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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

FoodCorps Recruitment for the 2018/2019 term is open!!!

FoodCorps Recruitment for the 2018/2019 service term is open!!!

 

 

 

Applications Open for Service Positions as School Food Change-makers!

 

Michigan – January 17, 2018 - FoodCorps, a national organization that connects children in limited resource communities to healthy food in school, opens applications for its seventh annual class of AmeriCorps service members.  The selected community leaders will dedicate one year of full-time, paid public service in school food systems – teaching hands-on lessons in growing, cooking and tasting food, collaborating with food service staff to steer students towards the healthiest options in the cafeteria, and working alongside school administrators and teachers to foster a school wide culture of health.

 

"What we feed our children in school––and what we teach them about food there––shapes their health and success over a lifetime. By joining FoodCorps, you will have a chance to do something incredibly important: connect children in your community to healthy food, and give them the opportunity to grow, learn and thrive,” said Curt Ellis, FoodCorps co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.

 

This year FoodCorps seeks up to 230 men and women across the country with a passion for serving their communities, a commitment to social justice and an interest in jumpstarting their careers. The FoodCorps national service program has been in Michigan since 2011 – check out our 7 service sites at: https://foodcorps.org/apply/where-you'll-serve/michigan/

 

Applications are due by March 15th, 2018. Emerging leaders interested in getting more information should go to https://foodcorps.org/apply.

Questions? Email: serve@foodcorps.org  

 

FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to healthy food in school. FoodCorps places these leaders in limited-resource schools for a year of public service where they teach hands-on lessons in growing, cooking and tasting food, collaborate with food service staff to steer students towards the healthiest options in the cafeteria, and work alongside school administrators and teachers to foster a school wide culture of health.

 

 

CRFS Farm to Institution Data Manager position opening

Greetings,

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking applications for a part-time hourly Farm to Institution Data Manager position. Please see the attached position description for more details and how to apply. The application deadline is Friday, January 26, 2018.

 

Best,

 

Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Job Posting: Michigan Good Food Academic Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Greetings! The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a Michigan Good Food Academic Specialist.

 

This position will lead MSU's contribution as a Michigan Good Food Fund core partner and contribute directly toward the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter, particularly on healthy food access and economic impact for food businesses and Michigan communities

 

Full description is below. Please help spread the word!

 

 

 

Michigan Good Food Academic Specialist – Position #485535
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems & MSU Product Center

 

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) in partnership with the MSU Product Center is seeking an Academic Specialist to support outreach and business assistance efforts that will allow Michigan food production, processing and distribution businesses to build capacity and increase healthy food access in low-income urban and rural communities. The position will provide leadership for MSU's contribution as a Michigan Good Food Fund core partner and contribute directly toward the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter, particularly on healthy food access and economic impact for food businesses and Michigan communities.

 

Status
This is a full-time, annual year, temporary position. Initial appointment will be for one year with reappointment contingent upon funding and performance.  

 
Available
March 1, 2018 or when suitable candidate is identified.

 

Application Deadline
February 5, 2018 or until suitable candidate is identified. 

 

Starting Salary
Commensurate with education and experience up to $66,000 annually.

 

Reporting and location
Reports to Director, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.  Annual review conducted with leadership of the Center for Regional Food Systems and MSU Product Center. Housed at the Center for Regional Food Systems offices in Natural Resources Building, MSU campus

