What are garden kits?
While some educational activities could be translated to an on-line format, we wanted to find a way to provide hands-on education, especially for kids.
This year’s garden kits brought together many of the volunteers from last year who were joined by new people who brought lots of talent and enthusiasm. This group of people chose to focus on getting into the hands of young school kids the opportunity to learn how to grow food from seeds, with an aim to reach kids who may have had fewer opportunities to learn to do this in the past.
Inside each kit are peat pellets that can be used to start seeds, sticks for labeling each pellet, seeds to grow different kinds of vegetables: lettuce, radishes, and green beans. Also included are detailed instructions (see below) and a coupon for soil once seeds are ready for transplantation. Soil can be collected at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.
Seeds were donated by the KVCC Food Innovation Center, soil was kindly donated by Mulders Lanscape Supply and the kits were assembled at the Kalamazoo Nature Center Camp building.
Kits will be distributed more broadly this year, so in addition to Kalamazoo Public Schools, Portage Public Schools will distribute some and several ‘Learning Hubs’ coordinated by KYDNET will receive kits for their students. Recipients of the kits will be encouraged to share their results and experiences on social media to share the joy of spring growth!
While this project started in response to a crisis, we see it as a regular feature of Earth Day festivals. The more support we have, the more kids in the region we can encourage to learn how to grow their own food and to appreciate life’s bounty.
Earth Day Committee
Professor of Environment and Sustainability, Western Michigan University
What is in the garden kit?
Where did we source the contents of our kits?
Where will the kits go?
Kirsten Clemente, Farm Director at the Kalamazoo Nature Center teaches us, and students of KNC Learning Hubs how to plant beans,
radishes and lettuce.