Archive for Youth Grow

GG’s Latest Dig: New Garden for a New Year!

Oliver P. Lent School has a phenomenal new garden!

Thanks to all the community and school volunteers that spent their Saturday cutting boards, drilling holes, and hauling soil, there are 8 3ft x 8ft raised beds in the schoolyard of Lent, our newest partner school. We couldn’t have done it without volunteer muscle and generous in-kind donors: Recology donated the soil, and Daniel Edwards donated his time and skill to design the garden.

Soil from Recology and the First Completed Bed

Volunteers carry a newly-built frame

With the help of a $5,000 grant from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Lent is going to install phase 2 of the garden this spring: This will include the addition of native plants and a bioswale/wetland habitat, and there are preparations in the works for a new shed.

There is a lot more planned for the future, like expanding the garden to include beds for community use and adding a space for school and community events.

Getting closer...

Principal John Horn takes a quick break

Teachers, staff, and administrators are overjoyed about the opportunities the garden will open up for their students. Spanish immersion teacher and garden coordinator Jesse Hunter and some of his colleagues have been using a temporary garden space for the past year, but the 8 conveniently located new beds will make it possible for many more teachers to make garden education part of their everyday curriculum.

Lent anticipates integrating gardening into science, math, and language arts classes during the school day. 15 students in grades 1 & 2 will continue to tend the beds and learn gardening and nutrition skills in the SUN/Youth Grow after school garden club. Come by 5015 SE 97th Ave to check out the new space and see what’s growing!

The finished product! Phase 1 is complete and we'll be growing peas and early spring crops in no time.


Photos by Jess Polledri and Jesse Hunter


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Big News at Growing Gardens!

Owen Blethen Smith was born on August 17th, 2011. Proud parents Caitlin Blethen, Youth Grow Manager, and Bryan Smith are just smitten with their healthy and adorable son. (The rest of us in the Growing Gardens office are pretty smitten too!)

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Please join us for the 2011 School Garden Tour!

2011 School Garden Tour
Friday, August 26th 9am-2pm

Spend the day discovering
local educational gardens!

*See examples of school garden infrastructure & design
*Learn how garden programs are structured & maintained
*Discover how garden-grown produce is utilized in schools & beyond
*Ask questions & network with local school garden experts
*Find out how school gardens support curriculum-wide student learning

We’ll be visiting Vernon Gardens, Rigler Peace Garden, The Lewis Garden and Abernethy Garden of Wonders. The tour will begin in the Vernon Garden and we’ll arrange and we’ll arrange carpools and biking teams from there. Directions and logistical information will be emailed out to those who register. The tour is limited to 40 participants, so please register early. We’ll have a picnic lunch at Abernethy, just before the final garden site tour.

This tour is free of cost, presented by GROWING GARDENS
To register contact Candice: (503)284-8420 x109

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Growing Gardens 8th Annual Tour de Coops!

We are inspired by the creativity of Portland’s urban chicken keepers and we think you will be too.  That’s why we’re excited about our 2011 Tour de Coops!

Saturday, July 16 – 10am-3pm

There are 22 amazing coops on this year’s tour.  From green roofs to cob building, water catchment features to repurposed materials, you will see lots of fantastic coops some lucky chickens call home.  Navigating the tour is easy.  You can get out of your car and bike or walk because we organized the coops into neighborhood clusters.

The ticket to the tour is the booklet. Booklets are $15 and one booklet is good for a group of people.  The booklets include pictures, descriptions, maps and our comprehensive list of coop building tips.  Booklets are on sale Friday, July 8 – 1pm Saturday, July 16.  You can pick up your booklet at one of the following locations:

Garden Fever! – 3433 NE 24th Ave.

Urban Farm Store – 2100 SE Belmont St.

People’s Co-op – 3029 SE 21st Ave.

All of the booklet sales locations will also be selling raffle tickets to win The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop built in a Growing Gardens workshop, taught by John Carr from The Garden Coop  Raffle tickets are one for $5 or three for $12.

you can also order snazzy Tour de Coops 2011 Henlandia t-shirts online!

Want a sneak peak of what you’ll see on the tour? Here is Mitchell Snyder and Shelley Martin’s coop in NE Portland.

Photo by John Clark

“With backgrounds in architecture, we approached the design and building of our coop with much consideration.  We thought about the best location, the space, what materials would be most appropriate and durable, and how our hens would use their new home.  Comfort and protection from the elements were most important for our hens, so we framed the walls to allow insulation to keep them warm in the winter while providing multiple ventilation options and a green roof for hot summer months.  Inside, two perches made from branches are comfortable resting places, and two egg boxes can be accessed through a long door on the outside of the run.  the run is fully enclosed to provide protection from predators when we are not able to let our chickens in the yard.  The “kitchen” is a small, separate enclosure in the run that keeps the food dry and the water clean, and is easily accessible from the exterior for changing.  With those considerations in mind, we kept the design of the hen house as simple as possible while also – most importantly – keeping our hens as happy as possible.”

If any of you have ever gone on the tour or shown your coop on the tour, we’d love to hear from you. Tell us some of the inspiring things you saw or learned from all those creative coops.

We’d like to thank our Tour de Coops “Egg-cellent Layer Circle” Sponsors:

The Garden Coop

Concentrates, Inc.

Living Room Realtors

We hope to see you all on the tour next Saturday, July 16!

