Some books available for purchase at the Georgia Organics General Store.
- “Digging Deeper: Integrating Youth Gardens into Schools and Communities” By Joseph Kiefer and Martin Kemple. K-8 grade
Digging Deeper is a must-have book for anybody that wants to start a school garden and sustain it over time. This book features creative ways a school garden can extend students’ knowledge outside the classroom. For example, a needs-based garden design highlights basic horticulture skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, and nutrition education. This book discusses a types of garden designs ideal for various settings, including a community mosaic garden and a food shelf garden. Designs have step by step instructions. Additionally, activities and worksheets are provided for educators.
Subjects covered: ecological science, plant life, math, arts and crafts
- “Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment” By Mary Appelhof, Mary Frances Fenton, and Barbara Loss Harris. 3-8 grade
This is an informative book for all things worms in relation to the classroom and school. This curriculum uses over 150 worm-related activities to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills in young students. The worksheets are rich in content in “wormformation” paragraphs which integrates various subjects in ways that draws students into the learning process. There are multiple sections including the world of worms, and beyond the worm bin.
Subjects covered: science, plant and worm life, math, reading and comprehension
- “Worms Eat My Garbage” By Mary Appelhof
This is a simple, easy to follow guide to vermicomposting which uses worms to breakdown and recycle food waste into nutritious food for plants. This manual provides instructions on starting a small-scale worm composting system. Various topics are covered including types of worms, preparing worm beds, meeting the needs of worms, and making potting soil from the vermicompost. Appelhof has been awarded the “Composter of the Year” from the National Recycling Coalition.
Subjects covered: science, plant and worm life, energy reduction, reduce waste
- “Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children” By Sharon Lovejoy. K-4 grade
Sharon Lovejoy creates a wonderful gardening book for young students to get a better understanding of plant life. There are many themed gardens showcased throughout this book with easy to follow instructions to have readers make their own. There are many activities related to gardening including creating a compost bin, cooking, and home remedies.
- “Healthy Food from Healthy Soils: A Hands-On Resource for Educators” By Elizabeth Patten and Kathy Lyons. K-6 grade
This book allows students to better understand where food comes from and what happens to food waste. Students will grasp the concept of the ecological cycle of food production, compost basics, and recycling organic matter back into the soil. Additionally, students will learn how their food choices affect their health. Interactive and fun activities help enforce the information presented in this book. There are directions to creating various school gardens designs described in the book. Finally, there is a section devoted to worms and composting.
Subjects covered: plant and worm life, food nutrition and choices, math, reading and comprehension
- “Math in the Garden: Hands-On Activities That Bring Math to Life” By Jennifer M. White, Katharine Barrett, and Jaine Kopp. K-8 grade
Math in the Garden starts with simple math skills such as counting seeds, creating a garden grid with hidden treasures to weighing produce. These activities also focus on finding geometric shapes in the garden and finding symmetry in fruits. Older students can practice their data analysis and graphing skills with produce and other items found in a garden. This book aids in answering the life-long student question of “when will I ever use this?”
Subjects covered: math; measurement, area and perimeter, patterns, and ratios of garden soil
- “French Fries and the Food System: A Year-Round Curriculum Connecting Youth with Farming and Food” By Sara Coblyn. 6-12 grade
This book is geared towards older students who have some knowledge about the growing of food, or are engaged in a longer-term farm or garden experience. Coblyn divided the book into sections based on the seasons. The activities of each section flow like the cycle of a garden. There are farm and garden activities as well as food system activities for students to enhance their learning. Activities include designing an imaginary small farm, a food system debate, and soil analysis. This book also deals with starting a garden in regards to planning, designing, and selling of the produce. Finally, this an excellent resource for teaching older students about critical thinking, and the importance of growing food and the understanding our food systems.
Subjects covered: plant life cycle, math, accounting, community organizing, critical thinking, surveys and graphs
- “Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms” By The Center for Ecoliteracy and Life Lab Science Program
This is an informative how-to book centered on starting a school or community garden. This book lays out the various roles needed for a school garden to thrive. The reader learns about how to choose a site and what to plant in the garden through this book. Challenges faced when creating a school garden are also mentioned with various trouble shooting ideas. There are also strategies suggested for obtaining financial donations from community members. Also, this guide highlights various school gardens all over the United States that have succeeded.
- “Storybook Stew: Cooking with Books Kids Love” By Suzanne Barchers and Peter Rauen
Storybook Stew combines tasty food with favorite kid books. More than forty children’s books which deal with food in some degree have been included in this book. With each children’s’ book highlighted, a simple recipe follows along with an art project and science experiment. This is an awesome book geared towards getting kids excited and learning about food and cooking.
- “Project Seasons: Hands-on Activities for Discovering the Wonders of the World” By Deborah Parrella
Project Season follows the school-year seasons where each season has themed activities that reflect the changes on a farm or garden. Themed activities include soil, worm life, birds, insects, green plants, and harvesting. The lessons are simple and easy to follow which can be used to teach an entire unit or separately. These lessons present teachers with objectives, grade level, and materials needed for each activity. There are extension projects with related activities and teaching ideas. Finally, there is a bibliography at the end which suggests additional book titles for children’s reading and teacher resources. (Note: this book was written in Vermont, and includes some information not relevant to Georgia- such as maple sugaring!)
- “Health and Nutrition from the Garden” By Junior Master Gardener
This book is broken into two sections; gardening and nutrition with multiple lessons in each section. The gardening section lessons have simple instructions for basic gardening skills. Additional lessons include thrifty and themed school gardens. The nutrition section has the ABC’s of healthy eating and healthy snacks that can be made right in the classroom. There are journal and activity worksheets for the students to gain additional knowledge about gardening. Finally, there is a section of life skills and career explorations in gardening.
- “Botany on Your Plate: Investigating the Plants We Eat” By Katharine Barrett, Christine Manoux, and Jennifer White. K-4 grade
This is a life science unit for young students which inspires them to explore in many ways the realm of plants people eat. The lessons use investigative skills, communication skills, and knowledge across disciplines. Finally they can apply what they are learning by working in the garden or kitchen with their parents. The students keep a botany journal, recording observations, and reflections of new information. In each lesson, there is a classroom discussion and a creative writing opportunity. Typically observations do not end at the day when school is over; students continue their botany studies at home. Student’s knowledge drastically increases as they develop concepts and investigate garden life further. Finally students are more appreciative of their role in the entire environment.
Subjects covered: science, mathematics, nutrition, social sciences, and reading comprehension