Seasonal Workshops on the Farm
Keeping Your Classroom Fresh & Growing!
Day of Garden Skills Workshops & Demonstrations for the School Garden
|Date:||Saturday, October 19|
|Place:||New England Small Farm Institute in Belchertown|
|Time:||9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.|
|Fee:||Free and open to all educators with registration|
Send an e-mail to Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom with your name, school and contact information.
This workshop is free and open to all educators with registration. Bring your own lunch. There is a $20 fee for those teachers who would like to receive Professional Development. Ten Professional Development Points are offered for each workshop with accompanying classroom project.
Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom is sponsoring an educational day of workshops and demonstrations on Saturday, October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New England Small Farm Institute in Belchertown. Learn a variety of new skills that will help you with your school gardening efforts.
Spend an educational and fun day brushing up on your gardening techniques and learning new activity ideas for the school garden on Saturday, October 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New England Small farm Institute inBelchertown. Twelve workshops and demonstrations to support successful efforts in the school garden will be held throughout the day, including digging garden beds, constructing raised beds, gardening in containers, seeding and saving seeds, mulching, tree planting, herbs and more. Free an open to educators, school gardeners, garden volunteers and the public. Bring your own lunch. For those teachers who would like Professional Development certification there is a $20 fee. Ten Professional Development Points are provided to teachers with accompanying school gardening or classroom activity. Registration is required. This educational event is supported in part with funds from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and with sponsorship support from New England Small Farm Institute.
Workshops & Demonstration Schedule
9:00: - - - Extending the School Garden Season with Fall Planting
You can plant a garden that synchs with the school year, offering harvest through the fall and even into the winter, with additional crops that will be ready for the spring. Learn suitable crops ideal varieties and seasoning extending techniques such as use of cold frames, row covers, mulch and more.
9:30: - - - Making a School Garden Bed from Pallets Using Technology and Math Standards
Danielle Crescione, Tri-County Schools in Easthampton
At Tri-County Schools in Easthampton, students are working on pallet planting, potato barrels and other unconventional ways to grow flowers and vegetables. Students incorporate all gardening with math, English, history and science. They also are learning valuable social and emotional tools that they use everyday Edible Schoolyard, Fertile Ground and pictures from Pinterest are just some of the sources used. Students brainstorm their own ideas using references to companion planting and groups throughout the day. Danielle Crescione will take you through the process of building a garden bed from pallets. She will also tell you how she utilizes the Technology and Math Standards throughout the process.
10:00: - - - Square Foot Planting in the School Garden
Harry Brandt, Patrick E. Bowe School in Chicopee
Square foot gardening is a method of gardening that adapts well to the school gardening. Harry Brandt has applied this technique to his school garden at the Patrick E. Bowe School in Chicopee with much success. He will describe how he has adapted it for his students and the school setting
10:30: - - - Worm Composting at the School
Carrie St. John, licensed child care provider and vermicomposter, Northampton
Worm composting provides an terrific gardening opportunity for the late fall and winter months and is easy to do in the classroom. Carrie St. John has devised an effective plan for housing the worms in the classroom and in hobby home use. She will take participants through the steps and also offer numerous educational materials ideal for use in elementary classes. Learn how to create a small worm bin for easy use in the classroom, effective ways of feeding the worms food waste from classroom snacks, ways to use compost in classroom science observations, how handle the worms, compost separation and more including what to do with the worms at the end of the school year.
11:00: - - - Planting a Garden for Pollinators
Warren Leach, horticulturist, garden designer and owner of Tranquil Lake Nursery, Rehoboth
Pollinators are everywhere and they play and extremely important role in our lives and habitats, from pollinating the foods that we eat to initiating the development of the seeds that ensure survival of native plants. Warren Leach, horticulturist and garden designer, will review pollinator needs and offer a selection of ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials and vines with flowering characteristics that will benefit pollinators and also complement the school calendar. These beauties will add ornamental beauty and interest to the schoolyard, while also offering opportunities for classroom study. He will also provide suggestions for care and culture.
