Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welch's Harvest Grant!

As a family farmer-owned company that is proud to grow and nurture grapes, Welch’s is sponsoring the 2010 Welch’s Harvest Grant in partnership with Scholastic to foster educational efforts promoting the value of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. Recognizing that gardens provide a dynamic setting for learning, the grant program will provide gardening supplies to 100 schools nationwide to help them grow their own fruit and vegetable gardens.
The Welch’s Harvest Grant is open to classrooms throughout the United States that plan to use gardens to teach students about nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Two winning schools will be selected from each state. Five schools will receive $1,000 awards; 25 schools will receive $500 awards; and 70 schools will receive $250 awards. Winning schools may choose an indoor or an outdoor gardening package. Both contain a variety of tools, seeds, and educational materials, enabling entire school communities to connect with nature and better understand the origins of their food supply. Deadline for application submission is February 6, 2010. For complete details, official rules, and to see if your child’s school qualifies to enter, visit:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gardening Application for your Phone!

There was a short blurb of an article in the Greenville paper last weekend talking about gardening applications for your phone. These apps can be really helpful when you're trying to identify pests and problems in your garden. Here's a link to a Windows Mobile program that will give you a sense of what all you can find on these gardening applications!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture and Hugh Weathers, Commissioner, announce the recipients of the 2010 Eat Smart, It’s in the Garden Mini-Grant program to start or improve a school vegetable garden.
The nine recipients of a $1,000 grant are: Holly Springs Elementary, Pickens; Gray Court-Owings Elementary, Gray Court; Ford Elementary, Laurens; Okatie Elementary, Beaufort;
Nevitt Forest, Anderson; York Technical College, Rock Hill;
Summit Drive Elementary, Greenville; Stone Academy, Greenville; and Hendersonville Elementary, Walterboro.
The 2009 grant recipients will also continue their school garden programs with $500 grants at their respective schools, as well as serving as mentors and resources for the nine new grant recipients. The mentors are: Pontiac Elementary, Elgin; Central Child Development Center, Rock Hill; Mellichamp Elementary, Orangeburg; Birchwood Middle School, DJJ and Pauline-Glenn Springs, Pauline.
The Eat Smart, It’s in the Garden mini-grant program is a partnership between the non-profit Eat Smart, Move More SC and the S.C. Department of Agriculture that encourages schools to incorporate school gardens, healthy eating habits and agricultural appreciation into their school communities. The grant period runs from January 1 to June 30, 2010.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Garden at the Anna Boyd School

Great success story about a school garden at the Anna Boyd School : This community garden is made possible primarily through the efforts of two gardening volunteers Clarence McNeil and Irma Smith-Lowman. Can't wait to see what they grow this coming Spring!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barnwell Ag Ed Program Awarded Hydroponics Grant!

The Barnwell County Career Center Agricultural Education Department was recently awarded a “Hooked On Hydroponics” grant through the National Gardening Association. The grant is funded by The Grow Store in conjunction with the Progressive Gardening Association.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in nutrient solutions (water containing fertilizers) with or without the use of an artificial medium (sand, gravel, vermiculite, sawdust and others). Most hydroponic operations are housed in greenhouses, which allows for greater control of growing variables, and can lead to more efficient growing practices, including conservation of water and great control of fertilizer run-off.
“The grant will be used to purchase hydroponic equipment needed to install this unique method of gardening on our campus,” said Mindy Sandifer, Agricultural Education instructor at the center. “This was my first attempt at submitting a grant proposal and I look forward to using the funds to make hydroponics an integral part of our plant science curriculum,” she added.
Amanda Wiggins, Grants Administrator with the National Gardening Association, said the proposal was chosen for the award because the application demonstrated clear educational goals and commitment to helping students gain hands-on experience with the joys and wonders of gardening.

Nominations for Outstanding Educator Award!!

The South Carolina Farm Bureau Women's Committee evaulates and presents an award to the an outstanding educator in South Carolina based upon his or her teaching programs incorporating agriculture into their classroom curriculum. Teachers working with Kindergartners through the 8th grade are eligible for consideration. The nominee must have designated and implemented a lesson/unit/project about the food and fiber industry within the last school year (August – June). For more information about this award, please visit:
or contact Vonne Baker.

Monday, November 23, 2009

S.C. Veggies & Fruit Coloring Book

DHEC has partnered with the S.C. Department of Agriculture to print english and spanish versions of the S.C. Fruit & Veggies Coloring Book. The coloring book features a wide variety of fruits and veggies grown in South Carolina, as well as a seasonal produce availability chart in the back to help students learn when certain fruits and veggies are in season. For more information about downloading or obtaining copies of the coloring book, please visit:

Jesse Boyd School Healthy Eating Study

Recent, students from Wofford and USC Upstate conducted an interesting project with Kindergarteners and 1st Graders at Jesse Boyd school. The project was looking at helping younger kids to make healthy eating choices. The results were dramatic!! For more information, check out this great article :

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Celebrity Chef Marvin Woods - Workshop @ Richland One

Recently, celebrity chef Marvin Woods visited with students at Richland One Central Kitchen as part of the "Lights on After School" program. Mr. Woods focuses on cooking healthy, fresh foods and encouraging children to eat more fresh fruits and veggies to combat childhood obesity. For more information about this event please visit:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Palmetto Pride Grant Opportunities

The Palmetto Pride Organization offers a number of different grant opportunities that you or your school garden might be interested in applying for. Recently, they had a Fall Tree Grant program which just ended, where they gave out trees to qualified grant recipients. Currently they have a Community Pride grant opportunity that is open until November 30, 2009. For more information, please visit:

Healthy Harvesters Blog!

Check out the Healthy Harvesters Blog by going to the Links listed on the left hand side of this blog (down by the archives), or by clicking on these links:

The Healthy Harvesters are the students and teachers at Pauline Glenn Springs Elementary School. They are doing an awesome job!! Check it out ;)

Also, if you have a blog that you would like us to link to, just let us know!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

City Roots: Your In-Town Sustainable Farm

Here's a neat article about a BIG garden that just started in the middle of Columbia, SC! This father and his children are really passionate about gardening and farming, and they've taken it to a new level by creating City Roots: Your In-Town Sustainable Farm. Production just really started cranking up in June, and they are moving forward quickly. They offer tours of the farm and want to share their story with school children and others who are interested in local food production. To read a copy of the article in the State newspaper, go to: To learn more about the farm, go to

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Heathwood Hall is Hosting Dr. Ann on Nov. 7, 2009

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School is hosting a special event featuring Dr. Ann Kutze who will be speaking about healthy eating choices for your children. Dr. Ann is a nationally recognize author and speaker on this subject. Registration is $10. After the talk, Dr. Ann will be available to answer questions and meet with participants in a lively food forum under the Campus Center. Several local restaurants and vendors will be on hand to offer delicious and nutritious samples, including ZPizza, El Burrito, Pinckney Produce and more!
This event is open to the public, so please invite your friends. Space is limited Register early using the online registration form at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Community Gardens Act of 2009

Earlier this year the "Community Gardens Act of 2009" was introduced as a Congressional Bill that would provide grant funding for community gardens. The bill states that establishing community gardens increases the general availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, helps to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions, promotes healthy lifestyles and educates the public on the importance of gardening and food production. To read the text of this bill, to follow the progress of this bill and/or to learn more details about the bill (committee hearings, sponsors, etc.), please go to:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rain Barrel Workshop

On October 17, the Hub City Farmers Market will be sponsoring a Rain Barrel workshop put on by Clemson Extension agent George Dickert. The cost is $65. This is a great opportunity to learn how to make and use a rain barrel and to acquire one at reasonable price. For more inform...ation, please call the Hub City Farmers' Market office at 864-585-0905 or e-mail

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Community Food Projects

The USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program is offering grants to private, non-profit entities to help them establish community food projects. The goal of these grants is to help communities become more self reliant on their local food systems and at the same time address food, nutrition, and farm issues. The grants offered are one time only and require a dollar for dollar match in resources. The grant can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years and grants are awarded in amounts between $10,000 and $300,000 dollars. Check out for more information. An example of an established community garden can be found in at HeartWorks in Bayboro, NC. Their garden was developed in 2008 and is located in a 4,000 sq. ft. lot. Children who participate in their after school and summer programs learn how to garden and cook with fresh produce. The garden provides healthy afternoon snacks for them as well! Go to for more information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hidden Valley Ranch has a great program called "Love Your Veggies" which offers grants to schools! They are currently accepting grant applications until November 6, 2009. These $10,000 grants can be used to help schools execute innovative programs that will increase the access to, and consumption of, fresh fruits and vegetables in the lunchroom. For more information about Love Your Veggies and the grant application, to to:

