Lessons

Our garden-based activities are appropriate for one afternoon, a six week project, or can be incorporated into a longer program.  Most are designed for grades 2-8, though easily adaptable. Formats vary from one pagers to full length publications.

Activities – short, stand-alone lessons
Curricula – designed to be taught in multiple sessions, though specific activities can be pulled and taught on their own
Booklets – resources on program development, planning, long-term sustainability, fundraising, as well as some curriculum ideas

Activities

Drying Flowers Drying Flowers– Learn how to air-dry flowers, a technique you can use with a variety of flowers and which produces a rich array of effects.
Forcing Bulbs Forcing Bulbs – Learn how you can make bulbs to flower out of season for indoor enjoyment. Two types of bulbs are especially easy to “force” — amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus.
Forcing Twigs Forcing Twigs – Find out how spring flowering trees and shrubs can be forced into bloom after they have completed their winter dormancy requirement.
Funwithnaturalplantdyes Fun With Natural Plant Dyes – Find out how the science of dyeing has evolved through history, and engage in natural dyeing experiments. This activity includes an excellent colorful handout for students.
grapevine wreaths Grapevine Wreaths – A perfect fall activity – collect grapevines and create holiday wreathes with different themes.
Spider Plants Grow Spider Plants – Learn how to grow spider plants – these easy-to-propagate houseplants are terrific for beginning gardeners, or new gardeners on the go! They are very satisfying to work with and will provide you with enough plantlets to both grow and give away.
Plant Clinic Houseplant Clinic– In the snowy depths of winter, a plant clinic can be the perfect thing for reviving tired houseplants (and winter-weary people as well!)
hypertufa Hypertufa – Learn about concrete and its history while working together to make hypertufa planters.
making fresh flower arrangements Making Fresh Flower Arrangements – Handling and arranging fresh flowers is one of the easiest and most pleasant ways to bring the outdoors in!
making potpourrti Making Potpourri– Youth will make flower-petal beads while exploring Native American culture and art.
Making Rose Petal Beads Making Rose-Petal Beads– Youth will make flower-petal beads while exploring Native American culture and art.
Untitled Sachets and Catnip Bags– Sachets have been historically appreciated for their sweet fragrance.
To Tent or Tunnel Season Extension: To Tent or Tunnel– Find out ways to get an early start with spring vegetables or extend the season of your fall garden.
Starting Plants from Plants Starting Plants from Seeds– This is the perfect April activity – starting seeds captures the promise of a new season!
Strawberries Strawberry Yields Forever– Try out some tasty experiments with day-neutral strawberries.
turtle Turtle Sprouts– Join educators around New York State with this easy, introductory garden-based learning activity for children.

 

Curricula

Picking lettuce Children’s Garden Consultants – Youth become experts in children’s garden design by critically comparing a variety of gardens, and exploring ways to improve them.
Young artist Dig Art! Cultivating Creativity in the Garden – Integrates gardening with the arts. Activities teach ecological literacy through visual art, music, performance, and more.
discovering food system photo Discovering Our Food System – An experiential learning program about how food gets from farm to table, and how we – as eaters – are part of the process.
Garden_in_the_city Garden in the City (PDF)- Designed for youth and adults who have had little experience with gardening and limited space. Information covers starting seeds, planning the garden, cleaning the site, breaking ground, planting, weeding, thinning, and harvesting. It also lists the supplies and tools you’ll need, and suggests related group activities.
Military families Gardening with Military Family Members – Tools especially for military helping professionals and military family members to start and sustain gardening efforts.
orangebox Living Sculpture – Art made with plants. Introduces simple and more involved projects, including topiary, woven branch art, sod sculpture, crop art and more.
diversitylogo One Seed at a Time: Fighting Climate Change in the Garden – Focus on monitoring, alleviating, and mitigating climate change’s impacts in the garden. Activities serve as a springboard for youth community action projects that help to fight climate change.
plantsandtextiles Plants and Textiles – Focuses on past and present technologies that convert plants into products. Activities include making paper, ropes, indigo dye, mat weaving, and knotted nets.
Radishes_to_riches Radishes to Riches: A Produce Marketing Project for Youth – This workbook helps youth and adults plan what to grow and how to market their crops. It provides a hands-on experience of producing the crop and carrying out a marketing plan to sell that crop for a profit.
Rice Rice: Grain of the Ancients – Through an imaginary pen-pal and hands- on activities, children learn about rice. They’ll learn how to grow it and about its related nutrition, science, and culture. (Ages 8-12)
Seed to Salad Seed to Salad– Youth grow salad gardens, with emphasis on decision-making and a multidisciplinary approach, including nutrition, physical activity, math, and language arts.Seed to Salad – Spanish Version
The_Appealing_Apple The Appealing Apple – Find out the amazing history and lore of apples, while going on the apple’s incredible journey through time. Hands-on activities include making apple doll puppets, exploring apples in literature and playing historic games. Learn how apple trees grow, flower, and produce their fruit. Try out apple taste tests, making cider, and some unusual recipes using apples. (Ages 9-12)
The_Great_American_Peanut The Great American Peanut – Education and entertainment are integrated with history in this publication on peanuts. It’s designed to encourage students to use their imagination while learning about peanuts and the farmers who grow them.
The_Humble_Potato The Humble Potato: Underground Gold – Come and explore the world of potatoes through the eyes of three imaginary children: one in South America in the year 1300, another in Ireland during the potato famine, and one in present-day Long Island. Through entertaining stories and hands-on activities, children will learn all there is to know about potatoes! (Ages 9-12)
The_Three_Sisters The Three Sisters: Exploring an Iroquois Garden – This award-winning publication explores the food, customs and stories that evolved from the traditional companion planting of corn, beans, and squash– the Three Sisters. Legends, a call for biodiversity, uses of the Three Sisters, and planting facts are all included. Please also visit our Three Sisters Site for the web-based project!
Veg_Fare Vegetable Fare: Displaying Vegetables at Their Best – This guide covers proper harvest and storage with emphasis on exhibiting produce at fairs. It highlights both general principles and provides specifics on more than 35 crops.
vegetable varieties Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners (VVfG) and Vegetable varieties investigation (Vvi) – A citizen science approach to preserving biodiversity and connecting with community. VVfG is a tool for gardeners while Vvi engages middle and high school aged youth with gardeners.
teenx100 Youth Grow – A leadership program that trains youth to become actively involved in learning about and transforming their local food systems.

 

Booklets

Garden_in_the_city Garden in the City – Designed for youth and adults who have had little experience with gardening and limited space. Information covers starting seeds, planning the garden, cleaning the site, breaking ground, planting, weeding, thinning, and harvesting. It also lists the supplies and tools you’ll need, and suggests related group activities.
Radishes_to_riches Radishes to Riches: A Produce Marketing Project for Youth – This workbook helps youth and adults plan what to grow and how to market their crops. It provides a hands-on experience of producing the crop and carrying out a marketing plan to sell that crop for a profit.
Sowing_the_Seeds Sowing the Seeds of Success – This booklet details the organizational steps needed to initiate a successful community gardening project with kids. Key chapters highlight how to define roles and responsibilities, form and manage partnerships, create an identity, raise funds, and more!
Veg_Fare Vegetable Fare: Displaying Vegetables at Their Best – This guide covers proper harvest and storage with emphasis on exhibiting produce at fairs. It highlights both general principles and provides specifics on more than 35 crops.

 

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