Friday, January 6, 2012

School Garden Funding Opportunity!!! Idea due Jan. 20th!!!

Want $650 for your school garden??? It’s not a grant. Just have to submit project ideas about how they would use the money to use a garden to improve the environment. It is limited to schools in SC, 3rd through 8th grade. The deadline is January 20th!! See link to register.  

Once you’re logged in, submit one or more hands-on project requests focused on benefiting the environment including up to $650 in materials each. Projects must engage students directly in benefitting the environment through water conservation and watershed protection, recycling, composting, restoring/creating community gardens, etc.

Owl Detectives

Visit the Carolina Children's Garden  and Conservation Station at the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center for their Owl Detectives program on January 2, 2012 from 1:00-2:00. 

Explore the secret lives of owls with this hands-on program.  We will learn about real owls that live in our area and explore the secrets of the woods by examining clues in owl pellets.  Dissecting owl pellets will reveal the organisms the owl relies on.  Recommended for students 1st grade and older.  Cost is $2 per child.

The Garden Club of South Carolina: College Scholarships

The Hessie T. Morrah Horticulture Scholarship offers financial aid to students and encourages the study of Agriculture, Agronomy, Botany, City Planning, Floriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Land Management, Landscape Architecture/ Design, Plant Pathology, or related majors.  All technical/junior/4-year undergraduates [may apply as HS senior] and graduate students may apply.

The Babs Barnette Environmental Scholarship offers financial aid to students and encourages the study of Environmental Control issues and allied courses.  Rising- junior or senior undergraduates [may apply as college sophomore] and graduate students may apply.

Deadlines: The postmark deadline is February 1, 2012. Mail application by certified mail, return receipt requested or email dasaham@charter.netfor written confirmation of receipt.

All applicants must enroll in nine or more credit hours per semester or the per quarter/trimester equivalent.

Scholarships applied for in the 2012 - 2013 school year will be $2,000 grants for the Hessie T. Morrah scholarships and $500 for the Babs Barnette scholarship.

Click on the link to apply:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bonnie Cabbage Contest for 3rd Graders

Each year, Bonnie Plants distributes free cabbage plants to third graders across the country to foster an interest in gardening and the environment. Cabbages are delivered to students whose teachers have signed up to participate. Students in these third grade classrooms each get their very own cabbage to plant, take care of and harvest. The cabbages produce over sized heads, making the process even more exciting for kids. As part of the program, Bonnie gives a $1,000 award to one student in each state. Through the annual Cabbage Program, we at Bonnie hope to share our love of gardening, as well as inspire kids to develop an interest in nature and the outdoors. Now entering in its 9th year, the program has been an exciting and rewarding venture!

Register your class BEFORE February 1, 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Growing More than Vegetables

Growing your own food can be an incredibly rewarding activity. Turning bare soil and tiny plants into abundant gardens provides people with a great feeling of accomplishment and awesome additions to their dinner tables. The Garden Project enlists volunteers to build small, raised-bed gardens for low-income individuals and families. We provide all the necessary materials, including growing guides and garden mentors.

Each year we install more than two dozen gardens so local folks can grow their own produce at home. These gardens generate great food and so much more.

The Garden Project reconnects community members to the source of their food. From back yard to kitchen table—the food chain has never been shorter, easier, and more nutritious.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid's Lunch

An increasingly cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals is making students- a captive market- fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.

About a quarter of the school nutrition program has been privatized, much of it outsourced to food service management giants like Aramark, based in Philadelphia; Sodexo, based in France; and the Chartwells division of the Compass Group, based in Britain.  They work in tandem with food manufacturers like the chicken producers Tyson and Pilgrim's, all of which profit when good food is turned to bad. 

The Agriculture Department pays about $1 billion a year for commodities like fresh apples and sweet potatoes, chicken and turkeys. Schools get the food free; some cook it on site, but more and more pay processors to turn these healthy ingredients into fried chicken nuggets, fruit pastries, pizza and the like.  Some $445 million worth of commodities are sent for processing each year, a nearly 50 percent increase since 2006. 

The Agriculture Department doesn't track spending to process the food, but school authorities do.  The Michigan Department of Education, for example, gets free raw chicken worth $11.40 a case and sends it for processing into nuggets at $33.45 a case.  The schools in San Bernardino, California, spend $14.75 to make french fries out of $5.95 worth of potatoes. 

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has warned that sending food to be processed often means lower nutritional value and noted that "many schools continue to exceed the standards for fat, saturated fat and sodium."

Why is this allowed to happen? Part of it is that school authorities don't want the trouble of overseeing real kitchens.  Part of it is that the management companies are saving money by not having to pay skilled kitchen workers.