The deadline for applying for the Lowe's Toolbox for Education grants is October 16, 2009. These grants are available to 1500 applicants. There will also be a spring grant application period. The grants are for projects that help improve schools and their surrounding communities, including projects such as school gardens! For more information, please visit:
Here's a website filled with lots of ideas and success stories about ways that you can change the food service in your school to include more local foods, seasonal produce and healthy food choices! You can even register to win a school lunch makeover with Ann Cooper, the "Renegade Lunch Lady"!! For more information, check out this website at:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spartanburg County Schools Eat Local celebration

Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture, will participate in the It Takes You! Eat Local celebration at Arcadia Elementary School, 375 Spring St., in Spartanburg at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.

The event, sponsored by Chartwells School Dining Services a Division of the Compass Group, is designed to encourage the schools that they service to feature at least one or more locally grown produce items on their menu daily the week of September 21-25, 2009.
The celebration is part of an on-going partnership between Chartwells and South Carolina distributors, schools, and farmers designed to help children develop healthy eating habits. But, the program also helps to improve South Carolina farm income and direct access to markets.
For their effort to provide locally grown produce in their schools, Chartwells and Spartanburg School District 6 were presented the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) ‘Best Practice Award.’ The purpose of the award is to encourage and reward outstanding practices in schools in the southeast region of the U.S. and to share the winner’s strategies with other schools so that they can also improve their programs and services that are delivered to their students.
Commissioner Weathers is expected to commend the public-private partnership among Chartwells, produce distributors, and participating farmers and school districts. All around, the promotion educates students and customers about sustainability practices, the benefits of eating fresh, local produce and how buying local affects our communities and wellness.
For more information about the local produce in Spartanburg schools program, contact Ron Jones, Chartwells Director of Dining for Spartanburg District Schools.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lucy's Tasty Treasures!

Lucy's Tasty Treasures is a great set of videos put together by Dr. Katherine Cason at Clemson University. The video series follows Lucy and her friends as they go on a summer assignment to learn more about where their South Carolina food comes from! The kids go on an adventure to Titan Peach Farm, Walter P. Rawl produce farm, Happy Cow Creamery, Split Creek Goat Farm, The Happy Berry and other farms throughout the state. To find out more about this great video series and the lesson materials that come along with it, please visit:

Friday, August 28, 2009

School Lunch & Garden discussion on NPR

Earlier this week there was a discussion on NPR about two different school food service programs that are taking steps to have healthier school lunch programs. The School Food Service Director for Baltimore City Public Schools talks about a farm that he owns and allows children to come out and reconnect with how food is produced, in addition so supplying the food service program. He also discusses steps he is taking to purchase from other local producers and how he wants to change some of the choices currently being offered in school vending machines.
The other presentor is from Conneticut and he talks about how they are doing more to purchase local and seasonal products to help children reconnect with their food and what it looks and tastes like in its raw, un processed form. For the transcript and full discussion, please visit:

Monday, August 24, 2009

SC School Garden Survey

The Department of Agriculture would like to invite you to participate in the South Carolina School Garden Inventory. The 2008 distribution of this survey resulted in five schools throughout the state being awarded “Eat Smart …it’s in the Garden” mini grants. Once again, we would like distribute our School Garden Inventory to learn more about school gardens throughout the state.
The data gathered from this inventory will be used to determine a pool of potential applicants the Department of Agriculture invites to apply for the 2009 “Eat Smart…it’s in the Garden” mini-grants sponsored by Eat Smart Move More…SC.
We are trying to reach as many schools across the state as possible. Therefore, please share this email with your colleagues and encourage others to complete the survey.
The survey should take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. Please submit your survey responses by Friday September 4, 2009. If you have any questions please contact Beth Crocker at Thank you in advance for your time and assistance with distributing this survey throughout the state.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

National Gardening Association grant program

The National Gardening Association has announced that it will be providing 100 grants in 2010 to qualified youth gardening programs in 2010. Grant applications are due by November 2, 2009. Qualified applicants must plan to have a garden program that will involve at least 15 children. Grants will be awarded in the amount of $500 gift cards to Home Depot and/or the Gardening with Kids catalog produced by the National Gardening Association. For more detailed information about the grant application and awards process, please visit:

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 23-29, 2009 - National Community Garden Week!!

