A Youth Garden Project

Photo credit: Food Tank

The Youth Garden Project serves about 870 students from their community through their field trips and after-school activities.
Youth Garden Project

Raising Excitement at the Youth Garden Project

The Youth Garden Project (YGP) covers one and a half acres leased from Grand County High School in Moab, Utah and offers hands-on learning opportunities for youth and community members. YGP advocates for more local and organically grown food as well as community involvement, beginning with the children. Additionally, YGP provides the local high school with fresh food for school lunches. By teaching students how to grow their own vegetables and fruits, YGP is cultivating excitement about food.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Delite Primus, Executive Director at The Youth Garden Project.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Delite Primus (DP): The Youth Garden Project sees education as a vital part of creating a better food system. We use our garden as an educational platform to teach others how to grow food using organic growing techniques. We also engage kids in the process of growing food which often leads to our youth trying new fruits and vegetables and becoming excited about what they are eating!

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?

DP: In 2014, we began to work with the local high school to provide fresh salad greens for the school lunch salad bar. This connects students with the food being grown right next to their school, and often times middle school and high school students are themselves involved in growing the salad greens that they are later eating. We’ve begun to offer other vegetables, as they are available, and beginning in the Fall of 2015 hope to begin educating students about their food during the lunch period. This project is something we are proud of because it includes many aspects of our mission and is the start of changing food options for our local students.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

Read the full article: Food Tank

Primary school gardening competition

Photo of the lucky winners. Left to right they are: Lily-Grace Lamb, P2 at Gullane (2nd), Amber Weatherhead, P5 at Pencaitland (3rd) and Amy Duncan, P1 at Athelstaneford (1st). – http://cdn1.clydeandforthpress.co.uk/img/2015/07/03/lc2015630p01_dasd_v01.2.jpg14359320061445033109.jpg

Young wildlife lovers create spectacular gardens

A slugs and snails hotel, a ladybird wheelbarrow and a bug house were among the entries by local children to Merryhatton Garden Centre’s school gardening competition.

The competition, designed to encourage youngsters to try their hand at gardening, gave primary pupils the challenge of creating a miniature wildlife garden. Entrants were able to use any kind of container they liked, and could choose to use plants and garden materials, or to make their garden from craft supplies.

Open to all primary schools across East Lothian, entries came in from Musselburgh to Dunbar and from P1 to P7.

Merryhatton owner Helen MacDonald said: “We were amazed at the creativity displayed in every single entry we received. So much thought and attention to detail had clearly gone into every entry. Judging was an extremely difficult job. So much so, that as well as the three main prize winners, we’ve offered all entrants a voucher for a free ice cream sundae in our cafe in recognition of all their efforts!”

The first prize was awarded to Amber Duncan in P1 at Athelstaneford Primary School for her wildlife garden party. The judges were very impressed by her colourful garden and her attention to detail, particularly in view of her age. Amber won a £20 Merryhatton voucher for herself and a £100 voucher for her school to spend on gardening supplies.

Read the full article: East Lothian Courier

Inspiring kids to garden

Photo credit: The Telegraph

Raised beds are great for little arms Picture: Alamy

Flowers and vegetables in a raised bed including Marigolds honeycombe Lettuce Suzan Beetroot Solo in an urban garden Norfolk UK J – http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03352/Raised_beds_3352071b.jpg

How to encourage your children to grow vegetables in the garden

James Clark, gardener at the Eden Project, Cornwall, gives his advice on how to get children growing vegetables

James Clark is a gardener at the Eden Project in Cornwall and looks after the Global Gardens, an exhibit which highlights the diversity, inclusivity and importance of allotments in the UK as well as pushing the boundaries of what can be grown in Britain. Part of James’s job is to try to inspire people – young and old – to give vegetable growing a go.

Here are his top tips for encouraging your children to grow their own vegetables.

Read the full article: The Telegraph

Children love your garden

Photo credit: New Haven Register

See how the kids grow as they ‘work’ in the family garden

By Lauren Knight


Gardening is a lot of work — it’s muddy and messy, and sometimes pests or weather can destroy best laid plans. So why bother? The benefits of gardening for children are many. Children learn responsibility, cause-and-effect, and a greater understanding and appreciation for nature and its workings.