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in business or agribusiness with significant experience in financial management and business planning required. Master of business administration degree and emphasis in agribusiness and/or the food industry preferred
  • Knowledge of Michigan agribusiness, food production, distribution and/or processing is required
  • Ability to write, read, and analyze food business plans and financial statements
  • Familiarity with business lending procedures and various forms of food business financing
  • Ability to effectively engage with and facilitate meetings with diverse stakeholder groups (in Michigan and nationally), especially food businesses, nonprofit organizations, and financial institutions
  • Demonstrated project leadership, report-writing skills, and consistency in being on-time in meeting deadlines
  • Ability to self-direct and balance multiple simultaneous projects and to shift easily between working independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to think and act creatively in providing business development and technical assistance to businesses so they may become loan-ready
  • Thorough understanding of healthy food access and poverty challenges affecting Michigan communities
  • Experience and willingness to work with food businesses in Michigan's underserved communities
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communications tactics.
  • Ability to use and communicate the use of business analytic tools
  • High degree of knowledge of and comfort with using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite, web-based search and information systems, electronic survey software and phone/web conferencing systems
  • High level of organization and ability to manage small contracts and budgets
  • Available to travel occasionally throughout the state and within the U.S. Possession of a valid, current state driver's license required
  • Understanding of and commitment to equal opportunity/affirmative action and diversity/pluralism
     

Job Summary

  • Provide and/or coordinate appropriate business and technical assistance to Michigan food production, processing, and distribution businesses that seek assistance through the Michigan Good Food Fund;
  • Work with local and state partners to recruit and develop a pipeline of viable candidates for loans and business assistance through the Michigan Good Food Fund;
  • Manage professional service contracts with consultants and other service providers delivering assistance to Michigan food businesses;
  • Convene and/or seek creative collaborations with statewide project partners virtually and in person to enhance collective understanding and accelerate Michigan's healthy food financing efforts. This will include core-partners of the Michigan Good Food Fund and partners from organizations working towards a good food system in Michigan;
  • Develop tools and resources that support efforts for education and business assistance for the Michigan Good Food Fund loan participants. Such tools and resources may include reports, factsheets, business management spreadsheets, videos, webinars, and presentations;
  • Contribute, as needed and where appropriate, to completion to other goals and objectives of the Michigan Good Food Charter initiative;
  • Document and share project work and accomplishments; maintain regular internal and external communication about project activities; facilitate regular meetings with stakeholders; develop and report on an annual plan of work;
  • Develop and submit funding proposals and fulfill project objectives, manage project budgets, assist with developing evaluation plans and tools, and write grant reports of grants awarded;
  • Actively participate in CRFS staff meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications;
  • Participate in required MSU Product Center meetings and professional development and technical training as offered by Center for Regional Food Systems and MSU Product Center;
  • Professionally represent CRFS and MSU Product Center in various forms of engagement and communication as related to healthy food financing and healthy food business assistance;
  • Report to and collaborate with project principal investigators as funding requires; and
  • Help to foster, facilitate and maintain culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.

 

Application Procedure
You must apply online to MSU Human Resources.

 

Visit http://careers.msu.edu/ and look for job posting #485535 under faculty/academic staff.

 

A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and an updated Curriculum Vita or resume needs to be submitted as a part of the application process.

 

If you have questions about the application process, contact:
Jessica Dunkel, Search Committee Chair:  dunkelje@anr.msu.edu 

 

If you have questions about the position, contact:
Rich Pirog, Director – MSU Center for Regional Food Systems:  rspirog@msu.edu

 

Please do not send application materials directly to Jessica Dunkel or Rich Pirog.

 

 

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems Mission
CRFS works to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.

 

 

MSU Product Center Mission
The Product Center stimulates and develops business innovation and economic growth through business counseling, in-depth market analysis and technical assistance for new entrepreneurs and existing businesses. The use of best practices, knowledge and experience along with collaboration from internal MSU and external partners supports clients in the creation of successful ventures.

 

 

Michigan State University
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status. 

 

 

-- 

Andrea Weiss

Communications Director

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Road, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(517) 432-0283

 

twitter.com/MSUCRFS  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Four Regional Cultivate Michigan Marketplace Events!



Join fellow farm to institution leaders for a
meet-the-buyers style event in your region! 

This series of exciting networking events provides an opportunity for local and regional food suppliers and institutional food service buyers to connect around local food. 

How it works:
It's a mix between speed-dating and a trade show! 