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 23-29 to be National Community Garden Week!! Vilsack supports community gardenting because it encourages Americans to connect with the land, the food it grows and their local communities. A community garden is an opportunity to educate everyone about from where food comes, whether that is a Farmers Market or a garden, and is important to increasing generations of healthy eaters. Community gardens can be anywhere whether it is in the country, a city or a suburb. It can be one community plot or can be many individual plots, at schools or other public facilities; the possibilities are endless!
Currently there are thousands of community gardens nationwide including 'The People's Garden' at USDA Headquarters on the National Mall. Earlier this year, Vilsack broke ground on 'The People's Garden' - a vegetable garden on USDA property that recently was expanded to include sustainable landscaping for the entire grounds. Since May 21, USDA has harvested and donated more than 170 pounds of produce to the DC Central Kitchen. The DC Central Kitchen offers job training in culinary and food service skills to DC's homeless.

Information about 'The People's Garden' initiative is available at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here's an Idea!!! Adopt a Classroom :)

For those of you who are looking for ways to get community and parent support for your school gardens and outdoor classrooms, check out Teachers who register with this organization will have an opportunity to share their programs and projects with interested funders. Check it out!

Here's a website and a book by an urban girl who blogs and shares information and ideas related to organic urban and container gardening. She has a strong environmental ethic and shares ideas about composting, reducing plastic consumption, using energy and water efficient processes, etc. Please visit her website for a variety of differnet ideas and resources related to urban gardening.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SC Elementary Schools using USDA grant to promote fresh fruits & veggies!

The South Carolina Department of Education is working with 51 elementary schools across the state to increase children's consumption of fresh fruits and veggies with the help of a $ 1.17 million dollar grant from the USDA. Specifically, the Department of Education's Office of School Food Services and Nutrition is partnering with the state Department of Agriculture to work with local farmers to purchase home-grown fruits and produce for the program.

For more information about these schools and their partnership with the SC Dept. of Education, please visit:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kalmia Garden & Joslin Education Center at Coker College

Recently, my Boykin Spaniel "Jake" and I had the chance to visit with Mary Ridgeway, the Director of Kalmia Garden and Outdoor Classroom at Coker College in Hartsville, SC. While the garden has been open to the public since the 1930s, recently they have been focused on developing their outdoor classroom and education garden. With the help of a local boy scout troop, they have installed raised beds and are currently planning for some fall and winter crops.
Kalmia Garden is a 35 acre botanical garden filled with a wide variety of horticulture specimens and native wildlife. The site was an old Plantation homestead at one time before becoming a public garden and becoming part of Coker College. Kalmia Gardens is also part of the Cotton Trail and is the gateway to an almost 800 acre preserve!! Beautiful!!
Mary invites everyone to come visit Kalmia Garden and learn more about the Joslin Education Center and all of the opportunities it has to offer! For more information, please visit:

What a wonderful way to preserve the heritage of the Pee Dee area, and provide a sanctuary for children, families, wildlife and native fauna!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SC Farm Bureau Classroom Garden Mini-Grant Program

There are two grant categories available. $500 for a Raised Bed Outdoor Garden Kit or $250 for a Grow Lab Indoor Garden Kit with Seed Started Materials. Both kits come with lesson plans and all materials needed to start the garden. All applications are due by October 1, 2009. To obtain a grant application form with all criteria and stipulations, please contact Ms. Faith Lawrimore at or (803) 936-4287.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kinder-gardeners: The Power of Nature to Nurture

Eat Smart, It's in the Garden grant recipient, Central Child Development Center in Rock Hill, recently had an article published about their successful school garden program. In an article for Exchange magazine (, Dr. Linda Hutchinson-Harmon writes about the wonderful partnership between the pre-schoolers with special needs, four year old kindergarten students and middle schoolers in the Rebound Alternative Program. Together, these students, teachers and parents have been able to create a great gardening program where reading, measuring, biology, nutrition activities and so much can be learned by all participants.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

School Garden Grant Recipient Success Stories

Earlier this summer, an in-service day “Ag in the Classroom” seminar was held by Farm Bureau in Charleston for South Carolina’s school teachers. The seminar was used to highlight several facets of agriculture that can be incorporated into a school’s curriculum and a portion of the seminar was devoted to school gardens. A representative from each of the five schools who received school garden grants through the Department of Agriculture last year delivered presentations providing an update of the progress of their school garden. The impact that the school gardens have had on these schools is astounding! It was reported from all schools involved that the children developed a deeper desire to learn – their curiosity about the origin of their food carried over into other school subjects. Some schools even reported behavioral changes, with students behaving better because they knew that misbehaving would restrict their time in the garden that day. Students became so involved in their gardens that they were even asking to spend their recess time working in the garden – watering the plants, pulling weeds and just tending to whatever their garden needed at the time. It was apparent from these testimonials that our state’s children are being given an opportunity to participate in an activity that they are excited to learn about! We look forward to hearing continued updates about these success stories and are excited to see what the next year has in store for other schools across the state. Be looking next week for each of the presentations to be posted on the South Carolina Department of Agriculture webpage!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ag in the Classroom Presentations