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GG’s lastet dig: Farm to School & School Gardens

It’s officially summer and we have some exciting news to share:  The Oregon House and Senate unanimously approved new  “Farm to School and School Gardens” legislation, FoodCorps educators are coming to Oregon, Growing Gardens’ Youth Grow Summer Garden Camp starts this week, and we just wrapped up the first Growing Gardens intensive School Garden Coordinator Certificate Training! Read on to learn more…

Youth Grow students tending their school garden
The Oregon Legislature approved HB 2800 “Farm to School and School Gardens” bill that  will provide $200,000 to a pilot program to jump-start serving Oregon-grown foods in public schools & provide more hands-on garden based education to students.

Funds, which will go to the Oregon Department of Education, will reimburse two medium sized school districts an additional 15 cents per school lunch to buy Oregon foods, and will support school garden teaching activities.

For more information about this new legislation, read the press-release put out by Upstream Public Health also check out the health impact assessment done on this bill that highlights the outcomes of this legislation which include creating & maintaining jobs for Oregonians, increasing student participation in school meal programs & increasing childhood food preferences for fruits and vegetables.

The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded FoodCorps $625,000 to support 50 AmeriCorps members who will serve to increase vulnerable children’s knowledge of, engagement with, and access to healthy food. This grant makes it possible for FoodCorps members to serve at 42 sites in 10 states – including 5 sites in Oregon!

Working under the direction of the local partner organization, Oregon Department of Agriculture, one FoodCorps service member will conduct nutrition education, build and tend school gardens, and expand our Youth Grow program at Growing Gardens!

Growing Gardens School Garden Coordinator Certificate Training participants learning about garden infrastructureGrowing Gardens' School Garden Coordinator
Certificate Training summer 2011 intensive

This June Growing Gardens’ offered our  School Garden Coordinator Certificate Training as a summer intensive – 28 participants spent one full week learning about the best practices around developing school  garden committees, maintenance plans, infrastructure, fund raising plans and more! Fifteen of the participants took the program for credit through Portland State University Graduate School of Education continuing education and all graduates left with a plan of action on how they will put the training materials to use at their own school!

Growing Gardens’ Youth Grow Garden Camp begins this week at five of our partnering schools. Pesha (Youth Grow Educator, AmeriCorps) is teaching at Earl Boyles, Humboldt and Shaver, and Sarah (School Garden Coordinator and Educator) is teaching at Vernon, in partnership with the Community Cycling Center’s Summer Bike Camp, and at Faubion.  Summer Garden Club is a great time for youth to dig in the dirt, dive into the process of growing food, and eat fresh veggies – harvested from their own gardens.

Summer has just begun and we have new Farm to School legislation, new FoodCorps volunteers, and 28 educators newly trained to coordinate school gardens. The school gardens movement is off to a great start this summer, and we hope your gardens are too!

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The People Behind the Gardens: Meet Our Fall Youth Grow Volunteers

This fall, the Youth Grow program has been lucky to have four wonderful Garden Club volunteers. The volunteers commit 2-3 hours a week to help lead Garden Club activities and they have been doing an excellent job. Molly Jenkins and Heidi Schrimsher have really made Garden Club at Humboldt K-8 exciting and fun for the students, and Gabrielle Macrae and Jenni Sinclair have done an awesome job at Shaver Elementary keeping everyone focused and loving Garden Club!

Gabrielle Macrae

Gabrielle Macrae grew up in Portland and recently moved back to town after living in North Carolina for a few years. She enjoys farming and gardening, playing music, working with kids and riding bikes.

Jenni Sinclair

Jenni Sinclair is a student studying in the fiel d of Environmental Science. She chooses to volunteer for Youth Grow be cause she believes that teaching our children to eat nutritious foods will have many benefits in the future that lie ahead of them.

Molly Jenkins moved  here in September from Seattle, where she was attending graduate school and was volunteering with Seattle Tilth in their Children’s garden.  In June Molly will graduate from Montessori Institute Northwest in Southeast Portland with a certification to teach children ages 2.5 to 6.  She hopes to have a classroom with a worm bin by this time next year!

Molly and Heidi

Heidi Schrimsher  is originally from New Orleans. She has a Masters degree  in landscape architecture and wrote her thesis on children’s outdoor education. She has worked with kids and gardening extensively and was previously the director of education at a botanical garden.

Thanks to all our fabulous volunteers!

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GG Latest Dig: Our Partnership With the Humboldt Learning Garden

Humboldt K-8, located on N. Alberta St. in the Humboldt neighborhood, is Youth Grow’s newest school partner. We are excited to partner with this vibrant school community, and to support the Humboldt Learning Garden for the next three years. The garden at Humboldt has been in the works for over 10 years, and was created through partnerships with  Oregon Solutions, Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership (LCREP),  and Oregon Tradeswomen. This past year, students grew a bountiful crop of collards, lettuce, and tomatoes. The collards were cooked and served by one of the teachers, Mary Peake. She and Sean Waller have been driving forces behind the garden program. This fall, they both participated in Growing Gardens’ School Garden Coordinator Certificate Training. Willie Poinsette, Humboldt’s new principal, is also an active member of the garden committee, and a big supporter of the garden.

Last spring Mr Waller engaged students in raising money for the garden through an plant sale, selling three different types of Echinacea as well as mustard and collard greens. The sale was part of an ongoing partnership with Dig to Be Dug Nursery, and the students learned “How to make a dollar out of 15 cents.” Through the new partnership with Growing Gardens, this year Humboldt has a weekly garden club for k-2nd graders, and a plan for a garden club for older students is in the works. Garden Club this year has planted lettuce and garlic, and sowed a cover crop to get ready for next spring. We have tasted fresh salsa (made from tomatoes from the garden), chard, beets, apples, sunflower seeds, and several other delicious veggie snacks. The Alberta Co-op generously donated a big box of pumpkins for our fall celebration, which the kids painted a rainbow of beautiful colors.

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