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

    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.

    Project objectives:

    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:

    1. Sustainability.  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.
    2. Nourishment. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Academics. 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 China Silk Road could be played out in a kitchen game where students must trade for ingredients to prepare a culturally relevant dish.
    5. Communication. Cooperation is essential to the 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 varieties.
    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.