The Organic Key

Making compost is a sustainable process.  Students at our Honduras Hope Dorm are developing organic gardens.  They make compost and are growing food to be used as a nutritional base.

Their next project will be to bring this technique to their mountain village and teach their families to grow without chemicals.  The students at the Dorm are champions.

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The Smart Gardener

My neighbor Leo Gallivan has valuable experience as an environmentalist / gardener.  He and his wife Holly spend six months in Florida.  Springtime is when most people are preparing their gardens.  Not Leo.

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Leo isn’t at home in the spring and he does’t need to be.  Because as a smart gardener, he prepares the garden in the fall.  He mulches all the green material around the existing plants.  The nutrients that he uses come from the existing plants reusing the organic materials.  You can be a Smart Gardener too.

Just Grow It

One Square Foot at a Time has been designed to influence you, school children and the people of Honduras.  There are many worthy organizations that help people in developing countries to grow food that is more nutritious and provides greater quantities of vegetables and fruit.  Most of the organizations that I have heard of, try to use organic methods.  However there are many challenges in these countries and if the only solution to save a crop is pesticides, I too would use them.  It is a no brainer to use chemicals and pesticides when life depends on each harvest.

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What I have read concerning agricultural groups that go into developing countries is that they help farmers understand seed saving, using organic methods and conservation in order to increase yields.  All of that provides investments in the people and lends itself to good health.  My interest however is to teach the children.

The students served by Honduras Hope are eager and hard working.  They show their appreciation while working with us and I believe they are learning science and math as we work with them.  Some of these children have brought these techniques to their mountain villages and there is interest from those communities.  In January we will start a kitchen gardening program at our rather crude kitchen facility in the mountains where we provide nutritional and protein rich lunches for children from birth to six years old.

The Square Foot Gardening Program in Yoro is doing very well.  It is developing so well that I want to expand what we are doing.  I want to pay students a small stipend to teach young child and adults as well to use Square Foot Gardening techniques to grow things other than beans and corn.  I want to introduce kale, spinach and broccoli into their diets.  I want to provide nutritious smoothies to children that are malnourished.

In January I am bringing a gas generator to Honduras.  The people in both of the villages we serve have no electricity.  We have a community center in Plan Grande which is a wonderful facility.  With electricity from the generator we have planned movie nights.  Many students have never seen a movie and they don’t have televisions.  Students who want to attend Friday night movies can earn admission to the movie by bringing a five gallon bucket of compostable materials to the new composting bin at the primary school.  With the contribution to the composting idea they will earn a ticket to the Friday night movie.  It is proposed that young women from our Girl’s Empowerment Program will collect tickets.  Others can watch movies on Friday evenings by purchasing tickets.

Compost of course is the key to successful Square Foot Gardening.  There are plenty of green compostables and horse manure on the reservations. All of the kids use machetes.

This is the time of the year when everyone is asking you for money.  Worry not, I will find the money eventually.  However if you would like to become a part of an exciting venture, this might be something that you will want to become a part of.  Should you decide to contribute be sure to earmark your gift to Square Foot Gardening.

Send to:  Honduras Hope

P.O. Box 60

Franconia, N.H. 03580

Science and Health Education

Why does it take some educators so long when it is so obvious?  Read the article and see why and how this can be done.  http://childrengrowing.com/2015/05/11/share-if-you-think-every-school-should-have-a-year-round-gardening-program/

Application for many students leads them to conceptual learning.  First seeds must be planted in their minds.Garden OCT 2014 413

Learning through Application – Point/Webster M.S.

Students at Point/Webster Middle School are leading the way in Quincy, Massachusetts to teach others that urban gardening has a place in urban environments.  They are doing it in New York City, in Cambridge, Massachusetts and in Boston.  Why not Quincy?

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Science through application is an exciting way to get students to do, think and problem solve.  The students that I have worked with at Point are “on fire”.  It is wonderful to work with a teacher who writes grants, engages her students and makes the commitment to “green”.

We will keep you informed as our winter garden progresses.

Just Imagine: Green!

New York City is an exciting “green” place for education.  What in the heck are we waiting for in urban cities in Massachusetts as well as in many other states around the country?

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Check this out:

http://www.groundworkhv.org/programs/science-barge/

The excuses:

  1. State testing is the priority. Teach to the Test.
  2. What if the roof leaks?
  3. Common exams for all the students at each level within the system.
  4. What if we don’t get to page 289 in the textbook?.
  5. Where will we get the supplies? There is no budget for “green”.
  6. Core curriculum is the core to all education.
  7. Why would we ever want students to think? Just spit it back kid.
  8. Well-being, understanding nutrition, eat what you grow, grow local – is it nonsense?
  9. GMOs, pesticides, chemical stimulants; what does that have to do with science?
  10. Isn’t composting dirty and messy.  Give the students a worksheet.

You tell me where the state departments of education, superintendents of schools and school committees have their heads?  Of course; not all school administrators liked science or math when they were in school.