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Michele, have you ever thought of doing worm composting with the kids? It's a really fun, hands-on way to teach them about biology, composting, and sustainability. It doesn't have to replace outdoor composting in a program, but rather can augment it. Let me know if you're interested and I can get some more information to you about a program Nature's Footprint has for schools!

Very good post! We have tried to address some of your points in designing our low-maintenance garden system which has been used in schools around the country (i.e. a watering system and wide walkways) - please take a look

What your doing for the kids at Lake Ave. is so great. We check it out when we drive,walk or wheel by. It's fun to watch it grow and see you so up on most Friday's after you've been cooking or gardening there!

Good for you...............Have found nothing but road blocks in Ulster and Dutchess counties with getting involved with charitable events. Capital District Community Gardens is another one...asks for volunteers then no one calls you


We've had great luck with families who sign up to care for the garden during the summer - one family per week signs up to water at least twice a week - our water source requires a "key" tool, but we have permission to use a pair of pliers that will turn the water on instead. My biggest worry was taking care of the garden during the summer, but families have been very responsible!

It sounds like you have brilliant people working together to make something very educational and magical happen--what lucky, lucky kids! Great post!

Please - only request one catalog. The kids'll learn to share/take turns, and the environment will thank you! :-)

Sounds like your having great fun Michele...

And don't let anyone know I told you this, but the super-secret plumber/custodian special key for turning the spigot on and off can be had at any plumbing supply store (or big box store in the plumbing section) for about $5 a pop.

And pliers do work too. :-)

Garden on!

How do you manage the summer work? I'd love to talk to my daughter's elementary school about doing something like this, but where we live, most of the harvest is during the time that school is out. I know that we could do greens, but from my own gardening experience with kids, that's not their favorite vegetable.

Great post. The success of gardening with school kids is such a lift to the spirit of one who's been listening to a lot of 'bad' news these days.
Thank you for doing such important work!

Hi Michele,

This is a fan note from a fellow gardener. I just picked up your book "Grow the Good Life" after reading about it somewhere. I find we have very similar experiences and are kindred gardeners in many ways, both starting our first garden the same year, me in Seattle and you in New York. I find it could have been me writing this book because I feel so many of the same things about unnecessary garden products, ridiculous over use of pesticides and "kill" products at the local garden sections of Home Depot, soil testing?? never done it, probably never will. My garden feeds my family of 6, with plenty to share. I teach a garden class to Montessori K-2 and it is so popular with the kids. They just soak it all up and are amazingly enthusiastic, though messy. I'm not entirely a kid person either, but seeing how excited they get makes it all worth it. I love your blog!!

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