The objective of strengthening our communities has remained a constant from the time of the “settlement houses” of the early 20th century to today and has often revolved around individual and community sustenance related to education, environment and food. While reconnecting our youth to these time-honored practices, we are, at the same time, developing new stewards for Earth.
In taking care of Earth and understanding our innate connection to all living systems, we have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of “well-being” while cultivating the physical and social-emotional health of our young people in the process. Students will come to see that environmental and personal wellness are interdependent.
We offer consulting and planning services to assist schools and community organizations in implementing their own school gardens. Modules may include:
- Seasonal Cycles & Garden Space
- Soil Preparation & Compost
- Seeds & Transplants
- Planting Inside & Out
- Edible Landscape & Sensory Gardens
- Vegetable Options
- Berry Bushes
- Care & Feeding
Some modules can be combined or expanded based on their interrelated components and the unique needs of each school. We also provide sourcing information to obtain needed items from organic farms and supply vendors (and by way of seed saving and transplants).
Additionally, we offer training which includes an education series: Nature Communities, About Organic Gardening, Compost & Worms. Hands-on instructional learning sessions related to modules above and a guided “Train the Trainer” workshop for internal school garden program sustainability are available. Training may be customized to integrate with various curriculum areas (Health, Science, Social Studies, English, Art, etc.) and experiential learning can be devised to complement current lesson plan topics. The Children’s Sangha’s nature-based curriculum under Reconnect Nature’s Child can be brought to your classroom and garden at any time as a workshop offering for students.
Christine Keller is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member of Restoration Farm and a community partner with The Garden at St. Francis, Long Island Traditions and other organizations who all share our vision. The Children’s Sangha is involved with The Long Island Food Coalition (formerly Long Island Small Farm Initiative), a consortium of people throughout Long Island and the tri-state area who share a common desire to advance efforts in preserving our local agriculture and expanding sources of locally grown food for our communities.
To schedule a consultation, please fill out the form below.
As an extension of our Start Your Own School Garden program, we will be offering our Healthy School Lunch option where we meet to describe our services and discuss how each school’s unique needs may be addressed and implemented. In addition to teaching our youth about what constitutes “Healthy Eating,” we can demonstrate it first hand. During our consultation and planning services we will recommend a phased approach:
- Phase I: Nature’s Choices—crepe, smoothie and salad stations
- Phase II: EcoCafe—breakfast and lunch menu creation, maintenance and phase-out of old menu based on increased interest in new menu items, and extended menu options
- Phase III: Green Kitchen—focus on paper goods and recycling, elimination of styrofoam, phase-out of plastic products, integration of composting and other green cooking practices
We will provide a list of local farms and food vendors from whom to purchase in addition to the use of your own school garden as a resource. Our training options encompass an education series “What Constitutes ‘Healthy Food,’” cooking classes, and “Train the Trainer” for internal school program sustainability. Training may be customized to integrate with various curriculum areas (Health, Science, Social Studies, English, Art, etc.) and experiential learning can be devised to complement current lesson plan topics.