School Garden Post-Fire Resource Group

After the tragic fires in our county many of us are grappling with what effect the ash and residue may have on our crops and gardens. This question is additionally vexing when you’re in charge of managing a school garden, the purpose of which is to encourage kids to dig and pick and eat from the plants.

Unfortunately we don’t have any bright line answers yet, but School Garden Network wanted to create this group as a forum for sharing resources on this ever evolving research project. We invite you to share your questions and findings and experiences. Hopefully this will provide some of the support that is needed in our community so we can get our students back to learning in nature.

Please spread the invite to this google group far and wide!

Thank you for what you do,

Lauren Bowne
Executive Director

Click to Join School Garden Resource Group

 

Has your school garden been impacted by the fires?

Dear School Garden educators and supporters,

This past week has been extremely difficult for our community as we come to realize the collective loss and changed landscape caused by the horrific fires in our county. Most students in our county lost a week of school and some are still not able to return to their normal routines due to the poor air quality. Even more dire are the schools that sustained fire damage.

We are interested to know about any and all schools that sustained significant damage in the fires, and are planning to do some fundraising to help revitalize gardens at these schools. We know that it takes a lot of donated time and money to get a garden program started at a school and fire damage could be devastating to those efforts. We want to do everything we can to make sure that existing school garden programs continue to thrive.

If your school garden sustain damage please fill out this form to inform us:

 

GOT MULCH? Learn how to get FREE deliveries to your school garden

MULCH! Great for defining pathways, keeping fruits trees insulated through summer highs and winter lows, mulch is a school garden essential. But did you know you could get it delivered for FREE to your school garden?

The Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Water Agency) Stream Maintenance Program travels throughout the county to conduct routine maintenance on creeks and riparian zones. This means that every day in the summer there will be crews out in the field creating tons of mulch. The Water Agency is always looking for locations adjacent to their creek work to deliver large amounts of mulch, up to 15 cubic yards at a time. If there is a creek crew near you, you may be able to line up a FREE mulch delivery!

Important information:

  • FREE mulch delivery is available to schools conveniently located close to Water Agency creek work sites and is not guaranteed for every school.
  • Mulch deliveries will be scheduled in accord with the Water Agency’s creek work schedule.
  • Trucks must be able to drive up to the mulch drop locations for a  speedy delivery.
  • Garden/school staff must be on-site to orient drivers and arrange drop.
  • Mulch is delivered in large volumes- about 15 cubic yards at a time! Partial drops will not be scheduled.
  • Mulch will be comprised of riparian species including a mix of willow, bay, oak, and more.

To inquire about scheduling a FREE mulch delivery to your school garden this summer, contact Jon Niehaus at 707-521-1845 or email him at Jon.Niehaus@scwa.ca.gov.

Workshop! Growing “Slow” in the School Garden

Growing a Slow School Garden

Join The School Garden Doctor, Slow Food Napa Valley, and the School Garden Task Force for an engaging day in a Slow Food School Garden. In this workshop, we will demonstrate lessons from  the latest Slow Food USA Curriculum, “Good, Clean, Fair,” including an authentic experience in a commercial kitchen. We will engage in scientific exploration and observation, and connect school garden lessons to curricular standards. In addition, we will share tried and true techniques taken from the model program at Pueblo Vista Magnet School including garden planning and maintenance, material and financial resources, and volunteer and community engagement. Our local Master Gardeners will introduce Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Guidelines.

For more details and to register, Click Here.

Friday, June 16th 9 am – 3 pm

Saturday, June 17th 9 am – 12 pm

Pueblo Vista Magnet School 1600 Barbara Rd, Napa, 94558

15 flats of tomato starts available for schools

Avalow has extra tomato plants for schools!! Contact Marley Hutchinson at marley@avalow.com to pick up what you need.  She is also available by phone at (720) 987-7673.

Thank you Avalow!

 

 

Lots of Free Seeds at the SGN Seed Library

Hi school gardeners

Time to start thinking about starting your cool spring crops like kales, chards, and broccoli from seed.

