Educator Spotlight: Working Together for a Cleaner School Environment

Helen Pugh used the Geo-Inquiry Process as a framework to guide her students in action projects within their school. Groups of Helen’s students developed projects related to composting, food waste reduction, gardening, and more, all with the goal of creating a cleaner school environment. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Working Together for a Cleaner School Environment

Educator Spotlight: Design a Civilization

Brian Cushing, Ronny Smith, and Anthony Green, this week’s Educators of the Week, challenged their students to be creative and design their own sustainable civilizations. This teacher team works at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California. The post was written in collaboration with the group. Activity: Design a Civilization Grade Level: 9 Time Commitment: About three weeks What would you do if you’d been … Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Design a Civilization

Natalie Wojinski Part 3: Gardening in small spaces

Previously, I have described my epiphany in France and getting my students to think about why we want to frequent businesses that sell locally grown produce or other foodstuffs. In this post, I will continue my evolution from hapless consumer to backyard gardener.


DSCF0401.JPGI know that my parents were growing veggies in the backyard before I was seven, but the first garden I really remember was the large, organic patch we had in our Livermore, CA yard. We had tomatoes, green beans, squash, asparagus, carrots, and much more. I remember encouraging the family dog to eat the tomato worms and helping to set out pie tins filled with beer to attract the slugs that were eating our crop. As I grew, my family continued to grow gardens that supplemented trips to the grocery store. Once I got out on my own, however, I never seemed to have the time or the space for gardening.

Over the past few years, my husband and I have grown tomatoes and a few herbs but with the downturn in the economy we decided it was time to become more ambitious and expand our garden. We’ve learned a lot over the past few months about gardening in small spaces, composting, and how far we can go to change our shopping habits.

While conventionally started tomato seedlings and basil plants from Trader Joe’s are fun and easy to grow, we wanted more. But how, we wondered, would this happen? We live in a townhouse with a postage stamp-sized backyard in a San Francisco Bay Area suburb. The back yard is covered in brick which we really had no desire to remove. Our answer? Containers!

Continue reading “Natalie Wojinski Part 3: Gardening in small spaces”