Theme Gardens

School gardens can have various themes for garden beds, which could also be applied to home gardens :

🌱 color garden (various colors-leaves, fruit or flowers-pictured here)

🌱 sensorial garden  (taste, smell, touch – pictured here)

🌱 herb garden (basil, thyme, mint…)

🌱 salsa garden (tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, onions)

🌱 pizza garden (tomatoes, basil)

🌱 salad garden (kale, other greens, tomatoes)

🌱 pollinator garden (to attract pollinators-bees) 

And many more!  

The whole process from picking the theme to eating the salsa or drawing the various flower colors in their garden journals can involve the kids at school or your family at home!


Magic Beans

“Baby” G helping shell and playing with the beans, after eating cherry tomatoes from the garden! 

A Garden Education Gurú, Judy, who I met while working with school gardens in California, introduced me to Christmas Lima Beans, amongst many other heirloom seeds and tips for working with kids in the garden setting.  How grateful I am to have had the opportunity to work with her!

I have always thought of these seeds as magic beans and keep a few in my pocket in case I have the chance to pass them on to someone else who might plant them. So…. Just ask next time we see each other!

In Puerto Rico I have grown and collected a great amount and replanted the seeds.  ‘Baby’ G likes to help shell and sort them…and sometimes they spill all overall and then we race to pick them up.


Once the child is old enough to keep out of mouth:

🌱  Planting the seeds / put in soil / may be fun for child to “plant and replant” in soil

🌱  Observing plant growth, watering, finding flowers, collecting seeds, shelling seeds

🌱  Sorting / with other seeds / into various containers

🌱  Counting the seeds using an ice cube tray

For older children:

🌱  Looking up recipes  & cooking the beans

🌱  Tracking plant growth / identifying cotyledons / measuring plant

See related post :  How to Start a Bean Plant in an Upcycled CD Case


Permaculture Ethics 

Photo: Teaching Permaculture ethics at a local summer camp.

Permaculture is a whole systems-based thinking / design process, which is guided by the following ethics: Caring for the earth, Caring for people, Sharing of our surplus resources. 

As I go through my day I notice examples of how I am using these ethics in my life.

I also notice how I would like to incorporate them more and ways that I could do so.

When I buy a locally grown watermelon, I am…
1. Caring for the earth:

-reducing pollution (buying locally grown, less transportation fuel)

-reducing waste (feeding rinds to chickens, saving seeds and growing sprouts for chickens)

-caring for soil (chicken manure enriches soil, local farmer caring for soil)
2. Caring for people:

-taking care of ourselves (eating healthy, whole foods, that are good for my body)

-taking care of our families, communities (produced locally -> supports local economy -> supports people in my community)
3. Sharing of our surplus resources:

  -taking what we need and sharing what we don’t need (taking what we can eat and giving half to a friend or neighbor, saving and sharing seeds)

How are you using Permaculture ethics in your life? 


How to Start a Bean Plant in an Upcycled CD Case

Imagination – Food – Nature

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Eco-workshops for birthdays, farmers’ markets, schools and other events!

1. Lay empty cd case flat

2. Put soil in case to cover bottom half of case

3. Put Christmas Lima Bean near top of soil (can experiment with other beans)

4. Tape the bottom, so everything stays in (optional)

5. Water the bean every day through the holes

6. When you see your bean has sprouted, label the parts on the cd case with permanent marker: the cotyledons (first leaves), the leaves, stem, roots

Use your nature journal to record your scientific findings, including; the date, observation, measurement, bean plant drawing

Have fun!

Once the plant has sprouted, you can transplant into a pot with soil.

Leaves and flowers

Seed pods!!!!

Remove seed pods when light brown and set aside to dry; in a week or so, remove beans to use as seeds to plant more!

Find us at a future event to get a free seed to start at home!


Kale Mamá te da tres razones por las cuales consumir las hortalizas de temporada. 

En el trópico las temporadas son muy parecidas. Sin embargo puedes seguir disfrutando lo especial de una temporadas por sus cosechas. Aquí Tres razones por las cuales es conveniente comer frutos de temporada.

  • Ahorras dinero, cuando compras productos agrícolas de temporada. Al comprar en la temporada pico de la cosecha. Encuentras un producto mas saludable, en abundancia y su costo es menor. 
  • Al comprar por temporada, tiendes a comprar hortalizas de agricultores locales y apoyas una agricultura más sustentable. 
  •  No siempre tienen los mismo ingredientes así que varias tus recetas.

Elaborando recetas con productos agrícolas de temporada. Fomentas las tradiciones y la agri ~ cultura con tus hijos.   


School Gardens

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One of the amazing school gardens where I worked a few years back in California.  We installed gardens in public elementary schools and worked with the teachers to get them outside using the garden to meet educational standards.  It was great to hear a mom say “my son never used to eat lettuce, now he is asking for it on his hamburger, after planting it in the school garden.”   Watch for more blog posts related to school gardens coming soon!