1) Reference book
'Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting' – Lyn Bagnall (Scribe Publications 2006, 2009, 2012, e-book 2012).
This practical handbook of 500 pages, written by the author of this program (a certified organic farmer and gardener) is recommended as a reference for supervisors of the program.
In using this popular Australian gardening book as a reference, teachers and supervisors will quickly develop organic gardening expertise that will assist their students to achieve excellent results from their gardening efforts.
Written for Australian conditions with climate change in mind, it provides detailed cultivation notes for individual fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs and flowering annuals, a perpetual monthly garden diary that advises what to sow, plant out and fertilise in each Australian gardening zone, and how to identify your gardening zone. Gardening zones are based on the type of plants that can be grown in a particular area in gardens with moderate irrigation, rather than temperature range and rainfall.
Where information in the book relates to particular points in the program's lessons, page references are given in the Supervisor's Notes as (Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting pp .....)
Comprehensive information on all subjects included in the school gardens program is covered in this book, including:
• Why biological activity in soil is necessary for sustainable cultivation
• Organic fertilisers and their uses
• How soil pH affects plant growth
• Growing food crops in beds, boxes and pots
• Crop rotation to prevent soil-borne diseases
• Drought-proofing gardens
• Protecting gardens from heat and frost
• A guide to plant propagation
• Recognising beneficial fauna in gardens
• Organic methods of pest control
• Easy-to-follow guides on growing green manures, composting and worm
The gardening diary can be used without moon planting by selecting any of the recommended plants in any phase for your gardening zone each month, as it may not be easy to co-ordinate moon planting with the timing of lessons.
"Our children will face serious challenges in addressing climate change and an increasing world population", Lyn says. "We can equip them with the skills and enthusiasm to secure their future food supply and protect the environment by sharing with them, in a practical way, our knowledge of sustainable organic cultivation."
Organic cultivation is beneficial for a school’s entire garden. Cultivation information on Australian natives and popular exotics, and a list of drought-resistant shrubs and trees is also included in Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting to assist in making your school grounds more environmentally-friendly and more tolerant of adverse climate conditions.
Copies of Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting can be ordered directly from the BFA Book Shop for a special school’s price of $45.00 including postage (normally $60.00 including postage and handling) or by calling BFA Head Office 07 33505716.
Click here to read reviews and more about this important reference book.
A glossary of 'Gardening Words' is included in the program. Explanations and pronunciations are given in simple language that children can understand. To access the glossary at any time, click on the 'Glossary' link in the Supervisor's or Lessons menu.
3) Crop chart
The crop chart included in this program provides the minimum time from sowing seed to harvest for each major gardening zone. It is designed to help you to time the sowing of seed so that crops are not likely to need harvesting at the beginning of school holiday periods. For some crops, such as potatoes, pumpkins, garlic and onions, some leeway won't affect the quality of the crop, but other vegetables will spoil if not picked at the correct time.
This crop chart also colour codes crops into groups that belong to the same family or are likely to share diseases, and those that have proved to be good companion plants (e.g. basil in the same colour-coded group as the tomato family). The colour coding is designed to help in practising a suitable crop rotation.
This chart also shows the nutritional value of each crop, including the very important antioxidants.
To access the crop chart at any time, click on the 'Crop Chart' link in the Supervisor's or Lessons menu.
4) Seed saving
This program includes a lesson on saving seed for a few easy-to-save species. For more detailed information on saving seed from a range of individual plants, we recommend The Seed Savers' Handbook – Michel & Jude Fanton (The Seed Savers' Network, 1993).
A collection of 13 simple recipes that include typical fruits and vegetables grown in school gardens is provided for students to try at home.
6) Wet weather activities
When unsuitable weather prevents students from participating in gardening lessons, some fruit and vegetable related activities can be found on the 'Fresh For Kids' website that is produced by Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle fruit and vegetable markets.
Activities include quizzes, 'word match' and 'find a word' games that will help students to recognise, spell, and learn more about a wide range of natural foods.
For schools registered as participants in the program an e-mail address is available for advice on particular problems that supervisors may encounter. Questions sent to this address will be directed, by Australian Organic, to the relevant expert, and advice will be provided as soon as possible.
The helpline address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Return to top of page