Thanks and congratulations to all of the presentors at the Ag in the Classroom Summer Institute presentation in Charleston on June15th! Presentors included: Debbie Blackmon, Birchwood Middle School, Beth Crocker for Amy Clegg at Mellichamp Elementary, Nancy Steward, Pauline-Glenn Springs Elementary, Joyce Newman from Central Child Development in Rock Hill, and Wendy Myers with Pontiac Elementary. Everyone did a great job sharing their success stories from their school garden Eat Smart, It's in the Garden! grant program!

Monday, June 8, 2009

At , they can design, install, and maintain children's edible organic garden for individual homes, schools, hospitals, and day care centers. Senior centers too! Check out some of the gardens they have already built and the work that they are doing with the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry!!

Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Check out all of the great children's gardening and healthy eating activities and classes being offered this June at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry by visiting:

Friday, May 29, 2009

It is our pleasure to introduce Joann Minder as our guest blogger from June 1st – June 5th. Joann serves as the health communications coordinator within the Division of Obesity Prevention & Control and is experienced in the success story writing process.

Title: Showcasing your Successes --“How to Prepare for Your Presentation”

With the growing demand for positive outcomes and the competition for funding dollars, it is more important than ever to let others know about your accomplishments. A success story is a wonderful way to highlight the accomplishments of your school garden.
You cannot always rely on the media to communicate the great things you are doing within your schools and communities. It is up to you.

A success story is a concise one-page story that is used to highlight your program or project’s accomplishments. Simple straightforward language and bullets are used to make the story reader-friendly and appealing to a wider audience. The framework for success stories is outlined below. The bulleted questions are to help guide your thinking as you determine what to write. Some questions may or may not be applicable.

Why do we need Success Stories?
Success stories are a tool that can be used as a way to:
Share your triumphs with the public, community, decision makers and the media
Show accountability to stakeholders, the public, and funders
Present the framework for a report on your project/program
Prepare talking points for presentations

What are the components of a Success Story?
Your success story framework should contain four components; issue, intervention, impact, and lessons learned.

Issue-What is the problem? Why did you start the school garden?
Create an emotional hook painting a picture of the problem using personal situations.
Who was at risk?

Intervention-What were the solutions or the ways you addressed the problem?
Who carried out the project/program?
When did it occur?
Where did it take place?
Who was served?
How was it carried out?

Impact-What were the specific outcomes?
What differences did it make?
How many people did the intervention impact?
What changes occurred?

Lessons Learned -What are the lessons learned from your program or project?
What were your challenges and how did you address?
What advice would you give others who want to replicate?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” A success story is a great way to say what you have to say.

Please post any comments or questions to let me know how I can help you to showcase your school garden success!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Riverbanks Zoo Garden Programs

Every Saturday from 11:00am until 1:00pm the Riverbanks Zoo Botanical Garden hosts free gardening demonstrations! Activities for children include explorations in vine-covered tunnels and tepees in the Play Garden as well as Garden Scavenger Hunts. All of the activities provide kids with the opportunity to learn interesting facts about a variety of plants and some crawly creatures! More information about the Riverbanks Garden Programs can be found at the address below and don't forget that you need to pre-register for all of the activities! We hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take the Palmettovore Challenge!

The South Carolina Legislature has declared June 2009 as Palmettovore Challenge Month! All South Carolinians are encouraged to join this statewide group that is committed to eating locally grown foods and increasing their support of Certified SC Grown. Participants in the program should also consult the SC Produce Availability Calendar in order to be aware of the best times to purchase certain fruits and vegetables in the state. This calendar will also be resourceful when developing your garden! It can be used to optimize produce selection throughout the year in your school or community garden! Please visit the link below for access to the SC Produce Availability Calendar.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Become a Palmettovore!

