Monday, March 11, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: It's our garden: From seeds to harvest in a school garden by George Ancona

 I'm looking at two related books, one this week and one next week. These books focus on healthy eating and outdoor education in connection with schools.

It's our garden tells the story of a special school/community garden center over the course of one year's growing season at Acequia Madre Elementary School in Santa Fe. There are plentiful photographs of the garden and the children, teachers, and parents who use it.

The story opens with an introduction to the gardeners and volunteers who run the garden, the work the kids do to get it ready, compost, plant, care for, and harvest. There are photos and descriptions of community events in the garden during the summer, as well as information on how plants are tended and grow. The photographs are interspersed with kids' drawings of the garden. There are also descriptions of the many different educational activities that go on in the garden during the school year. There's a traditional adobe horno (oven) that bakes bread and pizza - topped with vegetables from the garden of course! The book finishes with a list of acknowledgements of those who collaborated, books suggested by Sue McDonald, the main caretaker of the garden, and websites.

Verdict: This is an inspiring story of a community working together, building not only healthy habits and learning about gardens and food, but building families and community. I'm even more enthusiastic about working with our schools to build a children's garden at the library, something I've scheduled on my idea list for 2015ish. In the meantime, I'll be taking this on my visits to the schools and seeing if any teachers are interested. Oh, and kids will enjoy this too - who doesn't like photographs of kids, gardens and food? Best for younger kids and in a classroom setting probably, although it does have many ideas that would be fun to do at home.

ISBN: 9780763653927; Published 2013 by Candlewick; Borrowed from the library; Purchased from the library


Tammy Flanders said...

Thanks for this recommendation. Sounds like a good addition for the Doucette Library.
Apples with Many Seeds

Resh said...

This reminds me of a similar book about trees in Kenya. I forget the title. We liked it very much. Will check this out as well.
Thanks for sharing!

Sue Heavenrich said...

I've got this book in my "to review" basket - can't wait to read it... but am holding out for snow to melt.

Perogyo said...

A children's garden at the library is such an amazing idea!!!

Jennifer said...

It is indeed an amazing idea, but it is not mine - I picked it up from another library (the name of which escapes me at the moment)

Roberta said...

Good luck with your children's garden project. It sounds like a very worthwhile one.

You wight be interested in the Junior Master Gardener program

Jennifer said...

Thanks! Whatever I do will have to be coordinated with the Master Gardeners who do our landscaping (except for the old entrance of the library b/c after the 2 ft chunks of stone fell they refused to go near it) and they might be interested if we started a JMG.