Thursday, October 29, 2009

Join Us and Make a Difference

Great News: the world is catching on to our message that school gardens can nourish us and strengthen our communities! The Obamas put food gardens in the spotlight on the White House lawn, and now more than ever parents and teachers are asking Urban Sprouts for support and advice.

The movement is growing because this year, in times of recession and food crisis, the need for school and home gardens is greater than ever.

Today, just like the Obamas, we have SO much work to do. Local schools and families rely on their strong partnerships with us as other programs are cut. Schools all over California and the West want to learn our methods as they start new school gardens.

That's why we're inviting YOU to join us! Why support Urban Sprouts? Read here how your gift to us will go directly to
bring school gardens to more young people, families and schools.

Or click here to GIVE YOUR GIFT TODAY, OF $35, $50, OR $100!

Thank you so much!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

School has been in session for only about two months but already so much has been happening in our gardens.

At ISA the high school seminar got the daunting opportunity to install a drip irrigation system for our garden. This project took a lot of team work and problem solving skills in order to piece together and bury our water pipes. The whole project could not have been done without the help of our dedicated volunteers Casey and Carter. This week we’ll also be saying goodbye to Ms. Stones, our favorite sub, who has been working with us since the beginning of the school year.

At MLK we’ve been working on soil, starting seeds and most recently: worm anatomy! We also had our first Garden Work Party at MLK. We worked on making our garden more accessible, creating a better outdoor classroom seating area and putting together tables for our greenhouse.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Composting at Ida B. Wells

Students at Ida B. Wells are beginning to see themselves as part of the nutrient cycle. Rather than throwing out all food wastes, we're taking discarded scraps from the school's cooking class and returning them back to the earth in the form of compost.

Last month, Mr. Hannon's class, our volunteers, and Urban Sprouts intern, Kevin, pitched in to build compost bins at Ida B. Wells. Instead of buying all new materials for the bins, we decided to recycle wooden pallets, which are usually tossed out after only one use.

We sat down to cut up compost materials the following week to speed up the decomposition process. We have yet to reach the 3' x 3' x 3' volume needed to really get our pile going, but we're slowly adding yard waste from our garden and organic food scraps from the Ida B. Wells kitchen. In the end, we hope to harvest compost to enrich our soil and help our garden flourish!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Urban Sprouts Grows Up

We've reached a milestone! Urban Sprouts has just finished a three-year funding cycle with the Network for a Healthy California's Local Food and Nutrition Education channel. Phew!

We've grown and matured so much during these three years - from a mostly-volunteer staff of one, to a strong team of five serving 7 schools and over 700 youth every year. We've learned that valuing our school partners and cultivating youth leadership help us to do our best. We've worked to grow and expand while staying true to our vision, of quality and consistent programs, but tailored to the needs of unique communities.

Please see for yourself! Lisa Chen on our Advisory Board and Adriani Leon on our staff created this presentation with me and we presented it in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Take a look!

AND you MUST read this colorful, graphic and fun short handout that summarizes who we are and what we've done in our five years of school gardening! Created by Lisa Chen.