What is a Palmettovore? It is someone who eats fresh South Carolina produce and products as their primarly source of food! This is the latest phase of the S.C. Department of Agriculture's Certified SC Grown marketing program. What a fun way to encourage kids to eat a variety of products grown in South Carolina and thinking about their local economies. For more information, please visit:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mellichamp Elementary

Mellichamp Elementary School in Orangeburg has successfully kicked off their garden! These 1st graders have planted tomatoes, squash, zucchini, some herbs, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and watermelons! WOW! The children were very excited to tell us about their garden and are looking forward to trying these vegetables in person. They are also gathering recipes for a cookbook collection feature all of their favorite SC vegetable dishes!! Great job!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

NGA's How-To Videos

More great resources from the National Gardening Association!

Check out this link to find How-To videos, such as Controlling Deer, Maintaing a Vegetable Garden, and Controlling Slugs.

NGA's Weed Library

View this link to find out what weeds are growing in your garden, and helpful tips on how to get rid of them...

National Gardening Association Free Newsletters

Easy sign up at this link to receive a monthly Kids Garden newsletter to continuously get new ideas for your school garden! You can also sign up to get Regional Gardening Reports, and store discounts:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wondering when the best time is to plant and how long it will be until time to harvest?

This link tells you, by region, when the best weeks are to plant certain vegetables, and also has a chart telling how long they take to harvest:

For example, in central S.C., soy beans should be planted between May 10-July 1, and will be ready to harvest in about 60-70 days.

Pollination Advice and Curriculum Ideas!!

Here's a link to a multitude of resources, such as classroom activities, an interactive PBS game, creating a pollinator garden, and MUCH MORE!:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hooked on Hydroponics grant program!

Hooked on Hydroponics is offering grant awards for 2009! You can apply for these grant opportunities until September 2009. The grants are available to schools that are planning to grown produce in a hydroponic environment. For details about the grant application and award, please visit:

Healthy Sprouts Grant Opportunity!

The National Gardening Association Healthy Sprouts 2009 grant applications are now available! Grants are due in October 2009 and monies will be made available in January 2010. To find more information about this grant opportunity, please visit:


The Harvard Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity has posted a view links to books and articles that support School Gardens as valuable learning tools and helpful in addressing childhood obesity concerns. For more information please visit: and also the Eat Well, Keep Moving website which addresses a number of audiences interested in childhood obesity and physical activite concerns, including parents, food service providers, teachers and others :

Monday, April 20, 2009

Check Out Our New Blog Additions!

We've added a video tool bar at the bottom of the page. Just press on the picture, and a YouTube video will begin playing. Currently a video is posted from the Library of Congress, which talks about the history of school gardens and their recent comeback. Stay tuned for more videos to be added later this week...

There are also a few quick survey questions. Thanks for your responses!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Child Left Inside

Consider joining in the campaign to highlight the importance of environmental education!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Vegetable Web MD

Having trouble with your plants, and not sure what is going wrong?

Check out this website to find a diagnosis...

Composting Picture Guides and Other Great Info

Here you can check out a step-by-step photo guide of the composting and worm composting processes!

Having composting problems? Or need to doublecheck what you should be adding? Check out these simple informational sheets:

LiFE Curriculum for Grades 4th through 8th!

"Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) is a collaboration of the Science Education and Nutrition education programs at Teachers College Columbia University. Established in 1996 with the vision of promoting scientific habits of mind through thoughtful, inquiry-based activities that integrate the study of food, food systems, and environmental and personal health. The mission of all the LiFE modules is to increase scientific conceptual understandings in life sciences; improve attitudes towards science; improve attitudes toward personal health and nature; and promote behavior changes in relation to personal and ecological health.

In the modules of the LiFE Curriculum Series students embark on an exciting adventure—learning how to use scientific evidence to construct theories of food, food systems and health that can lead to choices that promote ecological and personal health."

Check out and use these free lessons!

"Keeping the Flow" (investigating the impact of ones diet on the cardiovascular system)
"Celebrating Plant Parts"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Carolina Fence Garden!

Some of you may already be familiar with the Carolina Fence Garden project offered by the South Caorlina Wildlife Federation, but for those of you who would like more information about how to create a Carolina Fence Garden, please visit:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Blooming Butterflies exhibit at EdVenture!!