These Cultivate Michigan Marketplace events are unique in that they focus on meeting the needs of institutional food service buyers. With a local host, each event is regional in scope and intended for institutional buyers and food suppliers of all scales. Buyers will be stationed at tables around the room, and suppliers will rotate to meet with buyers of their choice. Light refreshments will be provided along with plenty of time to mix and mingle!

Who should participate?

Institutional Food Service Buyers interested in purchasing local food products from local food vendors in their region.

Suppliers interested in selling local foods to institutional food buyers in their region. Farmers, food hubs, processors and distributors of any scale are welcome. 

Four Regional Events
Four marketplace events will be held around the state this year. You can register to participate in any one or all of the regional events. The marketplace events are free for both buyers and food suppliers to attend, but space is limited and registration is required by the dates listed below.
  • Petoskey - February 13 - Stafford's Perry Hotel - 4:00 - 6:00 PM
    Register by 5 PM Tuesday February 6
    Local Hosts: Jen Schaap, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities & Sarah Eichberger, MSU Extension
  • Ann Arbor - February 22 - Matthei Botanical Gardens - 4:00- 6:00 PM
    Register by 5 PM Thursday February 15
    Local Host: Jae Gerhart, MSU Extension
  • Flint - February 28 - Flint Farmers Market - 4:00 - 6:00 PM
    Register by 5 PM Tuesday February 21
    Local Hosts: Erin Caudell, Flint Fresh Food Hub; Terry McLean and Julia Darnton, MSU Extension
  • Grand Rapids - March 1 - Blandford Nature Center - 4:00 -6:00 PM
    Register by 5 PM Tuesday February 22
    Local Host: Garrett Ziegler, MSU Extension

This event is free to attend, but space is limited. Registration is required by the dates listed above!

Contact info@cultivatemichigan.org with questions.

This series of Cultivate Michigan Marketplace Events  is brought to you with support from the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Farm to Institution Network. Coordinators and hosts include the  MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, Ecology Center, MSU Extension, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, and The Flint Fresh Food Hub.  To learn more about Cultivate Michigan, visit cultivatemichigan.org

STAY CONNECTED
Like us on Facebook
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View our videos on YouTube
 
About MFINAbout Cultivate Michigan
The Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) is a space for learning, sharing and working together to get more local food to institutions. We aim to meet the Michigan Good Food Charter goal of 20% Michigan food to institutions by 2020.
In 2014, MFIN launched a local food purchasing campaign designed to help ramp up farm to institution programs and track progress.
Visit our website >>
Visit our website >>

MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Re: Dec. 2017 Michigan School Garden newsletter

Congrats Kaitlin!



Neha Shah
Fourth Grade
Burns Park
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Twitter: @shahburnspark

Keep up with the AAPS News!
Twitter: @A2schools 
Facebook: just search for "Ann Arbor Public Schools"

On Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Hahn, Kristine <hahnk@anr.msu.edu> wrote:

MICHIGAN SCHOOL GARDEN NEWSLETTER

December 2017

 

Happy Holidays Gardeners

Hope all your Christmas dreams come true.  I've included an article with a list of garden tools for school gardens in case you need some help – have a safe and joyous holiday season. 

 

Happy Tidings – Kaitlin her husband had twin baby boys Declan and Theodore on Dec. 5th – Congrats!!!

 

Articles

 

School Garden Start-Up Tool List

by Kristine Hahn

 

One of the most important steps in starting a school garden is creating a budget.  Some of the most crucial tools (pun intended) to budget for are garden tools.  How many tools are necessary to get started?  What type of tools are best suited for children in a school garden setting?  Which tools are the most durable and best for educational purposes?  The following list is a good starting point for those establishing a new school garden:

 

•           Hand trowels

  1. Garden hose

•           1 small wheelbarrow

•           Gloves

•           4 Shovels with a pointed spade

•           4 Rakes

•           Box of popsicle sticks for plant/row markers

•           5-10 permanent fine point markers for making plant/row markers

•           Clipboards

 

At least 30-40 hand trowels (or one for each student in a class and teaching staff) are needed for important planting and weeding activities.  The heavy plastic trowels resist bending better than the metal ones.