11:30: - - - Building and Using a Cold Frame With Your Students
Kira Jewett, Biology Teacher, Social Justice School in Chicopee and Small Farmer
Gardening during the school year in chilly New England can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it happen! In this workshop you will learn about low-cost ways to extend the school growing season, think about the best crops for school-year harvest. Kira Jewett, biology teacher at the Paulo Friere Social Justice Charter School in Holyoke will show how she builds the cold frames with her students, involved them in the design, building and use of cold frame season extenders, meeting the engineering frameworks for her 8th grade science class.
12:00: - - - Soil Testing Basics Workshop
Solomon Kariuki, Analytical Chemist, Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory, UMass
One of the first step in developing a school garden, after locating the space in the schoolyard, is testing the soil to determine nutrient availability, pH, and any toxins that may be present. In his “Soil Testing Basics Workshop” Solomon Kariuki, Analytical Chemist, Soil & Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts will take you step-by-step through the process of collecting quality soil samples and the methods for packaging them to send them to the lab. He will then guide you through the process of reading a representative example of soil test result to understand what each recommendation means and how you should proceed.
12:30: - - - Fall Planted Grains and Garlic!
Alice Posner, School Garden Coordinator for MAC and Holyoke Schools
This demonstration will offer the opportunity to learn about two crops that you can plant in the fall and harvest in winter or spring. Alice Posner, experienced garden educator and small farmer will demonstrate techniques for “Fall Planted Grain and Garlic.” You will also learn about garlic culture and harvest, cover cropping and options for winter grains.
1:00: - - - Tips for Handling and Planting a Tree in the Schoolyard
Warren Leach, horticulturist, garden designer and owner of Tranquil Lake Nursery, Rehoboth
Have you ever wanted to plant a tree in the school yard but been unsure how to handle it and didn’t have a clue how to go about digging the planting hole. In his demonstration “Tips for Handling and Planting in the Schoolyard”, seasoned horticulturist Warren Leach will show you how to prepare the tree, dig the hole, amend the soils and move the tree into its new location. Learn how and when to water and when you should prune.
1:30: - - - The Magic of Mulch in the Garden
John Howell, Vegetable Crop Specialist, UMass, retired
Mulch is the essential ingredient that will ease your labor in the garden. It holds soil moisture, discourages weeds and even adds to the organic material in the soil. In this workshop, learn about The Magic of Mulch in the Garden. John Howell, Vegetable Crop Specialist for Umass - retired, will discuss different types of mulch from grass clippings to salt marsh hay and even black plastic. We’ll also offer suggestions for saving water and labor in the garden.
2:00: - - - Favorite Edible and Ornamental Herbs for Children
Debi Hogan, horticulturist, herb gardener and Executive Director of Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom
Debi Hogan, horticulturist and avid herb garden has been growing herbs in the gardens, containers and window boxes for more than twenty-five years. She has also been gardening with children of all ages for nearly as long, and is currently Executive Director of Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom. Debi will share her love for herbs in her presentation “Favorite Ornamental and Edible Herbs for Gardening with Children” offering tips on favorite cultivars, tips for growing, drying techniques, how to prepare for culinary use and overwintering.
2:30: - - - Tour of the Vegetable Fields at New England Small Farm Institute
Tour the vegetable fields at the New England Small Farm Institute with the farmers who are tilling the fields and raising crops on the site. Learn about the plants they grow, soil preparation, crop scheduling, marketing and more as you take a look at the late season crops.
Plan to spend the whole day and learn many new gardening skills to improve the school garden experience for yourself and your students. Bring a lunch.
We are grateful to the Massachusetts
Department of Agricultural Resources for providing funding for this day of
workshops and demonstrations.We also thank the New England Small Farm Institute for providing the site for this day of garden skills workshops and demonstrations. Read more.