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Category — Children

We Need Soil!

Children’s book

By Ji-Hyeon Lee (Author), Bo-Mi Shin (Illustrator)
Big & Small
Aug 1, 2016

A girl and boy demonstrate the value of soil by pointing out its uses, such as providing a habitat for earthworms, growing fruits and vegetables, and dyeing fabric.

Ji-hyeon Lee used to work for a children’s publishing company and now writes stories for children. She is the author of A Storyteller in the Animal Kingdom and I Want a Tree in My House.

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February 7, 2018   No Comments

San Francisco’s newest community garden in Chinatown

Gathering together as a community, dozens of volunteers spent their Saturday helping to create a brand-new garden at Castelar Street Elementary School in Chinatown.

By Chelsea Edwards
January 30, 2018


“We were looking for the highest return on investment, and in terms of impact, and I thought a community garden would be just the way to do that. It will last for many years to come,” he said.

So on Saturday, volunteers fanned out across the schoolyard – building garden beds, an irrigation system, climbing cages and picnic tables. The project is part of a partnership with EnrichLA, an organization on a mission to build “a garden in every school.”

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February 4, 2018   Comments Off on San Francisco’s newest community garden in Chinatown

Australia: How a school kitchen garden can transform an entire community

“They say food brings people together. What we’ve found is that this program has brought our community together.”

By Yasmin Noone
29 Jan 2018


There’s a small kitchen garden situated in the cultural melting pot of Sunshine North in Melbourne’s west that’s changing the way the community interacts with food.

It’s not in a local park or in an expensive gardening centre tended to by masses of horticulturists.

No. This edible garden of influence – cared for by children, teachers and parents – is located on the grounds of the low-socioeconomic, multicultural Sunshine North Primary School.

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February 2, 2018   Comments Off on Australia: How a school kitchen garden can transform an entire community

Denmark: New Copenhagen School Focuses on ‘Food’ in its Design

Click image to see larger file.

The area has individual planter boxes and raised beds which the pupils can use to cultivate and care for their own crops and vegetables. Greenhouses will extend the growing season.

Modern Danish Educational Architecture
Design by C.F. Møller Architects, Denmark
Jan 8, 2018


New Islands Brygge School will be a profile school with food as its special theme. There is special emphasis on making meal preparation and mealtimes a central element of the school’s design. The first thing new arrivals at the school will see is the double-high-ceilinged dining hall, which is not just the canteen, but also the hub which interconnects all of the school’s functions. This makes the dining hall the gathering point where pupils can meet across the school’s many activities.

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January 30, 2018   Comments Off on Denmark: New Copenhagen School Focuses on ‘Food’ in its Design

National nonprofit aims to put gardens in 100 Detroit schools

Kimbal Musk, co-founder and CEO, Big Green, stands in a learning garden in Indianapolis.

Since 2011, it has created learning garden classrooms, with raised beds planted with fruits and vegetables and student seating areas, in Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Chicago, serving about 250,000 students.

By Sherri Well
Jan 17, 2018


The nonprofit plans to build its first learning garden in April and to have 100 in place within 2 1/2 years, Musk said. “Will be moving very fast.”

Big Green looks to build on the urban agriculture, community garden and school garden projects sprouting around Detroit.

School gardens have shown to be a powerful tool to improve test scores, Musk said.

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January 24, 2018   Comments Off on National nonprofit aims to put gardens in 100 Detroit schools

City Farmer Flashback 2001: York House Kindergarten Kids Learn About Worms

City Farmer’s Moberley Luger teaches children about worm composting at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden.

Flashback by Michael Levenston
Suzette Myers reporting at that time
TV News 2001

These youngsters marched into our garden in their school uniforms (à la Madeline children’s book) and delighted us with their sweet engagement with worms. Moberley Luger, then a young instructor, now a university professor of English, gave the students their first experience at composting.