A child who gardens has a better understanding of where her food comes from and an appreciation of the process and work that goes into producing healthy food. A seed patiently nurtured and protected will grow and produce and give back, and all that hard work can boost a child’s confidence. Plus, gardening is excellent physical activity: There’s tilling the soil, carting fresh compost by wheelbarrow, seed-planting, then weeding and watering and maintenance of the garden.

Another benefit to gardening is obvious: nutrition. Our boys are hesitant to eat many vegetables placed on their plates at dinner time, but they willingly and happily munch on fresh cucumbers, berries, snap peas, peppers, mint, basil, and even raw kale leaves they have plucked from the garden themselves. Sun-warmed cherry tomatoes are sweet as candy; sugar snap peas split open to reveal tender peas within.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was the discovery that our children would seek out the garden just to spend time there. There is so much life to explore! Crouched amid kale plants 3 feet high, they pick caterpillars off the leaves and collect them in small buckets. They gently scoop up ladybugs and earthworms to examine them. The occasional praying mantis brings shrieks of glee.

Read the full article: New Haven Register

And now something for teachers and educators

Photo credit: WVC 2008-03

Gardening in the classroom

Recently, some interested people asked for my advice on container gardening techniques or methods that can easily be applied in the classroom.

Firstly, I would recommend to have all the pupils (students) in the class making at least 3 mini-greenhouses out of 2 transparent yogurt pots. Things will immediately be clear when checking my video on “Two yogurt pots make a mini-greenhouse”:


Photo credit: WVC 2008-03 - Mini-greenhouses made of 2 yogurt pots
Photo credit: WVC 2008-03 – Mini-greenhouses made of 2 yogurt pots

Secondly, I would ask the pupils to set up at least 3 bottles with different vegetables or herbs. Almost any plant can be grown in a bottle. The method shown in the video (see link below) is simple, inexpensive and efficient. Students can apply this method for growing vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants etc. in smaller or bigger bottles. Let them adapt the size of the bottle to the dimensions of the plants they want to grow. Tree saplings grown in a bottle can be planted in their final location leaving the major part of the bottle around the root ball. This enhances the survival rate of the saplings.

Please check my video on “Growing plants in bottles”:


Photo credit: WVC 2007-02 - Vegetables and herbs growing in a bottle.
Photo credit: WVC 2007-02 – Vegetables and herbs growing in a bottle.

Thirdly, pupils can make one or more bottle towers. Check my video “Building a bottle tower for container gardening “:


Photo credit: WVC 2011-08 - Bottle towers with herbs and vegetables
Photo credit: WVC 2011-08 – Bottle towers with herbs and vegetables

These techniques have a high educational value as the pupils are able to observe continuously plant growth in the classroom.

Success !

Kids Gardening with Creative Containers (Kids Gardening)

Read at :


Gardening with Creative Containers

Author: Paul Simon

The hot summer months of July and August are great activity months for children. This summer, our family has been busy biking, swimming and kayaking quite often. It’s also the time of year to visit your local parks, stop by roadside lemonade stands and perhaps attend a few weekend garage or yard sales.

As a parent of three girls, I’m somewhat discouraged from attending a yard sale when our family already has more “stuff” than you can possibly imagine. On the other hand, a yard sale offers some inexpensive finds that you just can’t pass-up, like an old record, a good book, or perhaps a nice bicycle. And of course, I’m always looking for useful tools and materials for the garden.

One weekend this summer, I decided to go on a ‘yard sale adventure’with my girls in search of some creative garden containers. The thought came to me when thinking about what to do with an old, unused bird cage we’ve held on to for so many years. During our ‘adventure,’ we found many other exciting and inexpensive treasures to go with our bird cage. My daughters found two recipe boxes (one shaped like a pig), a wooden toy wagon, a wicker basket and a few other items. It was exciting traveling from one sale to another in search of specific and unique containers to use. Part of the game — “real” planters such as clay pots, flower boxes, and garden planters were off limits. After finding our unique items we then traveled to the local garden supply store to purchase our garden soil, some colorful annuals, and a coconut liner.

We then spent the afternoon constructing our creative containers. My kids were so excited, all I had to do was watch and take photos while they placed the coconut liner, the garden soil, and the plantings in each of the unique container features.

My oldest daughter Nathalie (11yrs) focused on tackling the bird cage. She placed the coconut liner at the bottom of the cage and filled it with garden soil, finally planting a mandavilla vine in the center. My second oldest Olivia (8yrs) enjoyed filling the pig shaped recipe box with soil and planted pink annual pentas. All three girls including my youngest Elena (14mo) helped fill an old toy wagon with soil and planted a variety of annuals. In the end, all of our container features looked so beautiful and my children (very) much enjoyed the entire process.


