Our Generous Garden
The first in a series exploring how children can create their own garden at home or at school. It explores finding garden space, selecting and starting seeds, graphing your garden and planting. Children can work together to take care of the garden and learn about what is involved to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables. Even better... picky eaters will be intrigued by what they can grow with their own hands, and what they might even try with a delicious recipe. They now have a reason to try it!
Copyright Anne Nagro.
The Buzz About Our Generous GardenTIME for Kids Magazine
April 3, 2009 edition serving 1.85 million students in over 35,000 classrooms (K-6) Story/Interview by Vicki An on School Gardens, citing Our Generous Garden as a major part of the article.Featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio
"What Anne is doing is grass roots in the most original sense of the word..."
Terri Trespicio, host of Whole Living, March 3, 2009
"This important and wonderfully illustrated book is a treasure."2009 Illinois House of Representatives Acknowledgement of Recognition Certificate for Contribution to Farm Fresh Schools Act, February 18,2009.
Kirkus Discoveries Raves
"...the message is genuine and will inspire children to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of their labor....A terrific resource for elementary-level educators wanting a classroom full of raised hands and green thumbs."Maria Shriver, First Lady of California
"I applaud you for teaching children the value of healthy eating and helping others through your school garden. It is wonderful that the children are learning important lessons, but in a fun and exciting way-you are truly an architect of change!"Nominated for the "Growing Good Kids - Excellence in Children's Literature Awards" Program 2008
This award recognizes a select group of children's books that are especially effective at promoting an understanding of and appreciation for gardening and the environment by the Junior Master Gardener Program and the American Horticultural Society.2009 Recommended Reading List
Featured in National Environmental Education Week!Alice Waters, Award-winning executive chef and owner of Chez Panisse, author and advocate of the Slow Food Movement and The Edible Schoolgarden
"...School gardens turn pop culture upside-down: they teach redemption through a deep appreciation for the real, the authentic, and the lasting-for the things that money can't buy.... Kids who learn environmental and nutritional lessons through school gardening-and school cooking, and eating-learn ethics."
Click here to download our press kit for Our Generous Garden (pdf).
Ann M. Goldbach, Principal, Woodland Elementary West School Says:
Like so many educators, I have always strived to find the perfect project where everything comes together: units of study, students, parents and the community. In our school's Harvest Garden, I finally found that project. The garden addresses multiple disciplines and modes of learning. It gives students hands-on experience in the creative arts, science and math, and in the practice of responsibility and respect.
Our garden project began four years ago with a humble but large plot of land overgrown by brush and weeds. It was the perfect spot.
Creating this garden is a cooperative effort. Landscaping firms and farmers donate their time and equipment to cultivate our land, and local businesses provide potting soil, seeds, hoses and sprinklers. In the classroom, our teachers guide students in the planting and nurturing of seeds, while school staffers manage supplies and garden equipment. Parents volunteer on planting day to help transplant our 400 second-grade students' tiny seedlings. Our local Farm Bureau sends recruits to help us plant and educate our students about the earth and the growing process. Students and their families carefully tend the garden all summer long by weeding, watering and harvesting the bountiful produce.
In fact last year alone, we donated more than 450 pounds of vegetables to our local food pantry. Many people in need benefitted from the fresh produce, and that lesson was not lost on our students.
Whether you are an educator, parent, community volunteer or care-giver, I encourage you to garden with children. Yes, it is hard work requiring "sweat equity," but the learning opportunities - for both children and adults - are worth the effort, if only to experience a child's wide-eyed interest and enthusiasm.
Our Harvest Garden has become a beloved tradition. I hope that you, too, will take steps to create a living learning environment that teaches our children not only academics, but the sense of achievement gained through cooperation and the joy of helping those in need. May your "Generous Garden" prosper!
Our Generous Garden is the only children's book that combines the concepts of:
- Nature and the great outdoors
- Healthy eating habits
- Where food comes from, and how to grow your own
- Responsibility, respect and cooperation
- Helping others
- Community involvement
- Math, science and the practical arts