Mother's Day weekend, May 9-10, EdVenture in Columbia will be opening its new "Blooming Butterflies" exhibit! This will be a permanent, outdoor exhibit at EdVenture featuring hundreds of butterflies and native plant species. The outdoor learning lab will feature 10-15 different species of butterflies indigenous to the Southeast as well as a variety of native and subtropical vegetation. EdVenture also anticipates that "Blooming Butterflies" also will appeal to nature enthusiasts who want to learn about the best types of plants to use in their own yards to attract butterflies. Admission to "Blooming Butterflies" is free to EdVenture members and only $3 for non-members with20standard museum admission. Advance tickets can be purchased online starting April 15. For more information about the ‘Blooming Butterflies' exhibit or EdVenture Children's Museum, visit or call (803) 779-3100. The mission of EdVenture Children's Museum is to inspire children to experience the joy of learning.

Honey Bees at the new White House garden!

Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack, along with First Lady Michelle Obama and 5th graders from elementary are excited about the health benefits and tasty treats that can come from growing a garden. They also announced that in July, the garden will be receiving two different types of honey bees that are resistant to certain parasites. These honey bees are essential to the success of a garden because they insure pollination of the flowers so that the plants will bear fruit to be harvested at a later date. A greate secondary feature of having active honey bees, is the honey that they produce! For more information about the White House garden and the benefits of honey bees, please see:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Free Guides for Teachers on Composting with Worms!

This link is a free publication on vermicomposting (composting with worms), and is especially geared towards teachers:

This link offers numerous activities for integrating vermicomposting into classroom curriculum:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Family gardens on the rise!

Here's an article that talks about how many families are planting gardens at home to save money on their grocery bills. Many of these families are first time gardeners! What a great topic to talk about at PTA meetings and information to share during parent-teacher conferences! For more info, please visit:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good News in Pickens!

A.R. Lewis Elementary School in Pickens is making huge strides in their fresh snack program and their school garden. For more information, check out this link:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Washington D.C. Area School Gardens

Thanks to Wendy Myers for sharing this great article about the many school garden projects going on in the Washington, D.C. area. Please check out this link for the details:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Planning a new garden!!

Plangarden software has an interactive layout design of the new vegetable garden at the White House. Plangarden software also allows beginning community gardeners to design and plan their gardens to meet the group objects. To read an interesting article about this software, please visit:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The People's Garden!

Before the new garden at the White House was planted, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack broke through asphalt at the United States Department of Agriculture to create "The People's Garden." The garden is designed to encourage average people to start their own gardens, as well as increasing awareness and appreciation of "green" concepts such as water retention and conservation, using native plants, soil conservation and appreciationg local, seasonal food production. For more information about The People's Garden, please visit:

Composting & the Green Steps for Environmental Education program

Some of you may be interested in learning more about composting as you are working on your gardening projects. The Green Steps for Environmental Education program has some good information about composting and other environmental projects that your school might be interested in, as well as the requirements for being recognized as a South Carolina Green Steps School. For more information about composting and the Green Steps program, please visit:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gimme 5 Challenge in the Low Country!

I heard about this neat initiative going on in Bluffton, SC called the "Gimme 5 Challenge!" I thought that some of you who are interested in linking your garden programs with healthy eating and activity choices might be interested in checking out their website and activities. You can learn more about the Gimme 5 Challenge at:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Garden at the White House!

Seems like everyone is getting into the benefits of gardening and the benefits of fresh produce! For more information about the Garden at the White House, check out this link:

"Gardening and composting go hand-in-hand, especially in school garden projects: gardening without composting only teaches half the lesson..."

"Learning About Soil" and "Composting Resources for Schools":

Simple fact sheet (download PDF from link):

SC DHEC information and links:

Pollinator Curriculm

Check out this link to see how to integrate garden pollination learning into your classroom:

Nature's Partners
is an inquiry learning-based curriculum for young people in the 4th through the 6th grade. It is comprised of seven modules. Each module offers three or four activities designed to engage young people in active, investigative science following a learning cycle of

  • exploration,
  • concept introduction/development, and
  • concept application.

The Nature's Partners curriculum is designed to be flexible. Although it is presented as a sequence of activities, there is no need to do them all or todo them in order.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Healthy School Toolkit

Here is an interesting resource from the Food Trust, for those of you who view your school garden program as part of your overall school wellness program. This publication provides some good ideas about organizing community and volunteer groups, setting goals, and sharing successes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Harvest Hope's Plant a Row Program!