 

Only one small wheelbarrow is needed for beginning school gardens.  A small wheelbarrow is better for encouraging student use than a big one.  Filling up the wheelbarrow only half to three-quarters full is also a good damage prevention measure when self-sufficient students (especially younger or inexperienced ones) want to operate the cart themselves.

 

Small, child size gloves are helpful for protecting young hands from the potential hazards in the soil. They also reduce the "ick" factor for those averse to getting their hands dirty. Thirty to forty child-size pairs for each student in a class and 4-5 pairs of adult sized for the teaching staff and volunteers are adequate.

 

Three to four pointed spade shovels are sufficient for school gardens.  Have both 3-4 smaller child size shovels and1-2 adult size.  Even though there may be enough work in the garden for more shovels, you rarely want more than three students using a shovel at one time for safety reasons.

 

Popsicle sticks are often the least expensive and easiest to find source of plant markers.  You will need some permanent markers to make them, but you should only distribute those only 2-3 at a time as they have a tendency to disappear.

 

Last but certainly not least you should have at least one clipboard and pencil for each student in a class (30-40) and for all adult staff.  Most content based activities in the garden will involve writing or drawing, and clipboards make that easy, and enjoyable. 

 

These tools are the bare minimum to get your school garden started – so get growing!  

Grow Herbs Indoors for a Winter School Garden

by Kristine Hahn

 

Many students (and teachers) miss the school garden during the winter months.  For a triple bonus of good looks, good flavors and good scents, consider growing herbs inside the classroom to chase away the winter doldrums and get your winter garden fix.  Even just a few pots of herbs indoors can supply you and your students with wonderful scents and flavors while its cold and snowy outside.

There are some caveats to growing herbs indoors in the winter.  They are sun-lovers, and will need a good south-facing window with at least 4 hours of direct sun per day to do well.  If you don't have a window with these specifications, try growing your herbs under lights.

Some herbs are better suited for indoor winter cultivation than others.  Below are a few tried and true performers with consistent and compact growth:

'Grolau' chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Strong flavor and thick, dark green leaves. Developed for forcing, 8 to 12 inches tall. Seeds germinate in 10 to 14 days at 60° to 68°F.

'Fernleaf' dill (Anethum graveolens): Dwarf form of dill only 18 inches tall. Ideal for dill weed indoors. Standard varieties grow too tall and bolt too soon. Easy from seeds, germinating in 7 to 14 days at 60° to 68°F.

'English' mint (Mentha spicata): Perhaps the best-behaved spearmint variety (not as invasive as others, and the leaves are broader and deeper green).

'Spicy Globe' basil (Ocimum basilicum minimum): Dense, compact form of basil, 8 to 10 inches tall. Good flavor. Grow from seed; germinates in 6 to 12 days at 68° to 77°F.

Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum): The true oregano for Mediterranean cooking, with excellent flavor and white flowers. Watch out for the imposter (called wild marjoram) with pink flowers and no flavor. Greek oregano grows well in pots, reaching 8 to 12 inches. Grows easily from seed in 7 to 21 days at room temperature.

Broadleaf thyme (Plectranthus amboinicus or Coleus amboinicus): Also known as Spanish thyme and Cuban oregano, this plant has broad, fleshy leaves unlike those of ordinary thyme.  Never goes dormant, and reaches 10 to 12 inches tall.

Vietnamese coriander (Polygonum odoratum): Not true coriander, but a good substitute. Regrows after cutting, unlike true coriander, which must be reseeded after harvest. Grows 4 to 8 inches tall.

'Blue Boy' rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): More compact and diminutive than regular rosemary, reaching only 24 inches. Flowers freely and has excellent flavor.

Dwarf garden sage (Salvia officinalis 'Compacta'): Smaller leaves and more compact habit than regular sage, growing only 10 inches high with the same sage flavor.

