If you’ll recall, we’ve featured my great friend Miyako Kinoshita’s garden a couple of times (refresh your memory HERE and HERE.) But what I never said is that Miyako does a bit of gardening in her day job, too. She’s the Farm Education Program Manager at Green Chimneys Farm and School in Brewster, New York.
She sent me these photos of how they’re getting kids involved in gardening in inventive ways the other day, and while I started off this post with a couple of overall shots of gardens at the farm, I am especially fascinated with the photos of the more small-scale efforts they make to get kids involved with growing plants.
Straight from the source: “Green Chimneys School is a non-profit organization serving 235 children with psycho-social disabilities in Brewster, NY. Nature-based programs, including gardening, farm based education, wildlife rehabilitation, and therapeutic riding are a central part of the treatment approach.
“Michelle Marquez is our garden teacher who is both a state certified teacher and avid horticulturist. She implements a 12-month horticulture program that combines academics but also helps the children develop social-emotional and interpersonal skills. The students grow flowers and vegetables in warmer months and do many projects in the green house in the colder seasons.
“These amazing and creative wall gardens were created by Michelle as an example of how without great cost green spaces and gardens can be brought indoors. Especially urban schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other public indoor settings are ideal placements for this kind of gardening. Using soda bottles, milk crates, and driftwood, Michelle and the students at Green Chimneys created easy and neat ideas on how to introduce plants into unlikely places.”
So great, Miyako. I especially love the soda bottle planter, and I think we need to make a few together this spring! It’s so wonderful to see that someone is taking something we all know to be true–that gardening is therapeutic–and using it to help kids heal and grow. Bravo!
**Green Chimneys is open regularly for tours and farm visits. You can visit them online at at www.greenchimneys.org, or if you’re close by, you can contact them for their visiting hours. For a special treat, visit them on Birds of Prey Day on Sunday, June 2nd.
Speaking of gardening with kids, we have a special giveaway today. A few weeks ago I got this great coloring book in the mail (last 2 photos), and I fell completely in love with it. When the publicist followed up a couple of weeks later, I begged her to send me a couple more copies to give away here. Seriously, this is the coolest coloring book I’ve ever seen, and I can’t yet bear to give it to my daughter. Is that horrible? 🙂 It’s called Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, and it’s by Johanna Basford. Comment below, telling everyone what your earliest memory of gardening is (even if you weren’t a kid!), and we’ll choose two people randomly from those comments to win the book. I’ll announce the winners on Wednesday.