Palos Verdes School Gardens (PVSG) is turning gardens in to classrooms in efforts to bring kids closer to nature in South Bay, California.
Offering “edible education”, the nonprofit’s weekly garden programme serves 11 schools and collaborates and consults with Rolling Hills Prep, PVPUSD Food Services for middle and high schools, as well as neighboring schools in the South Bay and the Greater Los Angeles area.
Children learn to plant, tend to harvest, and finally eat healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables in the garden.
Lessons weave in art, math, science, history, social science and focus on literacy. A lesson may touch on early colonial settlers and the influence on Native Americans, referencing plants and meals of that period.
Many lessons include art in activities such as vegetable stamping, garden collages, painting signs and copying an artistically rendered chalkboard lesson summary. Measurement of soil pH, proper spacing of plants, using tools to measure ingredients, reading thermometers and weather instruments, learning about compost/decomposition, vegetable families and parts of a plant are included in the instruction.
Children participating in PVSG’s programme learn to respect nature and living things, as well as get to taste different edibles. They also learn about bugs, such as pollinators, and worms that help support the garden.
PVSG was launched by a South Bay resident and mother, Diana Heffernan-Schrader, when she launched a successful school garden programme in a neglected weed patch of an enclosed dirt lot at her daughter’s school in 2010.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea