The Next Generation
Posted on: Sunday, August 31, 2014 by Darryl McCullough
I'm a great believer in school gardens as a way to help young people learn about our deep connection with the natural world. Volunteer organizations in our area have teamed with local government to launch several of these. One such project is underway at Bay Haven Elementary, an award-winning "magnet" public school in north Sarasota County. MRFC member Jayne Cobb is among those spearheading the project, which will create a "food forest" of edible landscaping on the school grounds.
The Bay Haven project plans a major planting this September 27 as a “United States Green Building Council Green Apple Day of Service" volunteer project. You can find details at http://service.mygreenapple.org/page/event/detail/greenappledayofservice/4vxxs. Jayne is seeking donations of plants for the project, and I'm sure that some of us can help. Needed are edible perennials, such as fruit trees and tropical vegetables, and native or "permaculture" plants that support the ecology or are otherwise useful. For example:
--loquat, lychee, mango, persimmon, mulberry, thornless jujube, and so on (true-to-variety propagation, no seedlings please)
---pineapple, papaya, bananas such as Ice Cream, Veinte Cohol, Raja Puri, or Praying Hands
---perennial vegetables such as vegetable taro, katuk, cranberry hibiscus, okinawa spinach, lemongrass, garlic chives
---insect-friendly plants such as porterweed and milkweed
---shampoo ginger, comfrey, aloe
---sweet potato, cow peas, Everglades tomato
At the September 8 club meeing, I'll have a handout with more details of the project and a more complete plant list. If you would like me to send you a copy, just let me know at my email or phone listed in the club's newsletter.
Bay Haven plans an extensive area of plantings, and there are other are school garden projects as well, so multiple or duplicate plants are not a problem (quite the contrary).
Plants to donate should be in containers. You can just give them to Jane or me at our September 8 club meeting, or let me know and either Jane or I will arrange for them to be picked up from your home. If you wish, you can sign up at the Green Apple website to participate in the planting event. But whatever you can do will help to pass on our love of "growing your own" to the next generation. And it just might grow us some future club members.