Hands Up for More Veggies

FOOD FOR THOUGHT         As I look back I smile at the memory and the expression of enjoyment  on the faces of the young students  and their raised hands  as I  asked if they  wished for  more. They wanted more vegetables, more dishes created with vegetables and to grow more vegetables. I am a teachers aide at our local K-12 rural school, a parent of  three and an active volunteer in our community.   A few years  ago I was hired as a community food coordinator. Our Read More …

Opportunity of a Lifetime: How I Came to be the Manager of a School District Greenhouse in Tok, Alaska

Looking For Direction and Purpose We’ve all heard of people obtaining their dream job, but finding and getting my own seemed a long shot.  Over the course of my adult life thoughts of a dream job often came to mind, especially on those days I dreaded going to work at all, those days I forced myself to get up and show up.   When my co-worker said to my sister-in-law, “She just shows up, does her job, and leaves,” I knew it was time to change the mindset I had Read More …

Gardening in the Classroom

LEARNING FROM THE GROUND UP   Some of the best gardeners are children. They bring a curiosity and excitement unmatched by the grown garden enthusiast. Most schools have started gardening and composting programs allowing students hands on experience. I work for an after school program called Rally in Juneau, Alaska. One of Rally’s sites is at Harborview elementary and lucky for us they have gardening beds and a composting site on the school grounds. Rally has incorporated the gardens in its summer program to help keep them maintained when school Read More …

Pollinators in Alaska

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, by Jessica Mulvey, an Alaska Master Gardener “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.’…. The above quote has been falsely been attributed to Albert Einstein but is the spirit of the quote true? Pollinators, bees particularly, have been in the news over the past decade due to dramatic & devastating population declines. Debates over pesticides and their effects on pollinators are currently being heard in the Read More …

Subversive Food Plots–Then and Now

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, by Jessica Mulvey, An Alaska Master Gardener “And he gave it for his opinion, ‘that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.’’ -Jonathan Swift A small kitchen garden. Photo by Heidi Rader. Throughout history, food production has been a driving force for Read More …

How are Seeds Dispersed in Alaska?

A Lesson Plant for Gardening in the Classrooms of Alaska, By Mylinda A. Klein, an Alaskan Master Gardener  Snap Beans. Photo by Heidi Rader.   Subject Area: Science Grade Level: 2nd grade Ideal season for lesson: Fall Materials Required: Various seeds either collected by teacher or by students including an acorn and seeds that have a spine, hooks or a gooey coating. Chipmunk stuffed animal “Seeds: Pop-Stick-Glide’ by Patricia Lauber  Chatty Chipmunk’s Nutty Day bySuzanne Gruber   Goals and Outcomes Students will be able to identify at least three methods Read More …

Edible Flowers in Alaska

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in Classroom in Alaska, By Amber Reece, An Alaskan Master Gardener Subject Area: Art and Writing Grade Level: Grade 3 Ideal Season For Lesson: Fall Nasturtiums are a spicy, edible flower. Photo by Heidi Rader. Time to Complete Lesson: 90 minutes, divided into three activities Materials Required: Chart paper or other media for recording class discussions Hand drawn flowering squash poster Prepared observation recoding forms (1 per student) Assorted edible flowers such as nasturtiums, pansies, squash flowers, lilies, broccoli, cauliflower Drawing paper and drawing supplies Writing Read More …

“Handy” Parts of a Plant

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in Classrooms in Alaska, by Cheryl Illg, an Alaskan Master Gardener   Subject Area: Writing/Reading/Science Appropriate Grade Level: Grade 2 Ideal season for lesson: Spring Time to complete lesson: 2-3 hours, in four activities that can be divided over several days, if desired. An Asiatic Lily. Photo by Heidi Rader. Materials Required:  From Seed to Plant (Rookie Read About Science) by Allan Fowler From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle Construction paper scissors pencils yarn glue lily or other Read More …

What Do Plants Need to Grow?

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, by Cheryl Illg, An Alaska Master Gardener Subject Area: Writing/Reading/Math Grade Level: K-3 Ideal season for lesson: Spring Time needed to facilitate lesson: 1 hour to plant seeds and make first observation. Then there will be several weeks of observation, measurements and documentation. The young surviving plants may then be transplanted outdoors into a garden or planter box to grow for the summer once there is no more chance of frost. Usually June 1st in the south and central parts Read More …