Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

5 simple steps for students to start a community garden

Decatur High school senior, Anna Rose Gable, shares five tips that can help any student get their dream garden off the ground.

  1. Educate yourself - Become acquainted with gardens and resources in your community, and get involved so you know what you're getting yourself into. I was lucky to have Oakhurst and Gaia right down the street.
  2. Show you are serious - I converted a weedy school flower bed into a vegetable garden and maintained it for two years whilst writing bylaws, an annotated bibliography of garden-building resources, a preliminary garden layout, and a research paper about sustainable agriculture education. Talking to a lot of people will help you develop the plan, and they will become useful allies later on!
  3. Make your voice heard - In order to gain recognition and permission for the project, I had to visit the principal's office on a daily basis. Teaming up with a parent (the PTSA Building and Grounds Committee chair) got things moving much faster.
  4. Get people involved - Parents, teachers, staff, community members, and, most importantly, students. You will need everyone's support. In Decatur, Google Groups has been very effective at getting adults in on the act, while Facebook has helped a lot on the student front.
  5. Speak up! Finally, you'll need people to find funding, communicate with the school and community, contribute physical labor and donate supplies. They are out there - all you have to do is ask. 

Good luck. I'll be over here in Decatur doing the same!
 
Anna Rose is a senior at Decatur High School. After interning at the Oakhurst Community Garden, she undertook an independent study in organic farming, and established a small garden on the school campus. This year, many hours of dreaming and planning are coming to fruition with the creation of the DHS Community Garden.

Environmental Benefits of Trees

  • One acre of trees produce enough oxygen for 18 people every day and keeps pollutants in check.
  • Trees absorb and deflect sunlight which cools the air and alters rainfall patterns.
  • Trees act as natural water filters and help reduce runoff, soil erosion and flooding.
  • Trees absorb sound waves, reducing noise pollution.
  • Trees create natural environments which attract and provide habitats for birds and other wildlife.

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Gardening with the Moon

Though we do have a year-round garden season in Georgia, the weeks during winter are definitely a quiet time in the garden.  This is a great time to do some garden planning, and this lesson calls on children to make the connection between the moon and plants as they plan their spring vegetable garden.  This is a great lesson for bridging the second grade standards of life cycles and motions of celestial bodies.
 
Ideally, this lesson would be followed by planting seeds at each phase of the moon and tracking their growth, but it can simply be used to bring awareness to phases of the moon while executing spring garden planning.

Click here to view the lesson and here to view the answer chart.

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