improvements and kitchen classes. To date we have succeeded in raising enough funds and plant donations to start our garden from the following sources: Donorschoose.org, the Live Monarch Foundation, Walmart, the Land of Limestone Master Gardeners, and the Captain Planet Foundation.

     

    Outreach

    Outreach will be a very important part of this project. We want to share the information we learn from our studies of the Edible Schoolyard model with other teachers in our corporation, in the hope that they will be inspired to start their own school gardens. The long-term vision is to have a network of ESY based gardens across the NLCS district.

    Our specific outreach plan will include the followings steps:

    • August 2017- Share a slideshow about ESY ideas with all Lincoln Elementary teachers at the start of the school
    • August 2017- Collaborate with interested teaching team to design curriculum and garden changes based on information learned through ESY: A Universal Idea for fall semester at Lincoln Elementa ry.
    • November 2017-February 2018- Prepare presentation about lessons learned from ESY: AUi and implementation at Lincoln Elementary. Share presentation at staff meetings for four NLCS schools in the city of Bedford: Parkview Elementary, Parkview Intermediate, Stalker Elementary, and Bedford Middle School. Compile an electronic resource binder to make available for other corporation schools interested in starting a garden. Include sample garden designs, suggested planting and maintenance schedule, garden start-up budget, fundraising resources, volunteer resources, and lesson
    • November 2017 - February 2018- Answer questions from interested teachers. Work with Purdue Extension and Master Gardeners to help other schools develop their own garden project
    • June-July 2018- Compile an electronic resource binder to make available for other corporation schools interested in starting a garden. Include sample garden designs, suggested planting and maintenance schedule, garden start-up budget, fundraising resources, volunteer resources, and lesson
    • August 2018- Hold open house for all NLCS corporation teachers, students, and families to see progress and changes at the Lincoln Elementary .

     

    Student and Community Impact

    We hope this project will have three primary impacts:

    • Inspire students to understand, value, and develop a personal relationship with the natural
    • Inspire students to understand the relationship between the health of the environment and the health of their own bodies.
    • Inspire other teachers in our school district to realize the value of outdoor experiential education for students, helping them to discover new ways of teaching required state

    Impact will be measured several simple ways:

    • Head counts for the number of students and the number of teachers involved with every garden activity, event, and lesson at Lincoln Elementary School August 2017-August 2018.
    • We will also implement a pre and post survey for students enrolled in the classes of the primary garden teaching team at Lincoln Elementary. The first survey will be conducted in August 2017 at the start of the school year. The follow-up will take place just before the end of the school year in May 2018. Survey questions will evaluate student experience in the garden, their understanding of central biological and ecological concepts as well as related food and nutrition concepts. The survey will be kept fairly short, 10-15 questions, framed for the appropriate grade
    • Impact will also be measured by a count of the number of teachers who attend our presentations about the ESY model and by a second count of the number of teachers that become involved in or schools that implement their own school garden.

     

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Improve the Lincoln Elementary school garden by sending three involved teachers to learn more about options for curriculum integration and plant management from the Edible Schoolyard Academy in Berkeley, California.
    2. Inspire students to understand, value, and develop a personal relationship with the natural world.
    3. Engage students with understanding the relationship between the health of the environment and the health of their own bodies.
    4. Provide a model and resources for other teachers in our school district to realize the value of outdoor experiential education for students, helping them to discover new ways of teaching required state curriculum.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.