Thanks to a generous donation from Harmony Farm Supply we have lots of new seeds in the SGN Seed Library at the Share Exchange Annex.You must pick up a key for the Annex from the Share Exchange Market Place  which is just across the street. Seeds are in a filing cabinet on your left in the annex.

If you want a refresher course on propagating from seed you might like the to come to the free class, Starting from Seed at the  Community Seed Exchange – February 25th from 11:00 am – 12:00pm. Come early and check out the hundreds of locally grown seeds free to you!

 

 

WillowMagic in the School Garden!

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Sherry Gibson, of Wild Woodswoman Creations in Sebastopol, has been designing and creating garden art in North Bay area schools for the last four years using both living willow and nonliving willow for a fun rustic look.
She is currently taking appointments to come and discuss possibilities for installations of living willow structures: faery huts, tipis, shade structures, living chairs and benches, and fences to name a few.
Non living willow projects are also available for trellises, gates, fences, tunnels, bird blinds for wildlife observation, and any other garden infrastructure that can be imagined.IMG_1477IMG_1548IMG_1689
 Any option can be created alone by Sherry Gibson, with the participation of students as a garden project, or open to parents and the public as a fundraiser, with dates being selected from mid-November 2016 through  mid-February 2017.
Schools receive a deep discount on all projects, and price includes free site consultation, construction, materials, and a one year seasonal maintenance plan. Payment plans are an option as needed by any school.
Contact Sherry for further information and/or to make an appointment for a free school visit.
707-978-0260

Free Salvias have all been taken!

We’ll let you know when we get

more!!

Free Salvias for School Gardens for pick up from Ceres Garden in Sebastopol

This is the perfect time to plant perennials and we have lots of salvias for pick up at the Ceres Garden behind the O’Reilly Media offices off 1005 Gravenstein Hwy North in Sebastopol.

Soquel Nursery has generously donated hundreds of Salvia Greggii ( Autumn Sage ) which are  a  favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies!These airy salvias bloom summer – fall, are drought tolerant and grow to about 3’x3′.

They will need to be cut back occasionally to keep them from getting too leggy. I  suggest cutting them back by half at this time and after their first bloom of summer you could trim back by one third. They are in 1 gallon pots.

Remember to plant them in groups of 3 at least!

Hopefully, Soquel Nursery will continue to donate  perennials once or twice a month.

Consider if you are coming from afar to bring back plants for other schools in your region.  Let me know if you need contact information for schools in your area.

Please only take plants adjacent to our SGN sign. Do NOT remove plants from tables or plants set aside from the SGN area!!!

Join the Compost Club – Recycle Organic Waste on Your School Campus!

Dear Sonoma County Teachers (grades 3-12).

It is my pleasure to inform you of a great opportunity to teach your students how to take action to reduce climate change! Students will learn how to recycle orgaputcompost.here_-150x150nic waste on your school campus!

The North Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council can come to YOUR school in Sonoma County and offer a classroom presentation by a skilled presenter on recycling wastes to useful compost through onsite natural, biological processes using compost worms. This vermiculture system intrigues children, and motivates discussion on reducing wastes and greenhouse gas production.

Our presenters can deliver a one hour “Recycling Changes Everything” presentation to classrooms in Sonoma County this fall and many schools will receive a small classroom Rubbermaid worm bin for use in the classroom…including the worms!

The Compost Club of Healdsburg (http://compostclub.org) initiated this program in 2003 and has supported more than twenty sites (schools, wineries, retreat centers, detention facilities) who now divert their organic waste– more than 338,000 lbs. of organic waste have been diverted since the effort began. With the recent closure of Sonoma Compost, now is the time to keep waste in place instead of the alternative – hauling our waste to the East Bay each day. The Compost Club and the Council provide this environmental education outreach on “Vermiculture In the School” through grant funds and our services and materials are provided free of charge.

Schools which participate in the outreach presentations may also become eligible to receive a free onsite worm bin and training for campus-wide waste recycling in the future, as these schools will have priority for system installations when new grant funding is available.

You can contact us at ncrcandd@sonic.net or call Oona Heacock @ 707-293-8656