In preparation for my master plan, I spent a bit of time this summer at the local school gardens, speaking with organizers and seeing how they are put together and maintained. And I thought I'd share. Here is Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High's school garden, in Davis, CA.
Each class has a small plot that is cordoned off with a string and planted to bursting with different crops that fit into the curriculum according to the year.
For example, the 7th grade garden is planted with medicinal, culinary, dye, and household use herbs that would have been used in the Medieval Europe:
There are also specific classes that have areas in the garden, like the math class. At the beginning of the school year the math class plants peas in order to record the growth of the vines and practice their algebra.
Some of the classes have plots full of crops and grains from the old world and new world (some really cool crops they have growing in the garden are quinoa, peanuts, and several kinds of millet). They make flatbreads and stews from the old world in the beginning of the school year and move on the the new world foods as their geography and world history course progresses. How cool!
The school garden organizers in Davis have been so incredibly helpful. Now I have binders and binders of information on how to incorporate gardens into school curriculum. And I have an interview next Wednesday for a job in Philadelphia where I might be able to use this new knowledge (cross your fingers!).