For over twenty five years, City Farmer has lead such classes both at our demonstration garden and in Vancouver schools. Young visitors see how compost from a worm bin feeds the soil as was they walk about after the class, tasting, touching and smelling the plants we grow.

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January 3, 2018   Comments Off on City Farmer Flashback 2001: York House Kindergarten Kids Learn About Worms

India: Kochi school auctions organic produce to encourage farming

The school auctions the produce from its terrace farm among teachers and reinvest the earning back into farming

Times of India
Dec 12, 2017


The project was initiated in August and the school has so far held five such auctions. School authorities suggest that the farm produce often gets auctioned entirely for around Rs 2,000 every alternate week.

“We had the space to undertake the terrace farming project. Once we proposed this idea, the school assured full support. Right now, we have around 200 grow bags on the terrace, where we farm vegetables such as okra, eggplant, tomatoes, bitter gourd and cauliflowers.

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December 20, 2017   Comments Off on India: Kochi school auctions organic produce to encourage farming

Africa: Urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health in a sample of Tanzanian town folk

In short, we identified urban agriculture as one channel through which dietary diversity can be increased and, ultimately, improved child health can be achieved in the cities of developing countries.

By Natascha Wagner & Luca Tasciotti
Canadian Journal of Development Studies
Nov 27, 2017


Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency continue to be two of the major health burdens in less developed economies. In this study, we explore the link between urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health, using weight-for-age and height-for-age Z-scores. The study makes use of two rounds of observational data for urban Tanzania and employs an instrumental variables estimation approach. We show that practising urban agriculture leads to the consumption of a greater variety of food items and the health status of urban children living in households practising urban agriculture significantly improves in the short and, more importantly, long term.

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December 10, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: Urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health in a sample of Tanzanian town folk

How This Elementary School In The Bronx Is Using Farming As A Vehicle For Change

Tucked within the poorest congressional district in America, sandwiched between the largest strip of public housing in the country, you’ll find a farm.

Emma Loewe
MBG Editorial
Nov 13, 2017


Back inside the farm, aptly named The National Health, Wellness & Learning Center, Ritz explains why he thinks growing food has led to happier, healthier kids. “When you put a seed in a little kid’s hand, you’re making them a promise that little seed is going to grow into something great that they can eat. And then they get to watch it happen.” This instills in them a sense of pride and a new interest in what they’re putting into their bodies. A lot of kids start their time at P.S. 55 not knowing that food comes from the ground at all, but they all leave with an understanding of every part of the growing process.

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November 20, 2017   Comments Off on How This Elementary School In The Bronx Is Using Farming As A Vehicle For Change

The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

In The Power of a Plant, globally acclaimed teacher and self-proclaimed CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) Stephen Ritz shows you how, in one of the nation’s poorest communities, his students thrive in school and in life by growing, cooking, eating, and sharing the bounty of their green classroom.

By Stephen Ritz (Author)
Rodale Books (May 2, 2017)
304 pages
(Must see. Mike)


What if we taught students that they have as much potential as a seed? That in the right conditions, they can grow into something great?

These are the questions that Stephen Ritz?who became a teacher more than 30 years ago?sought to answer in 2004 in a South Bronx high school plagued by rampant crime and a dismal graduation rate. After what can only be defined as a cosmic experience when a flower broke up a fight in his classroom, he saw a way to start tackling his school’s problems: plants. He flipped his curriculum to integrate gardening as an entry point for all learning and inadvertently created an international phenomenon. As Ritz likes to say, “Fifty thousand pounds of vegetables later, my favorite crop is organically grown citizens who are growing and eating themselves into good health and amazing opportunities.”

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November 14, 2017   Comments Off on The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

Bill Clinton visits urban farm in St. Louis

Former President Bill Clinton greets visitors to the Good Life Growing urban farm in St. Louis.

“What this school is doing for these kids will benefit this area 20 years from now,” he said.

