4-H Project Green Teacher

Spring 2019

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Green is the Theme for Spring!

Green is the color of spring, the 4-H clover and school gardens! Leo Tolstoy once said that Spring is the time for plans and projects. The quote could easily be altered to say plants and projects! So get your students outside and let them discover all the important lessons that can be learned in a school garden!

Nineteen Teachers from Columbus City Schools Graduated from 4-H Project Green Teacher this Winter

Nineteen teachers from across the Columbus City School system, including two teachers from the Columbus School for the Blind and Columbus School for the Deaf participated in a special session of 4-H Project Green teacher this past winter. All are currently involved in school garden projects, but wanted to grow their knowledge. Congratulations to our new graduates! They are an amazing group of teachers!
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4-H Project Green Teacher Summer Series Set for June 11-13

The 4-H Project Green Teacher summer series scheduled for June 11-13 will be held near the OSU Campus. The series explores the many aspects of school gardening. Cost of the series is $150 for the three days, and the potential to earn 22 contact hours is available. For an additional fee you can also earn one credit hour from Ashland University, which is offered by a presenter who is an adjunct at Ashland. If you are from out of town and need lodging information, please contact hogan.239@osu.edu. Participants who would also like to attend the school garden bus tour (information follows) will find instructions on how to attend the event for $25, the cost of lunch.

You can register online at: go.osu.edu/pgtsummer2019

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Register online for the 4-H Project Green Teach school garden series at: go.osu.edu/pgtsummer2019

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School Garden Bus Tour to Vist Gardens in Five School Districts in Central Ohio

The school garden bus tour set for June 14th will visit five school districts including Grandview, Worthington, Columbus City, Reynoldsburg, and Granville. Cost of the tour includes lunch and transportation. This is an excellent opportunity to view a variety of school gardens, and network with others who are also involved in the endeavor. You can register at: go.osu.edu/sgbustour2019.

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Register Online for the School Garden Bus Tour at: go.osu.edu/sgbustour2019

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Register Now for the Sixth School Garden Conference Coming to Columbus October 25th, 2019!

Registration is now open for the school garden conference which will be coming to the 4-H Center on the campus of the Ohio State University, October 25th, 2019. This will be the sixth conference. The conference this year will focus on PBL--project based learning and the school garden. The cost, which includes all materials and lunch, is $50. If you need an invoice in order to generate a purchase order you can contact hogan.239@osu.edu. Otherwise, you can register online at: http://go.osu.edu/sgc2019
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Free Ohio camps for Teens focus on Agriculture Careers

Four teen camps that focus on agriculture careers are available this summer at OSU Wooster, OSU main campus, and at Central State University. The week long camps are a joint venture between OSU Extension in Franklin County and the Ohio Farm Bureau. A simple application process is required but the deadline is approaching soon. Information can be found at:


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Come Join Us for the Big Science Celebration at COSI on May 4th and Make a Root Viewing Cup!

Come join us for the Big Science Celebration at COSI on May 4th , from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and make a root viewing cup to take home! Other agriculture information will also be available. You can find out more details about this exciting event at: https://cosiscifest.org/bsc/

Ask a Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer

Do you need help with a garden question? If so, you can speak directly to a Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer between April and October at 614-866-6900, option 5. This service is available between 9:00 a.m. to noon every Monday and Friday. You may also email your question to fcmg@osu.edu. Photographs of the problem are helpful.

A Master Gardener Volunteer will research your inquiry and reply.

Teacher Feature: Trevor Horn, Reynoldsburg City Schools

Name: Trevor Horn

School: Reynoldsburg High School - Health Sciences and Human Services STEM Academy

Educational Position: District Agriculture Innovation Coordinator

How long have you been engaged in school gardening? This is my second year

How did you get started? Before I began in education I was a chef. Over my career I realized that a lot of culinarians and aspiring chefs had very little knowledge of where the food they were preparing came from. I knew that if the food industry was not entirely focused on "farm to table” that students at much younger ages most definitely have not been introduced to the basic foundation of our food system.

What was the most memorable moment you had teaching your students in the garden? As we had success growing different heirloom tomatoes, we would leave a bowl by the librarian's computer where the students check books in and out. A couple of girls looked at the different colors and wondered if they were ripe yet. They tasted pineapple cherry tomatoes and said “I usually hate tomatoes, but these are good.” We often focus on innovation and push students to think outside their comfort zones. I was very happy we were able to open their eyes to new possibilities with something as simple as the sense of taste.

Why is school gardening an important educational tool for teachers? School gardens focused on growing food emphasize community togetherness. The U.S is a diverse nation, and in many cases areas are segregated. Through food we can find common ground. The concept of sitting down and having a meal with friends and loved ones sets the tone for how future generations treat one another for the rest of their lives.

What advice do you have for those wanting to start a school garden? Starting a garden can be overwhelming. When you become ambitious you can find the garden becomes more “work” than an enjoyable hobby or educational opportunity. Keep it simple and be prepared for failures. Learn from mistakes and make sure you do plenty of research on the plants you plan to grow. There are so many resources online, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. (Editor's note: You can also contact your local Ohio State University Extension office for technical assistance and fact sheets. In Franklin County the phone number is 614-866-6900, or you can speak directly to a Master Gardener volunteer as outlined in the column previous to this one).

How are you planning for long term sustainability of the garden once you retire or take on another position? Sustainability is the biggest challenge when it comes to school gardens. The goal in our district is to create a culture around food, its contribution to wellness, and the practice of food production. When you give students or teachers an opportunity to have input and support them in bringing their ideas to life, it gives them a sense of ownership. That ownership creates passion and a desire to continue to participate. Pride in making a difference comes with the ownership of creating any community garden.

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4-H Project Green Teacher

4-H Project Green Teacher is an informational newsletter and series for educators and others that focuses on school/educational gardening. It is brought to you by 4-H personnel who work for Ohio State University Extension in Franklin County, Ohio, a part of the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu For an accessible format of publication, visit cfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.

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