School / Camp / Religious Community Services

green city growers with school kids

Green City Garden Education Programs

Green City Growers’ Garden Education Program involves hands-on gardening activities for all ages. This program is perfect for any community organization, including schools, camps & houses of worship. Participants leave the program proficient in basic vegetable gardening having seen the seeds they’ve sown grow into the food they eat. We challenge our students to think critically about ethical and nutritional issues surrounding food, focusing on their personal behavior and consumption patterns.

The program increases our students’ confidence and ability to make a difference in the world through agricultural and sustainable initiatives. Most importantly, it offers a safe, fun environment for everyone – any age group, from pre-school to elder care – to get their hands dirty and learn about some of the most important issues confronting our planet today.

Education Course Curriculum Outline

Daily activities and topics vary, reflecting each garden’s needs, student ages, student interests and general course progression. When working with young children-teenagers, Green City Growers recommends a more structured curriculum to accentuate important topics and skills. With adults, GCG is flexible as to how structured the program is. We do not require implementation of our curriculum. We are also happy to tie in religious studies and relate the garden to holidays and their meanings (in collaboration with your congregation leader).

Structure

Green City Growers engage participants in the food growing process and discuss where food comes from. A class size of about 10-20 students lasts 1-2 hours and covers basic maintenance and upkeep needed to maintain a successful organic garden while connecting the garden to larger issues surrounding nutrition and food systems.

Hands On Activities: Maintaining an Organic Garden

Growing organic food requires understanding our natural environment’s interconnectedness. We show our students how to identify pest, fungal and bacterial diseases that can hurt or hinder various crop growth. Instead of using toxic chemicals or pesticides to maintain gardens, students are encouraged to apply alternative methods approved by organic standards, and we discuss how those actions relate to both plant and human health.

Relevant garden tasks and concepts

  • Site selection and sun availability
  • Seed-starting
  • Transplanting
  • Weeding
  • Fertilizing organic methods
  • Identifying and troubleshooting pest and fungal problems
  • Harvesting
  • What to do with your harvest (cooking and nutrition)
  • Re-planting
  • Composting
  • Watering

Key Concepts Covered

(Complexity of topic and topics covered will vary depending on the age of the students)

  • Science and Ecosystems
  • Insect and Soil Science
  • Health and Nutrition
  • History of gardening and agriculture
  • Food systems and food access
  • Planting plans, yield statistics, geometry, measuring growth
  • Local food systems and organic agriculture
  • Culinary programs
  • Innovation and engineering
  • Economics of food production

Green City Growers has worked with: Boston Latin School, Devotion School (Brookline), Temple Beth Avodah (pre-school), Conservatory Lab (Brighton), Camp Harbor View, Bright Horizons (Pre-school), Wellesley Middle School and more. GCG also facilitates garden education for 50 residential clients around Eastern MA, many of which have children (2-8 yrs) who work in the garden with our farmers through our “Farmer-in-Training” program.

Additional Information

  • One-time educational consultation: GCG is happy to do a one-time event and educational tutorial with your students. This one-time cost is a good fit for schools without land to install a garden, or who are looking for a less-intensive gardening education program. GCG Staff can cater our visit to your curriculum requests and adapt educational content to different age groups. Materials used, such as containers, soil, and seeds, are not included: $275
  • Beds can be painted or stained to match your landscape or building. A menu of non-toxic wood stains and paints are available upon request.
  • Composting and Rain Water Catchment Programs: GCG is happy to help facilitate additional programming at your school.
  • Fruit trees, berry shrubs and perennials are available on request.
  • Adaptive Raised-Beds: GCG offers adaptive raised-beds for anyone with a bad back, in a wheelchair, or with any condition prohibiting them from bending over. (As seen on Channel 5 Chronicle, July 2010)!
Tany made a great effort to work with the school staff and myself to figure out a partnership that would work for everyone. Each class had a blend of outdoor garden work along with activities that focused on various agricultural and gardening topics...As we move forward, we hope to continue this partnership with GCG. Our project based learning structure works well with the GCG education philosophy. Tany's strong classroom management skills and teacher presence helped make this activity run more smoothly.
--Marissa, Devotion School (Brookline)
i want to eat food grown in my backyard!
October  2014
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