Garden for Schools
From Garden to Classroom
A school garden can be integrated into the classroom in many ways. Typically gardens have been used to enhance science lessons. Lessons pertaining to plants are the easiest to teach with a garden but you should not limit yourself to only these types of lessons.
With enough creativity, and an engaged teacher, the garden and its activities can be applied to just about any lesson in the classroom. We teach from the garden and look to inspire a myriad of professional opportunities and careers that the students may not know to exist.
Science and Math have been the subjects most frequently associated with the garden, and obviously the garden lends itself perfectly to teaching about plants and plant growth, yet so many other sciences can be applied including soil compositions, composting, etymology, and the interaction of plants and insects.
Allowing your students to plan and help design the garden can help them learn about measuring, engineering, and budgeting as well as entrepreneurial skills such as profitability and basic business foundations.
History and language arts lessons can also be enhanced from the garden. Teaching different cultural realities, and all the different foods that are grown all over the world we open up our students to the world around them and it all comes from the garden.
Poets and writers have been writing about gardens for centuries, and students may relate to the tale that much easier if they can be involved. A garden is the perfect place for hands-on acute learning, and the more it is used, the more your students will learn from it.
Urban Farming Institute’s Garden Program
The Urban Farming Institute has implemented and developed hundreds of school gardens throughout South Florida, and has a program that will enable your teachers to utilize the garden as a resource center, rather than another layer of work.
In general, teachers that look to develop school gardens have some understanding of the growing principals here in South Florida, and have probably done lots of research on gardening, yet they do not have the time needed throughout their day to properly care for the garden, so we at the Institute have developed a program, where we install the garden, fill it with the proper soils, amendments etc. and set the garden up as an exterior classroom for the teachers.
Once the garden is installed, the Urban Farming Institute will provide teachers with a certified Florida School Garden Curriculum. This curriculum is based upon the age of the students in the program, as well as with all the IFAS master gardener planting schedules, insect management techniques, and feeding requirements.
This “Teach the Teacher” program has valuable lessons from the garden and is guaranteed to enlighten the students in educating them as to where their food comes from, how it’s grown, and the many factors that go into the production of plants.
Once the teachers are provided with this valuable information, the students will then plan out their garden(s) utilizing the square foot gardening method, and ultimately planting the seeds to their very own garden.
On a monthly basis, a certified Urban Farming Institute gardener will visit your school, identify any issues within the garden, follow up on lesson plans so that we maintain a level of accountability and advise and treat whatever issues may be present. These monthly visits or Doctor calls as I like to call them, will allow us to monitor the progress of the garden, as well as, to further educate the teachers and give them professional horticulture advice to make their jobs that much easier.
Please understand, we are not “the landscaper” as that is the job of the students and the teachers. Urban Farming Institute are is your schools horticultural specialist and your source for information and guidance.
Teaching Our Students About Healthy Foods
The Urban Farming Institute will assist you, our fantastic teachers, in educating students how food is grown, produced, and consumed, one garden at a time. Our farm and garden professionals at the Urban Farming Institute will guide you to a successful and sustainable school garden.
To succeed, a garden must be well planned and thought out prior to assembling any kind of bed or other system. This is were we shine the most.