Creeping savory (Satureja repandra or S. spicigera): Flavor identical to that of winter savory, but easier and faster to grow indoors. Reaches only 2 to 4 inches in height, but fills the pot with a dense mat of foliage.

Other herbs that are not good candidates for winter indoor growing include full size cilantro (coriander), dill and garden cress; these herbs do not regrow when cut for harvest.  You can grow parsley from seed indoors, but don't expect it to get as big as when you grow it outdoors.

Growing herbs indoors can reap the benefits of hands-on, interdisciplinary horticulture experiments and projects as well.  Try growing herb plants in pots within a window box with soil filled up to the top of the pots.  Compare this growing method with normal growing conditions (just pots) and have your students come up with hypotheses about the results. 

Besides all those benefits, growing herbs in the winter can help keep students' and school staff spirits up for spring – just crushing a basil leaf under my nose on the coldest, dreariest winter day can bring on a sense of well-being and internal sunshine. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

School Garden Grant Information

  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year
    • Schools, nonprofits classified as 501(c) (3) s and private or public schools (elementary and secondary) are eligible.
    • Award range: $20,000 - $75,000 for one year
  • Captain Planet Foundation
    • Schools, nonprofits and other organizations classified as 501(c) (3) are eligible
    • Projects must: be project-based; performed by youth; have real environmental outcomes; be based in the United States.
    • Award range is between $500 - $2500. At least 50% matching or in-kind funding for projects is preferred.
  • The Home Depot Foundation
    • Schools and 501(c) (3) organizations are eligible.

The Home Depot also has opportunities to match donations from local stores with nonprofits. Follow this link for more information on how to request a match. 

  • Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
    • Public schools are eligible
    • Awards from $5,000 - $25,000
    • Visit this link to answer preliminary questions and learn more.
  • Project Produce Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schoolsdistributed on a rolling basis
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible.
    • Must be submitted by district food service director.
    • These grants are $2,500 and can assist with offering educational activities in the lunchroom, encouraging students to try new veggies and fruits.
  1. Salad Bars to School Grant
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. To qualify for a Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools grant, applicants must offer the salad bar as part of the reimbursable meal served in your district.
    • Schools use the award (approximately $2,955 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.

                                                                                                                                                                       

School Garden Educational Opportunities

 

  • SAVE THE DATE:  APRIL 20, 2018

 

Starting and Sustaining a School Garden at Tollgate in Novi, MI

MSU Extension's Annual School Garden Conference

Stay tuned for more information - Hope to see you there!

·       SAVE THE DATE:  JULY 27-29, 2018

2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference + Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress

The University of Hawai'i – West Oahu Sustainable Community Food Systems Program, the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, the University of Hawai'i System Office of Sustainability and key community partners will host the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference and the Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress on the island of Oʻahu from July 27-29, 2018.

DOWNLOAD CONFERENCE FLYER HERE.

Themes: Indigenous knowledge, decolonization and socio-ecological resiliency in agroecology and sustainable food systems education.

  1. Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    April 26-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
    Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    <http://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/farm-to-school-cafeteria-conference>,
    coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm
    to School Network, The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of
    stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity
    to learn, network and collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the
    country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at farmtoschool.org/conference.
  1. MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Educational Opportunities
  • North American Association of Environmental Educators Professional Development

            https://sites.google.com/site/nationalschoolgardennetwork/networking

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 


Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341

248-802-4590


*Please note my new office location


MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.


"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw

 

MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dec. 2017 Michigan School Garden newsletter

MICHIGAN SCHOOL GARDEN NEWSLETTER

December 2017

 

Happy Holidays Gardeners

Hope all your Christmas dreams come true.  I've included an article with a list of garden tools for school gardens in case you need some help – have a safe and joyous holiday season. 

 

Happy Tidings – Kaitlin her husband had twin baby boys Declan and Theodore on Dec. 5th – Congrats!!!

