Growing the Next Generation: Lessons from North's Garden Based Learning Workshop
At North Elementary's Garden Based Learning Workshop, in late July, attendees learned the intricate plans setup to help parent and faculty volunteers successfully tend, harvest, and sell produce at the Morgantown Farmer's Market throughout the growing season.
Each Spring, at the North's Harvest Party and Open House, they use the evening to recruit parent volunteers to help them tend the garden for one week at a time or help harvest and sell at the farmer's market.
Tending the Garden: Once summer starts a Master Gardener or the school's Farm to School AmeriCorps member meet each week to teach the volunteer family how to care for and manage the school garden. The family is asked to track and document growth, monitor for pests, and watering in a garden log. Families are compensated with fresh produce from the garden.
Harvesting and Selling at Market: Master Gardeners and the school's Farm to School AmeriCorps member also help families who have volunteered to oversee and sell at the farmer's market. On Friday evening, the family harvests and packages school garden produce. On Saturday, they set up the school's table and produce at the market. Students are responsible for customer service, selling their produce, and giving change to customers.
While setting up and selling at the Market is fun for students and families who volunteer; it also meets and reinforces standards of learning in Math and English/Language Arts (including but not limited to: using tally marks, recording data, subtracting, and developing speaking skills). The meeting and reinforcing standards of learning, is not something North Elementary takes lightly when it comes to garden based learning, for more lessons and curriculum from North, please check out their Garden Based Learning Curriculum.
Photos courtesy of Anne Lupo, Assistant Principal, North Elementary