It's Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden
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It's Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden

by George Ancona
     
 

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Want to grow what you eat and eat what you grow? Visit this lively, flourishing school-andcommunity garden and be inspired to cultivate your own.

At an elementary school in Santa Fe, the bell rings for recess and kids fly out the door to check what’s happening in their garden. As the seasons turn, everyone has a part to play in making the garden

Overview

Want to grow what you eat and eat what you grow? Visit this lively, flourishing school-andcommunity garden and be inspired to cultivate your own.

At an elementary school in Santa Fe, the bell rings for recess and kids fly out the door to check what’s happening in their garden. As the seasons turn, everyone has a part to play in making the garden flourish. From choosing and planting seeds in the spring to releasing butterflies in the summer to harvesting in the fall to protecting the beds for the winter. Even the wiggling worms have a job to do in the compost pile! On special afternoons and weekends, neighborhood folks gather to help out and savor the bounty (fresh toppings for homemade pizza, anyone?). Part celebration, part simple how-to, this close-up look at a vibrant garden and its enthusiastic gardeners is blooming with photos that will have readers ready to roll up their sleeves and dig in.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In photographs and clear prose, Ancona follows the children at the Acequia Madre Elementary School in Santa Fe as they cultivate a school garden. Photographs show the students composting, planting, raising butterflies, and engaged in other activities. In addition to being a source of food, the garden becomes an outdoor classroom; on weekends and during the summer, members of the community gather in the garden to listen to music and make vegetable pizzas in the horno (an abode oven). As autumn approaches, the students harvest cabbage (“Their long, strong roots test the strength and stamina of some of the bigger kids”), lemon cucumbers, and strawberry corn, which they use to make popcorn. The documentary-style narrative and uplifting photos put the joy of kinship, outdoor work, and growing food within reach of readers. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Melasi
Mrs. McCarthy dreamed of having a school garden. With special permission from the school and parents, she was able to bring her dream to life. Miss Sue helps care for the garden. Her husband helped design the layout. Some students from the local college volunteered to guide the children in the garden projects. There are a lot of chores to be done. Sometimes classes are held in the open classroom, the garden, or the greenhouse. In the spring, the students cut out pictures from the seed catalogs. Then they decide where to plant the seeds. They make their own compost and mix it into the garden beds as plant food. Children get in on the fun of experimenting with varieties of fruit and vegetable plants available to them. There are a lot of things in the garden to write and draw about. A teacher orders butterfly cocoons by mail. The students raise them in the classroom. This book is a great way to get children interested in gardening and growing their own food. The author used beautiful pictures of children leaning and working together. There is even a section on the types of bugs that hang around a garden and what to do about them. A great read! Reviewer: Beverly Melasi
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—An entire multicultural community gets involved in a year-long school garden project and enjoys the fresh food their children grow from seed to harvest. From the nitty gritty of taking turns to take the garbage out to the compost and stir it around with latex-gloved hands to the sublime pleasure of enjoying the popcorn they grew, all of their activities are described and illustrated. The writing brings the project to life by including sounds ("the school bell sounds and the classrooms explode with the noise of books closing, chairs sliding on the floor and kids chattering"); touch (you can almost feel the little worms, ladybugs, pill bugs and gooey mud pictured on the students' hands); taste (sampling the radishes and throwing them on the compost heap); and smell (the sizzling pizza baking in the outdoor adobe oven the community made). Crisp, clear, full-color photographs are interspaced with the children's crayon drawings. This fun and inspiring season-by-season description of a school gardening project could encourage others to repeat this extraordinary experience.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Ancona takes readers on a yearlong tour of one Santa Fe, N.M., school garden. The garden at Acequia Madre Elementary School will no doubt give rise to the little green monster in the hearts of more than a few educators. Complete with an outdoor classroom, greenhouse, composting area, and some local college students to pitch in and help, it is an enviable addition to the campus. Students are involved in all aspects of the garden: They help plan it, plant the seeds, transplant seedlings, mulch and water and compost the beds, raise butterflies to pollinate the garden, make adobe bricks to line garden beds, coat the horno (a traditional oven) in new adobe, harvest the fruits and vegetables, and prepare the garden for winter. In the summertime, the community comes together for gatherings in the garden, many of which involve eating the produce. Color photographs give educators something to drool over, while charming artwork done by the kids dots the pages. While there are some educational tidbits scattered in the text—for example, how plants are pollinated—this is less a gardening book for children than a book for those educators who want to go from the dreaming stage to the planning and doing stages…and who want to involve their students in the process. It's sure to bring out the green thumb of many an educator, and it just may provoke some kids to get out in their own yards and make a garden. (bibliography, websites) (Informational picture book. 5-8, adult)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763653927
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
772,646
Product dimensions:
10.70(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD910L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

George Ancona is an author and photographer who has published more that one hundred books, some of them bilingual. He is known for his exquisite photography and close-up looks at a variety of cultural subjects. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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