Harvest Hope Food Bank serves 20 counties in South Carolina. Currently they have a new campaign called Plant A Row for the Hungry, where they are asking gardeners in South Carolina to plant an extra row and to donate the harvest from that row to the food bank. If this sounds like a project that you and your school might be interested in participating in, please visit:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wondering How You Too Can Become A Blog Follower?

This will allow you to easily post comments, questions, pictures, etc. to the blog!

Follow these steps:
1. On the right hand side of this page, click on "Follow this blog"
2. Sign in using your gmail account. If you do not already have an account, click on "New to Blogger? Sign up for your free blogger account."
3. Once you sign in, type in the name you would like to be displayed when you post a blog (this could be your name or your school's name), and check "I accept the Terms of Service"
4. Click "Follow publicly" on the next page
5. And then start posting!

Pauline-Glenn Springs Elementary Breaks Ground!

Check out the progress of their garden!

On the right hand side of this page, under "Followers", click on Nancy to link to her PGS Healthy Harvesters blog. Here you can view the pictures and read about the beginning stage of the garden.

Thanks Nancy!!

Do You Need Gardening Advice or Plant Problem Solving Assistance?

Clemson Extension is ready to help you!
Each county has an agent who can speak to your specific area when it comes to soil testing, plant problem solving, and a wide array of other gardening issues.

Agent contacts for your county:
Richland - Ted Williams 803-779-8717 x 1127
York - Paul Thompson 803-684-9919
Spartanburg - S. Cory Tanner 864-596-2993
Orangeburg - Morgan Judy 803-534-6280

Call this toll-free-number: 1-888-656-9988, Monday-Friday, 9AM-1PM, to get immediate assistance for anywhere in the state!

Also, check out these Clemson Extension links:

Wondering how you can control those pesky weeds, or maybe having trouble deciding what are good seeds and plants to get?

Wondering what time of year you should plant cucumbers (or any other vegetable for that matter) or how far apart you should space them?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bonnie 3rd Grade Cabbage Plant Program

Bonnie's 3rd Grade Cabbage Program distributes free cabbage plants to third grade classrooms whose teachers sign up to participate. This year 1,200,000 third-graders planted and took care of their own cabbage plants. You can learn more about the program, which also awards $1,000 scholarships to one student in each state, by visiting:

Lowe's Toolbox for Education grants

The deadline for the spring grant cycle has passed, but there will be a Fall grant cycle and your school garden program might be eligible! For more information, please visit:

Hopefully your success stories at the end of this grant period will fit nicely into this grant application process.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A+ Energy Grants available from BP corporation!

BP is offering grants in the amount of $5,000 - $10,000 for projects related to energy use and conservation. Is your school garden or other related activity eligible for this type of grant? Check out this link to learn more about the grant details:

Application deadline is April 6, 2009.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SCDA Grant Award Press Release

South Carolina Department of Agriculture
Hugh Weathers, Commissioner


SC Schools Awarded “Eat Smart, It’s in the Garden” Grants

COLUMBIA, SC, January 27, 2009 – Five schools in South Carolina have been selected to
receive $1,000 to implement or improve a garden site on their school grounds in the “Eat Smart,
It’s in the Garden” grant initiative. The recipients include: Mellichamp Elementary in
Orangeburg County, Pauline-Glenn Springs Elementary in Spartanburg County, Pontiac
Elementary in Richland County, Central Child Education Center, York County, and the New
Direction School in Richland County.

The program initiated by Eat Smart, Move More...SC and the South Carolina Department of
Agriculture supports the effort to offer a unique space within the school environment in which
children of all abilities can achieve learning goals. Eat Smart, Move More...SC is a non-profit
organization dedicated to the promotion of healthy eating and active living throughout South

Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture, said, “This program provides teachers with a tool
to incorporate hands-on learning experiences with their students. The gardening experience also
helps to instill good eating habits at an early age, provides children with a physical activity, and
develops a greater appreciation for the great diversity of food that can be grown in South

The grant period ends in June, and each of the grant recipients will be sharing their success
stories and ideas for sustaining their gardening projects into the future.

For more information about school gardens in South Carolina, visit School Gardens Program at or call Beth Crocker, 803-734-2210.


Becky Walton, 803-734-2182,
Stephen Hudson, 803-734-0648,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Captain Planet Environment Grants - due March 31, 2009

Your school garden project may be eligible for grant support from the Captain Planet Foundation! To learn more, please visit:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Grant opportunity - due Feb. 17, 2009

Check out this link to learn more about an upcoming grant opportunity that would be a good match for school garden programs!