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How to get extra cash for your school garden

26 Aug

The new school year is here! Which means you’re probably up to your eyeballs in pencils, crayons, markers, loose leaf paper, tissues, and whatever else is on the kids’ school supply lists. Kudos to all the super hero teachers out there who spent the summer slaving over lesson plans and decorating their classroom to make this school year extra awesome. (Seriously, are teachers even real humans? They’re amazing.)

Of course we know that being generally awesome takes money. A lot of money. Many teachers even dip into their personal savings to pay for their own school supplies.


So before that well meaning person asks “What are we doing with the school garden this year?” And you’re all like:


Check out these garden grants!

Fall 2014 Jamba Juice– It’s all about the veggies

2015 Youth Garden Grant

2015 Mantis Tiller Award

Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant 

Lowes Toolbox for Education 

Bonnie Plant’s 3rd Grad Kids Cabbage Program

The Herb society of America’s Donald Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant

Wild Ones Seeds for Education Grants

These organizations are basically saying “Here, take my money. FOR FREE.” All that’s standing between you and a pile of extra cash is an application. So get to it!

Happy back-to-school!


P.S. I’m curious. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy for your school garden?

Watch: Powerful video may change the way you view healthy eating

11 Aug

This new PSA from Strong 4 Life and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is making the rounds on social media make making parents rethink their children’s habits. What do you think?

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A PSA posted to YouTube by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is making people think twice about their food choices.

The video points out that obesity happens due to a series of lifestyle choices, and not just overnight.

“You’ll get a shocking sneak peek into the future to see what life might be like for a child who carries unhealthy habits with him into adulthood,” says the video’s description.

To learn more CLICK HERE.

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New online Garden Community encourages healthy living through gardening

5 Aug

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The American Heart Association is offering a new online community for gardening enthusiasts to connect, share information and learn to live healthier.

The free site began on July 30th and is designed for people of all ages and skill levels who garden at home, school or in the community. Resources are available to explain different garden types and designs, cultivation methods, lesson plans for educational gardening programs and healthy recipes for fresh, garden-grown foods, according to the AHA.

Garden Community members can participate in discussions, get ideas about other gardening programs and share photos, videos and other tips to show what makes their garden or gardening program successful. They also can compare notes on teaching children about gardening and healthy eating.

The virtual community is a natural outgrowth of the AHA Teaching Garden program, which reaches 270 U.S. elementary schools. By increasing Americans’ fruit and vegetable consumption, the Garden Community can help lower obesity rates and improve overall health, according to the AHA.

Research shows that children who grow vegetables may be more likely to eat them, and people eat more fruits and vegetables if they participate in community gardens.

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Reblogged from

Study: Children now like nutritious lunches

28 Jul


Although some elementary school students complained about more nutritious school lunches when they were first introduced in 2012, they like them now, according to a peer-reviewed study in Childhood Obesity released Monday.

More than 500 public schools participated in the study with most coming from the southern region of the United States and rural areas.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed administrators about the students’ reactions to new meals with standards s presented in the 2012-2013 school year. The new standards required that half of grains offered must be whole-grains, both a fruit and vegetable must be offered daily, milk must be nonfat or low-fat, and no trans-fats. The rules were created to address childhood obesity and were given a public relations push by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The study found that 70 percent of schools reported that students seem to like their new lunches. Fifty-six percent said that students complained at first, while 64 percent of schools agree that few students continue to complain about the lunches. Sixty-three percent of students are no longer concerned about the new changes, according to the research.

“This significant study reinforces what we have known all along:  America’s school lunch program works,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.  “We hope this sends a strong message to Congress that schools should not be allowed to withdraw from or delay any federal nutrition standards.  By doing so, we may forfeit the fight against childhood obesity, and jeopardize our kids’ health.”


Excerpt from the American Heart Association’s Read the full post here.

How to Grow Upside Down Tomatoes

8 Jul

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This could be the coolest and easiest garden project we’ve seen all summer. Students at Peters Elementary in Garden Grove, California made their own inverse tomato hangers out of recycled  plastic bottles. That’s right, Inverse hangers. As in tomatoes that grow upside down! Pretty cool, huh?

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You might be thinking “How does that even work?” It’s pretty simple. Plants naturally grow towards sunlight, so even when they’re upside down they’ll still grow up. Water goes into the top of the plastic bottle, directly onto the roots. When extra water flows down onto the plant it also gets moisture and nutrients onto its leaves, thus producing a hardier fruit.

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The kids had a blast with this project. Just look at those excited faces! DSCF1890 (480x640)


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And there you have it, tomatoes that defy gravity. Here’s how you can grow your own inverse tomatoes.

You will need:

  • tomato seedling
  • Empty two liter soda bottle or milk jug
  • hole punch
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • garden soil
  • Sturdy line to hang your planter with, such as twine, leather string, a cut coat hanger, etc.
  • A weather resistant hook

Then use these simple instructions from to build your hangers.

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Have your kids done any cool garden projects this summer? Tell us about them in the comments.

Happy growing!

Happy Birthday to Us!

10 Jun

It’s party time!

We’re celebrating two very important birthdays today. The American Heart Association is celebrating 90 years of saving and improving the lives of those affected by heart disease. In honor of our special day, we’re taking a look back at the biggest moments from our first 9 decades.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t give a birthday shout-out to our wonderful Teaching Gardens founder and fearless leader, Kelly Meyer. Kelly works tirelessly everyday to help children eat better and grow strong through gardening. She is such an inspiration and we absolutely adore her.


You have to watch this video of the super sweet kiddos at Peters Elementary singing  Happy Birthday to Kelly during their American Heart Association Teaching Garden planting day.


If anyone needs us, we’ll be the guys rockin’ the double party hats.

Until next week, happy growing everyone!

Be ready to save a life during National CPR Week

3 Jun

What would you do if someone suddenly collapsed? Studies suggest that 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know CPR or are afraid of hurting the victim. The American Heart Association is working to change that during National CPR Week, June 1st- 7th.

CPR can double or triple the victim’s change of survival. You can be ready to save a life by using the next 60 seconds to learn Hands-Only CPR.


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