The Kitchen Garden Foundation (Google / Gardening Examiner)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening


Positive lessons for kids and parents from the kitchen garden

A kitchen garden offers parents and children more than fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. It can serve as a learning laboratory for positive lessons about food, health and life. That’s the message the Kitchen Garden Foundation, an Australia-based organization, is promoting.

The Kitchen Garden Foundation is a novel program that pairs a kitchen and a garden specialist in the school environment to teach kids, in a pleasurable way, about growing and preparing foods that taste good, smell good and are fun to eat.

Children spend time each week caring for the garden and helping to prepare the foods they grow. In the process they learn about where food comes from, how to prepare fresh foods and about sustainable food systems. Continue reading The Kitchen Garden Foundation (Google / Gardening Examiner)

Allotment gardens and container gardening in the Philippines (R. HOLMER)

I received an interesting email message from

Dr. Robert J. Holmer
Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP)
Xavier University – Research & Social Outreach
Manresa Farm, Fr. W. F. Masterson SJ Ave
9000 Cagayan de Oro City

telling me : “I just came across your great blog on Desertification which I started to read with great interest and joy since you share the same ideas about food security as me. Your comment on allotment gardening reflects exactly my sentiments. …………………………..  and possibly we can convince more people on the benefits of these programs, including container gardening.

The pictures I added are from two school gardens where we are establishing so-called container gardens to maximize space and to encourage pupils to replicate this at home. We also provided rainwater catchment since even in the tropics freshwater is becoming scarce (and the technology – as simple as it may be – was basically not known).

2008 Students filling plastic bottles with soil to set up container gardening
2008 Philippines : Students filling plastic bottles with soil to set up container gardening
A rack with plastic bottles for succesful container gardening in a small area (vertical gardening)
2008 - Philippines : A rack with plastic bottles for succesful container gardening in a small area (vertical gardening)
Efficient rainwater catchment with simple tools
2008 - Philippines : Efficient rainwater catchment with simple tools

In addition, one of our former staff members just started his Ph.D. thesis on ‘bio-char’ which you also mentioned on your blog. I added his thesis proposal for your reference.

Attached also a little brochure we just came out with as well as the link to our 103 “Philippine Allotment Garden Manual“, which may give some useful ideas to people in other countries (puvep.xu.edu.ph/publications/AG%20Booklet_final.pdf)”.



Fun with Children and Indoor Container Gardening (Container Gardening 411)

Read at : Container Gardening 411


Fun with Children and Indoor Container Gardening

Involving our children with indoor container gardening brings more fun to the activity. It provides a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn and be exposed to a variety of plants. Allowing them to prepare and cultivate plants provides the perfect opportunity for learning. As we teach them to count and plant seeds and take care of them from the beginning to maturity, we actually instill useful disciplines that will be useful in the future. Plus it will eliminate the desire for them to taste the plants and possibly get sick. Such an experience may even convince them more to eat fruits and vegetables, those that they have grown. Indoor container gardening with our kids also gives us the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with them. Continue reading Fun with Children and Indoor Container Gardening (Container Gardening 411)

Gardening projects connect kids and adults (Google / The Christian Science Monitor)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening


Gardening projects connect kids and adults

Children enjoy getting outdoors and planting bulbs and seeds.

By Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

It’s possible that never before in history have so many been distracted by so much. From the hundreds of channels on cable and satellite TV to the profusion of iPods, Blackberries, mobile phones, and video games, to the black hole of bits and bytes that is the Internet, the information age has something to attract anyone’s attention. Some experts say this is a good thing. Video games, they argue, are making our kids smarter and quicker thinkers. Others insist that our preoccupation with electronic data sources comes at a cost, including youngsters who can’t identify a robin in their own backyard or explain that frogs start out as tadpoles. These critics say that we’ve lost touch with the natural world and that many of our kids, who spend their days surfing the net, rather than combing through the woods, suffer from “nature deficit disorder,” a term coined by author Richard Louv in the book “Last Child in the Woods.”

Nature projects and learning
The staff at the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center (NFBIC), in Danby, Vt., were inspired by “Last Child in the Woods” and now sponsor a website for educators called the Bulb Project. Continue reading Gardening projects connect kids and adults (Google / The Christian Science Monitor)