10 Key Elements for The Garden that Feeds
Are you interested in planting an Edible Garden? Do you want to teach children where food comes from while incorporating the process of growing fruits, vegetables, and legumes into your curriculum? Do you get stuck when you think of yourself as a “landscape designer” for an Outdoor Classroom?
What if I told you about a garden map that would help you design your own one-of-a-kind Garden that Feeds? What if I introduced a fun way to play with key garden elements, within this type of garden, that allowed you and your children to visualize, brainstorm, and create a garden design together.
A Garden Design Map: The Gardens that Feed
I invite you to play with each of the elements by answering the provided questions. Don’t hesitate to include your children in the process. As you play with each element, think about your outdoor space and where each element might go. Remember that these gardens can be any size. Have fun!
#1: Plants: What do you like to eat? Will you start your plants from seed, sow directly into the ground, or purchase from a local nursery?
- Types of plants to consider
- Fruits (plants that grow from a flower and have seeds)
- Roots (plants that grow underground)
- Legumes (member of the pea family)
- Leaves (plants that you eat the leaves)
- Herbs (plants with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume
#2: Water: How will the plants be watered? Do you have access to a water source? Where is it?
- Do you have or do you need to consider?
- Rain Barrel
- Soak Hoses
- Watering Can
#3: Gathering Place: Where will you gather the group? Do you have space for activities and/or meal preparation?
- Green Space
- Under a Tree
- Tables & Benches
#4: Garden Signs: Think about labeling individual plants; along with, and Plant Areas (Leaves, Roots, & Fruits)
- What do you need? (there are a zillion ways to make signs)
- Label Maker
- Scrap Wood & Paint
#5: Storage Shed and/or Potting Bench: How much storage do you need? How much space do you have?
- Tools (consider sizes for children)
- Hand Shovels
- Hand Rakes
- Gardening Gloves
#6: Raised Garden Beds: Is the accessible?
- Wood (traditional)
- Recycled materials (you can get creative here)
#7: Compost Kitchen: Do you have space? Does the compost bin need to be enclosed?
#8: Sun & Shelter from the Wind: Can you observe the how long the sun is shining in your Garden that Feeds?
#9: Soil Quality: What type of soil do you have? Can you test the soil?
#10: Stakes & twine for climbing plants: How will you train your climbing plants? Can your children invent structures?
- Bamboo Stakes
Now I want to hear from you. Did you try the Garden that Feeds Design Map? What types of plants did you choose? How did you figure out how to water your garden? What about your garden signs? Share in the comments below. Want to learn more? Check out the Teaching in the Dirt: Designing Outdoor Classrooms e-Course.
Happy Garden Designing,