By Blythe Bernhard
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Nov 1, 2017


Schoolchildren grow kale, cabbage and other produce in their outdoor garden. They eat fresh fruit and vegetables at breakfast and lunch. At fitness stations, they roll dice to get assigned different exercises and repetitions.

Healthy diet and exercise habits “make (students) feel empowered and less likely to act on frustrations,” Clinton told reporters at the event.

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November 7, 2017   Comments Off on Bill Clinton visits urban farm in St. Louis

Canada: Vancouver students dig in for Farm to School month

Jenna Jaski of Victory Gardens Vancouver helps facilitate the Classroom Gardener program at East Van’s David Livingstone elementary school. The program is one of many across the city that aim to get students out of classrooms and into the garden and the kitchen. Photo by Dan Toulgoet.

Every class gets to spend time in the garden and by the end of the year-long session, every student will have had a chance to experience all the facets of the garden.

By Jessica Kerr
Vancouver Courier
Oct 23, 2017


“Teachers are looking for ways to get kids learning outside because they need to get kids moving and there’s a ton of benefit for children’s physical health being outside,” she said, adding that being outside also has mental health benefits.

“We see huge numbers of children struggling with anxiety in school, so how do we take them outside? Because being outside is very protective against mental health problems in children.”

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver students dig in for Farm to School month

Salad days at Toronto inner-city school

Student Josh Harrison-Maul poses for a photo on the rooftop garden at Eastdale C.I. on Gerrard St. E., near Broadview Ave. (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun)

Tyler Beckett wants to be a landscaper and the urban farming program on the roof of his inner-city school has greened his thumb.

By Kevin Connor
Toronto Sun
October 15, 2017


“It’s helping get me prepare for a job when I’m done school,” said the 16-year-old Eastdale Collegiate Institute student in the Regent Park area.

“I like getting involved with the garden and helping the kids in school. We used to go to the corner and buy chips, now we are eating salads.”

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October 21, 2017   Comments Off on Salad days at Toronto inner-city school

In Washington School Gardens Are No Longer A Rarity

Rooftop Garden at Horace Mann Elementary School: After leafy vegetables are planted and cared for, students harvest the crops, chop them up and serve them to more than 400 of their peers for lunch.

By Rachel Nania
October 8, 2017


Jagodnik’s third-floor classroom, which is filled with seedlings and outfitted with a small kitchen, opens directly to the school’s rooftop garden. It’s there where a class of third-graders pick parsley and pak choi from commercial-grade garden towers on Monday mornings.

Architect Michael Marshall designed the rooftop farm, one of several gardens at Horace Mann, during the school’s renovation three years ago.

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October 15, 2017   Comments Off on In Washington School Gardens Are No Longer A Rarity

How school gardens, food ‘rescues’ are helping Nevada’s hungry

On Oct. 7, the Grow Your Own festival returns to the Vegas Roots urban farm for a second year, aiming to get the community in touch with healthy food.

The Vegas Roots team offered a taste of what the second year of the festival will teach — namely, how to connect with and crave raw goods from the garden.

By Adam Candee, Erin Ryan, Camalot Todd
Las Vegas Sun
Oct. 2, 2017


To kids who’d never tried fresh strawberries or cantaloupe before a recent school tasting, kale was a hard sell. But after growing the deep-green stalks in their campus garden, students at Quannah McCall Elementary School in North Las Vegas learned that massaging the leaves makes them less bitter, and that dressing whipped up from the cilantro growing nearby makes them delicious.

Principal Ana DeBeauvernet recalls a lot of demand from parents for the recipe. It was a shining moment for everyone who envisioned the raised beds and fruit trees along the school’s street-facing fence as a way to engage the neighborhood in a new way of thinking about cooking and eating. It’s in a noted food desert, meaning the only options are gas stations and fast-food joints.

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October 3, 2017   Comments Off on How school gardens, food ‘rescues’ are helping Nevada’s hungry