Donations to Home Grown Fun

Hi, I’m Cindy, Founder of Home Grown Fun. How to make homemade fertilizers from the founder of Home Grown FunI volunteer at public elementary schools creating innovative gardens and nature programs.

The first garden project I set up at school in 2010 was a Composting Fair! We brought in many types of composting systems along with composting worms and a replica of a landfill!

Teaching kids about landfillsComposting with Worms School ProgramBrown Composting Materials

 

 

 

 

Students learned how much of what they stick in the trash can be recycled into nutritious soil amendment and that some trash can eventually leach into the ground and contaminate our drinking water, streams and lakes. We created a fun video showing what we learned that day. The parents of all students in the video gave permission for their sons and daughters to participate. We do not make money from the composting video (opens in new window).

All along the fence we placed materials that could be composted. We separated the items into groups of GREEN, BROWN and “DO NOT COMPOST AT HOME”. The children learned how the “GREENS” are fresh materials that contribute nitrogen and the “BROWNS” contribute carbon, being dead and dry. Did you know there are over 100 things you can compost?

Once the brown and green materials are mixed up and become moist with enough water so the pile is like a wrung out sponge, amazing things happen! Heat is produced which helps to break down the materials into organic matter. Microbes in the soil eat the scraps and produce a material we know as compost.

At the next school, we only had a tarred playground to work with at first. “No raised beds? No Problem!” became our motto! The principal allowed me creative freedom to design a fun and inspiring program that encouraged classes to visit, plant and harvest vegetables. In collaboration with the teachers and with $300 in donations from website visitors, more than 250 students planted five types of Asian greens in small grow bags. They grew gourmet potatoes and strawberries in recycled coffee sacks and learned about beneficial insects, organic fertilizers and historical plants!

School Garden in ContainersOver the years, we have expanded our gardens to include raised beds, pallet gardens, oversized grow bags, vertical gardens, hanging gardens and more!  While we have more activities to offer, we never waste money or get too fancy. All gardens are built and run by the students, not the teachers or parents.

To supply the gardens, I purchase bulk, organic compost. We create our own potting soil. I also acquire coconut coir for seed starting and as a friendly gardening medium for younger students because it is soft and virtually bacteria free. I have a large organic and heirloom seed collection and introduce new and exciting vegetables and fruits to the school community.

Educational materials for the outdoor areas and teacher lounge help the teachers to give self-guided tours for their students and to participate in activities already set up for them. Teachers do not spend extra time preparing garden activities. I do that as a volunteer!

I donate seeds, composting worms, grow bags and many more items from my own personal savings.

In an innovative garden, the students are not just planting, they are appreciating nature and learning about the world. They might plant a rare radish from India or roast chips in a homemade solar oven using kohlrabi leaves! They learn fun propagation techniques, seed saving methods and how to become resourceful. A garden is also a wonderful place to practice creative writing, science experiments and even history lessons!  We create moss gardens to demonstrate the water cycle and incorporate many other key concepts from the curriculum into the garden experience.

school garden update may 2013

Garden updates are published regularly and the students are encouraged to invite their families to the gardens. Students share what they do with their relatives, friends and fellow students. 

Many students gain new confidence, knowledge and skills that will last a lifetime! For some children, the garden becomes a place they crave – to relax, work, observe and regroup.

If you are on the fence about a donation, know that I am extremely careful with any monies received. I gift my own money right alongside you. I am transparent and share exactly how I spend the funds and can guarantee you that I do not waste a single penny. If you donate I will follow up with email updates if you wish. 100% of your donation goes directly to the garden.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I will respond promptly to any donation inquiry.

We appreciate any amount you donate!

Cindy

Founder, Home Grown Fun

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