... gardens are great places to learn.
We're inspired to create imaginative stories about vegetable superheros. Life science comes alive when we see our radish seeds sprout and look for insects. Geometry makes more sense when we find shapes and patterns in the garden.
... gardens help develop important life skills.
We learn to work together as a team, to cooperate to get the job done, to have patience as our seeds grow, to express our feelings and listen to others, and to share the fruits of our labor.
... gardens bring us together.
College students and elementary students teach each other while working together. Retirees lend a hand, neighbors come visit, and parents stop to chat. The garden is all about community!
... gardens nourish us.
We grow healthy, fresh, and delicious food in the garden. From the first spring strawberry to the last green onion in the fall, we enjoy eating what the garden provides.
...gardens are wonderful places to grow.
FFM supports and coordinates garden activities at the local elementary school, Woodward School for Technology and Research. Woodward has several areas for vegetables, herbs, strawberries, and annual and perennial flowers. The small pond in the main garden always captures student's interest! The garden in back of the school supports pollinators with its certified monarch waystation. Over 300 students are involved in learning activities in the garden each year. Students learn how to garden organically from seed to compost and are excited to eat the fresh food they have grown. Ever had kindergarteners begging to eat broccoli? We have!
FFM connects garden learning with state and national standards. The garden is a great place to study math, science, language arts, creative arts, history, nutrition, physical education, and more. The garden is a wonderful outdoor classroom. In partnership with Kalamazoo College's Center for Civic Engagement, we lead an after school group (Club Grub) that explores healthy eating, gardening, cooking, and nutrition. We try new food, play games, and work together to make healthy snacks each week. Who knew food could be so much fun!
When school is out for the summer, FFM hosts a weekly garden night. Students, families, neighbors, and community members are all welcome to join us and help keep the garden growing strong. In the summer, garden produce goes home with helpers or is donated to groups in need.
Working in food justice and education, we explore and utilize Anti-bias / Anti-racism teaching techniques to "support all children's full development in our multiracial, multilingual, multicultural world and give them the tools to stand up to prejudice, stereotyping, bias, and eventually to institutional 'isms'" (1).