Buy Seed, Help the Kids' Garden

The Jonesboro Health, Wellness and Environmental Studies Magnet School, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is doing some remarkable things in teaching kids how to grow and prepare their own food. I've written about them a couple of times before. I continue to be amazed at the ways these dedicated teachers are teaching 600 kids, grades 1-6, about where their food comes from. From how to start seeds in their greenhouse, to transplanting into pots for their plant sale, as well as planting vegetables to grow in their raised beds, these kids are learning very useful skills. They visit farmers markets, even put together their own plant projects and sell at the markets, too.
Melinda Smith in the kids kitchen.
Melinda Smith is the school garden coordinator, grant writer and teacher. Everything in this magnet school curriculum revolves around health, wellness and the environment. The kids learn to prepare simple meals in their kitchen, learn about how to wash and prepare vegetables and learn cooperation, too.
Kids weeding.
Kids learn to tell the difference between the edible plants and flowers, and the weeds. It's a lesson we all learn as gardeners - if you don't pull the weeds, the tasty plants won't grow.
The kids look for the rabbits each day.
Rabbits and chickens are part of the school project. The kids learn about gathering eggs, feeding the chickens and rabbits and how those relate to the gardens (such as, the rabbits will eat the lettuce if you don't put them back in the cage).
This garden contains the larger number of vegetable beds.

There are 2 atrium gardens. The one above has the most raised beds. Classrooms and hallways surround both gardens so the kids look out on the progress of the plants, even on days when it's rainy. There are 2 small greenhouses and an outdoor teaching room, adjacent to the gardens.

Picking chive blossoms.

One day when I visited, the kids were picking chive blossoms. Most hadn't tasted a chive flower before. Some were not overly-impressed with the flavor. As you probably know, children's sense of taste changes as the grow up. Sweet and sour are the more familiar flavors kids like. 

"Yech, this smells like an onion, I don't like onions!" this boy said. "Not even on hamburgers?" I asked. "Noooo!" was his reply.
Buy Seeds - Help kids learn about gardening.
 Since many of you are buying seeds for your gardens, how about ordering seeds from a company that helps kids garden projects? If you go to my website and scroll down to the bottom left-hand corner, you will see the red button, above. If you click it, you'll see this page:
It gives you a code FR556A to use when you follow the link to Renee's Garden Seed. I've been a fan of Renee's Garden Seed for years. I especially like her mixtures (like several lettuces in a mix, or 3 colors of squash in one packet). She is offering an Italian heirloom mint that comes from seed this year. When you place an order and use the code FR556A, 25 percent of the price of your order goes to the Jonesboro Health, Wellness and Environmental Studies project. We like to support this very worthwhile project and I hope you will, too. Plus, you get some really great garden seed. The cost of the seed is the same, whether you order with the code or not, but Renee Shepherd very generously donates the 25% back to the school. Last year we raised a little over $100 this way. If you're ordering seed, we'd love it if you order from Renee's Garden Seed and help out kids learn about gardening. Thank you!

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