Community Writing and Community Gardens

Promoting Ecological Community Literacies Via Permaculture

Maine School Garden Day

Save the date!

Saturday, April 28th is the 9th Annual Maine School Garden Day. from 8am-4:30pm at the Maine Academy of Natural Science- Skowhegan Road, Hinckley, Maine 04944.

  • Learn about gardening and garden-based education!
  • Share your ideas and experiences!
  • Eat good food!
  • Connect with the school garden community!





Grow Food/Appetite for Change

Appetite for Change promotes health, wealth, and empowerment via understanding of food systems. Participants in their Summer 2016 Youth Employment and Training Program created this video. Listen and see if you can stop chanting “grow food when it’s over.

I learned of Appetite for Change via the Farm-to-School Network.

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Do you know of other projects that use food and gardens as avenues for youth empowerment? Please share and I’ll create a post with the collected resources.



Read ME Deadline January 1, 2018

Maine Ag in the Classroom supports agricultural literacy in many, many ways, including their Read ME program, which includes free books, connections to farmers who will make classroom visits, and curricular materials. The deadline to apply for this program, which runs in March, is January 1. Not in Maine? Find your local chapter of Ag in the Classroom organization here.

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Schoolyard Habitats

Schoolyard habitats are another way to integrate outdoor experiences into the school day. Like school gardens, schoolyard habitats provide deliberately crafted outdoor spaces that offer opportunities for experiential education and that promote ecological balance. Unlike school gardens, schoolyards habitats require little maintenance once established. rather than providing food for humans, they provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for wildlife. If your school is resisting the commitment to a school garden because of the  of time and money, perhaps they will consider a schoolyard habitat? Perhaps we can integrate wildlife habitats, fruit trees, and community gardens into other public spaces?

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International Institute for Educational Planning of the UN

This report from 2004 offers global perspectives on best practices for garden based learning.

School gardens build community

According to Erasmus Schwab, writing in Austria in the 1870s, school gardens solve the problem of the gap between urban schools with financial resources and rural schools with less financial resources by directing study to nature–our home–which teaches children to value community.


Support for school gardens from all corners, 1870s, Austria and Germany


School Gardens 1879

I’ve just started Mrs. Horace Mann’s English translation of Erasmus Schawb’s The School Garden: Being a practical contribution to the subject of education. The translator’s note explains that gardening may acclimate children to the industrial model of education–quite the opposite of my work in school gardens as an antidote to industrial education, but I’ll keep reading because I may be jumping to conclusions.

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Join the United States School Garden Army

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Rose Hayden Smith writes about the United States School Garden Army–a government effort to solve food shortages in the early 1900s, on the eve of WWI,  by promoting agricultural education in public schools and encouraging children to garden.  This effort, implemented at a time when agricultural practices in the United States had yet to be standardized by technology and monoculture, promoted a standards-based approach to agricultural education that erased important regional differences. But, it succeeded in spreading agricultural education across the country by overcoming class divisions and communicating the value of gardening to rural and to urban communities.  While the programs dwindled at the end of the war, Hayden Smith argues that the success of these programs laid the groundwork for their revival and use to address the food shortages that accompanied WWII.

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