 

Articles

 

School Garden Start-Up Tool List

by Kristine Hahn

 

One of the most important steps in starting a school garden is creating a budget.  Some of the most crucial tools (pun intended) to budget for are garden tools.  How many tools are necessary to get started?  What type of tools are best suited for children in a school garden setting?  Which tools are the most durable and best for educational purposes?  The following list is a good starting point for those establishing a new school garden:

 

•           Hand trowels

  1. Garden hose

•           1 small wheelbarrow

•           Gloves

•           4 Shovels with a pointed spade

•           4 Rakes

•           Box of popsicle sticks for plant/row markers

•           5-10 permanent fine point markers for making plant/row markers

•           Clipboards

 

At least 30-40 hand trowels (or one for each student in a class and teaching staff) are needed for important planting and weeding activities.  The heavy plastic trowels resist bending better than the metal ones.

 

Only one small wheelbarrow is needed for beginning school gardens.  A small wheelbarrow is better for encouraging student use than a big one.  Filling up the wheelbarrow only half to three-quarters full is also a good damage prevention measure when self-sufficient students (especially younger or inexperienced ones) want to operate the cart themselves.

 

Small, child size gloves are helpful for protecting young hands from the potential hazards in the soil. They also reduce the "ick" factor for those averse to getting their hands dirty. Thirty to forty child-size pairs for each student in a class and 4-5 pairs of adult sized for the teaching staff and volunteers are adequate.

 

Three to four pointed spade shovels are sufficient for school gardens.  Have both 3-4 smaller child size shovels and1-2 adult size.  Even though there may be enough work in the garden for more shovels, you rarely want more than three students using a shovel at one time for safety reasons.

 

Popsicle sticks are often the least expensive and easiest to find source of plant markers.  You will need some permanent markers to make them, but you should only distribute those only 2-3 at a time as they have a tendency to disappear.

 

Last but certainly not least you should have at least one clipboard and pencil for each student in a class (30-40) and for all adult staff.  Most content based activities in the garden will involve writing or drawing, and clipboards make that easy, and enjoyable. 

 

These tools are the bare minimum to get your school garden started – so get growing!  

Grow Herbs Indoors for a Winter School Garden

by Kristine Hahn

 

Many students (and teachers) miss the school garden during the winter months.  For a triple bonus of good looks, good flavors and good scents, consider growing herbs inside the classroom to chase away the winter doldrums and get your winter garden fix.  Even just a few pots of herbs indoors can supply you and your students with wonderful scents and flavors while its cold and snowy outside.

There are some caveats to growing herbs indoors in the winter.  They are sun-lovers, and will need a good south-facing window with at least 4 hours of direct sun per day to do well.  If you don't have a window with these specifications, try growing your herbs under lights.

Some herbs are better suited for indoor winter cultivation than others.  Below are a few tried and true performers with consistent and compact growth:

'Grolau' chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Strong flavor and thick, dark green leaves. Developed for forcing, 8 to 12 inches tall. Seeds germinate in 10 to 14 days at 60° to 68°F.

'Fernleaf' dill (Anethum graveolens): Dwarf form of dill only 18 inches tall. Ideal for dill weed indoors. Standard varieties grow too tall and bolt too soon. Easy from seeds, germinating in 7 to 14 days at 60° to 68°F.

'English' mint (Mentha spicata): Perhaps the best-behaved spearmint variety (not as invasive as others, and the leaves are broader and deeper green).

'Spicy Globe' basil (Ocimum basilicum minimum): Dense, compact form of basil, 8 to 10 inches tall. Good flavor. Grow from seed; germinates in 6 to 12 days at 68° to 77°F.

Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum): The true oregano for Mediterranean cooking, with excellent flavor and white flowers. Watch out for the imposter (called wild marjoram) with pink flowers and no flavor. Greek oregano grows well in pots, reaching 8 to 12 inches. Grows easily from seed in 7 to 21 days at room temperature.

Broadleaf thyme (Plectranthus amboinicus or Coleus amboinicus): Also known as Spanish thyme and Cuban oregano, this plant has broad, fleshy leaves unlike those of ordinary thyme.  Never goes dormant, and reaches 10 to 12 inches tall.

