Guest post by Tammy Stotts, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Since legislation passed in 2007 for the Iowa Farm to School Program, few Farm to School initiatives have had more impact than the A Garden is the Way to Grow initiative. Gardening empowers students by offering them a hands-on learning experience, teaches them about growing food and gives them the opportunity to get outdoors.
Garden opportunities have also provided educators with a huge learning platform. Lessons in the garden encompass science, math and reading. Last year’s garden initiative was a two-year project and offered schools $400 to order composting supplies. This year we are offering a smaller garden initiative focusing on herbs.
This initiative targets classroom teachers and provides a multitude of learning opportunities as there are so many uses for herbs. You chose whether your focus will be medicinal, aromatic or culinary. Create a lesson in botany increasing your student’s knowledge of plants and edible portions or focus on the difference the use of herbs can make in the taste of the food we eat.
We are again partnering with Gardner’s Supply Company to offer your classroom the opportunity to receive the supplies you need to create your own herb garden at a discounted price. In addition to the 25% discount, recipients will receive a book entitled GrowLab®: A Complete Guide to Gardening in the Classroom PLUS $100 through Gardener’s Supply Company to order herb garden supplies and have them shipped directly to your school.
Funds are available for 25 schools. Click here to download the application. The deadline to apply for this initiative is March 24. Additional questions can be sent to Tammy Stotts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IowaFarmtoSchool to learn about more exciting Farm to School opportunities.