Celebrate Schools Gardens & Living Schoolyards Month on Tuesday, May 26th!

You are invited to a brief presentation, celebration, refreshments and a garden visit on Tuesday, May 26th from 5 – 7pm at Salmon Creek School: 1935 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, CA 95465.

The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) invites School Garden, Living Learnscape and Ecological Literacy champions to join them for an evening to celebrate your dedicated service at the Salmon Creek School in Occidental. Special guest Dr. Ming Wei Koh of the Kohala Center and Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) will share an international perspective on the role of garden-based learning in living schoolyards around the world. A Montessori educator with her PhD in Sustainability Education, her dissertation is an inspiring reference: Discovering Learning, Discovering Self: the effects of an interdisciplinary, standards-based school garden curriculum on elementary students in Hawai’i.

Assembly member Phil Ting of San Francisco authored the Living Schoolyard Month Resolution (ACR-128) to be honored this May. Check out the Living Schoolyard Activity Guide and send photos of your students’ experiences.

RSVP here.  Please bring your colleagues and loved ones to honor your incredible work!  Please feel free to email Vanessa Carter, Resilient Schools Program Director at OAEC, with any questions: vanessa@oaec.org.

Innovative Ways to Fund Your School Garden Program Webinar on Tuesday, May 19, 1:00 pm

Life Lab’s John Fisher and Gardens to Grow In’s Kevin Hesser will share a wide variety of ideas to finance your school garden program. From finding grants and supportive policy, to school garden micro-enterprise and farm-raisers, their discussion will provide funding ideas for all aspects of your school garden, including garden supplies and staffing school garden instructors. John and Kevin’s presentation will share examples of how they have funded the school garden programs that they run, along with insight from other successful garden programs. The webinar is on Tuesday, May 19, at 1:00 pm.  For more details, click here.

FREE Pepper and Tomato PLANTS for School Gardens

FREE  Organic Sweet Cherry Peppers and  Sungold Cherry Tomato plants  for School Gardens!!

Available at the Ceres Garden behind O’Reilly Business offices on 116 north of Sebastopol.

Garden is open 7 days a week.

All the free school garden plants are on the ground next to the greenhouse.

Please do not take from tables or greenhouse.

Contact Laurel <beanblossom61@gmail> if you have any questions or if you take the last plants!

Support our schools at the plant sale this weekend – May 2nd and 3rd!

Wright Charter School and Piner High School will be participating in the Farm Trails Spring Tour this weekend, May 2nd and 3rd.  Wright Charter will be selling plants, lemonade and corn on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to benefit School Garden Network and the 6th grade class. Piner High School will be selling plants on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There are over 500 perennials and vegetable starts for sale!  Proceeds will benefit the high school garden and culinary programs.  For more information on the plant sale, Spring Tour and to receive a map, visit the Farm Trails website.



Join us tonight for a screening of the movie, Fed Up!

The School Garden Network is screening Fed Up at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol TONIGHT (Thursday, April 23) at 7:30 p.m.  This critically acclaimed film, produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David, examines the issues of diabetes and childhood obesity and takes a hard look at the food industry and the wide diversity of sugar laden food that is being sold to an unsuspecting public.  Adults are $10 and students and seniors are $7.50.  You can buy tickets at the door or online.  Proceeds from the screening will benefit school gardens throughout Sonoma County.


An informative and fun day for garden educators!

NutritionWorkshop1School Garden Network recently hosted an informative and fun garden enhanced nutrition education workshop at Salmon Creek Elementary School in Occidental with several different guest speakers. Kaelyn Ramsden, Garden Coordinator at Salmon Creek, shared their Farm to School program which utilizes fresh produce from their ½ acre production garden for their cafeteria. Her colleague, Ciussy, works part-time in the cafeteria and as the cooking teacher in the garden. The dishes that are prepared in the garden are featured on the menu in the cafeteria later in the month. Angie Corwin and Chelsea Sarg spoke about CAFF’s Harvest of the Month program and led the group in some fun activities related to local agriculture. Angie also shared some ideas for funding a Harvest of the Month program. Anthony Lim, a family physician currently practicing at Kaiser in Santa Rosa, discussed what is meant by a “whole foods plant-based diet”, its proven benefits for prevention and treatment of common conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, steps one can take to implement plant-based eating into your daily life, and how school gardens are a critical component of making plant-based eating more mainstream. SGN’s Laurel Anderson spoke about the nuts and bolts of setting up a cooking from the garden program and shared some curricular links, including Botany on Your Plate and Tasting the Rainbow. SGN offers workshops on different topics throughout the year related to gardening, nutrition and environmental education on school campuses. Stay tuned for our next workshop!

FREE Cherry tomato starts at Ceres Garden

SGN has been growing out lots of Sungold and Red Pear Cherry tomato starts for schools.

We’ve left some at Cere’s Garden which is behind the O’Reilly buildings on N 116.

Garden is always open.

Plants are a little leggy. It is fine to plant them very deeply burying 1/2 the stem.

If you take the last few plants please let me know. If dry please water!


Laurel <beanblossom61@gmail.com>

Sonoma County schools invited to take part in Daily Acts Community Resilience Challenge!

Daily Acts is coordinating their 6th year of the Community Resilience Challenge and is dedicated to getting schools, teachers and students more involved with the Challenge this year.

From March through May, Daily Acts rallies individuals and groups to register 7,000 sustainability actions to:

  • Save Water (fixing leaks, installing drip irrigation)
  • Grow Food (garden, raise chickens)
  • Conserve Energy (unplug appliances, take alternative transportation)
  • Reduce Waste (compost, go reusable), and
  • Build Community (host a potluck, buy local).

The Challenge is a CALL TO ACTION; designed to inspire collaborations, to build relationships and strengthen networks for lasting change. Everyone who participates in Sonoma County is eligible for a free yard of Organic Compost and discounts on irrigation and perennials (register today for more details).

 Daily Acts will be distributing posters and fliers at schools as well as doing presentations in classrooms, assemblies, and garden clubs to get students to commit to their own personal action at home or in their communities. If you want to ensure that they come to your school, contact lindsey@dailyacts.org.

Special incentive for School Projects!!

If you are organizing a garden project at your school and need compost or mulch, Daily Acts may be able to help! Sonoma Compost is donating a total of 90 cubic yards of materials (one 40 cubic yard truckload and four 10 cubic yard truckloads) for community and school gardens. To apply, please complete this application form and send it to thechallenge@dailyacts.org no later than April 28th!

How to Get Involved! 

There are many ways a school or classroom can participate in the Challenge. Start by registering your amazing projects already planned! Every action counts and Daily Acts wants to hear what you are doing. Actions can be a school wide project, a classroom project, or a garden project.

If you are currently working on a project or even if you are but want to do more, here are just a few ideas:

  • School clean-up day: pick up all the trash and recycling on the playground and school grounds.
  • Post water and energy saving reminders around school: helpful reminders that are also art projects!
  • Start a classroom worm bin: turn food waste into fertilizer!
  • Conduct a water audit: look for leaks/drips and report them immediately to be fixed!
  • Organize a community garden party: give students (and parents) a chance to get their hands in the dirt!
  • Install a water catchment system: rain barrels capture water for those tasty gardens.
  • Plant a habitat or pollinator garden: feed the bees, butterflies and birds!
  • Sheet mulch lawn areas around campus: get rid of that water guzzling grass and maybe even get a rebate for your efforts.
  • Plant a tree on campus: how about fruit trees that also teach students about food production.

You can find oodles more ideas and inspiration (and a listing of local rebates) on the resources page http://dailyacts.org/crc/resources or on the registration form itself.

Be sure to tell your friends about the Challenge and promote it to your networks. We KNOW we will hit our goal of 7,000 actions but want to blast way past it while AMAZING and INSPIRING others to action!

Please contact Lindsey@dailyacts.org if you would like to have her present to your class about the Challenge or have any other thoughts, questions, or hopes for getting your school involved.

Thank you for your heartfelt support and dedication to Being Part of the Solution Revolution!

Screening of Fed Up: A Movie That Matters

The School Garden Network is screening Fed Up at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol at 7:30 p.m. on April 23rd. Fed Up is a wake up call for the American public.  The film examines the issues of diabetes and childhood obesity and takes a hard look at the food industry and the wide diversity of sugar laden food that is being sold to an unsuspecting public.  Bring your family and friends to this important movie.  Adults are $10 and students and seniors are $7.50.  You can buy tickets at the door or online.  Proceeds from the screening will benefit school gardens throughout Sonoma County.


OAEC School Garden Teacher Training Coming up in June!

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center is offering a School Garden Teacher Training June 8 – 12 and June 29 – July 3 to empower educators to integrate ecological literacy into their living learnscapes.  For more information on the training, click here.  To apply to the course, click here.