Vietnamese coriander (Polygonum odoratum): Not true coriander, but a good substitute. Regrows after cutting, unlike true coriander, which must be reseeded after harvest. Grows 4 to 8 inches tall.

'Blue Boy' rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): More compact and diminutive than regular rosemary, reaching only 24 inches. Flowers freely and has excellent flavor.

Dwarf garden sage (Salvia officinalis 'Compacta'): Smaller leaves and more compact habit than regular sage, growing only 10 inches high with the same sage flavor.

Creeping savory (Satureja repandra or S. spicigera): Flavor identical to that of winter savory, but easier and faster to grow indoors. Reaches only 2 to 4 inches in height, but fills the pot with a dense mat of foliage.

Other herbs that are not good candidates for winter indoor growing include full size cilantro (coriander), dill and garden cress; these herbs do not regrow when cut for harvest.  You can grow parsley from seed indoors, but don't expect it to get as big as when you grow it outdoors.

Growing herbs indoors can reap the benefits of hands-on, interdisciplinary horticulture experiments and projects as well.  Try growing herb plants in pots within a window box with soil filled up to the top of the pots.  Compare this growing method with normal growing conditions (just pots) and have your students come up with hypotheses about the results. 

Besides all those benefits, growing herbs in the winter can help keep students' and school staff spirits up for spring – just crushing a basil leaf under my nose on the coldest, dreariest winter day can bring on a sense of well-being and internal sunshine. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

School Garden Grant Information

  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year
    • Schools, nonprofits classified as 501(c) (3) s and private or public schools (elementary and secondary) are eligible.
    • Award range: $20,000 - $75,000 for one year
  • Captain Planet Foundation
    • Schools, nonprofits and other organizations classified as 501(c) (3) are eligible
    • Projects must: be project-based; performed by youth; have real environmental outcomes; be based in the United States.
    • Award range is between $500 - $2500. At least 50% matching or in-kind funding for projects is preferred.
  • The Home Depot Foundation
    • Schools and 501(c) (3) organizations are eligible.

The Home Depot also has opportunities to match donations from local stores with nonprofits. Follow this link for more information on how to request a match. 

  • Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
    • Public schools are eligible
    • Awards from $5,000 - $25,000
    • Visit this link to answer preliminary questions and learn more.
  • Project Produce Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schoolsdistributed on a rolling basis
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible.
    • Must be submitted by district food service director.
    • These grants are $2,500 and can assist with offering educational activities in the lunchroom, encouraging students to try new veggies and fruits.
  1. Salad Bars to School Grant
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. To qualify for a Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools grant, applicants must offer the salad bar as part of the reimbursable meal served in your district.
    • Schools use the award (approximately $2,955 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.

                                                                                                                                                                       

School Garden Educational Opportunities

 

  • SAVE THE DATE:  APRIL 20, 2018

 

Starting and Sustaining a School Garden at Tollgate in Novi, MI

MSU Extension's Annual School Garden Conference

Stay tuned for more information - Hope to see you there!

·       SAVE THE DATE:  JULY 27-29, 2018

2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference + Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress

The University of Hawai'i – West Oahu Sustainable Community Food Systems Program, the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, the University of Hawai'i System Office of Sustainability and key community partners will host the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference and the Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress on the island of Oʻahu from July 27-29, 2018.

DOWNLOAD CONFERENCE FLYER HERE.

Themes: Indigenous knowledge, decolonization and socio-ecological resiliency in agroecology and sustainable food systems education.

  1. Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    April 26-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
    Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    <http://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/farm-to-school-cafeteria-conference>,
    coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm
    to School Network, The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of
    stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity
    to learn, network and collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the
    country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at farmtoschool.org/conference.
  1. MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Educational Opportunities
  • North American Association of Environmental Educators Professional Development

            https://sites.google.com/site/nationalschoolgardennetwork/networking

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 


Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341

248-802-4590


*Please note my new office location


MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.


"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw