Friday, February 26, 2010

Garden Songs

This great website features gardening related songs and finger plays for young children.  The lyrics are adorable and would perfect for teaching young children about gardening and what plants need to grow. 

Here's just one example:

I'll plant a little seed in the dark, dark ground.
Out comes the yellow sun, big and round.
Down comes the cool rain, soft and slow.
Up comes the little seed, grow, grow, grow!

Check out the website and enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Training Session: March 23 in Waupaca

A new training date has been added to the Got Dirt? training schedule!

A training will be held:

Tuesday, March 23
8:30-11:30 a.m.

Waupaca County UW-Extension
811 Harding Street
Waupaca, WI 54981

The training will cover basic gardening techniques, including an in-ground garden, raised bed, container garden, cold frame, and Microfarm.  Funding and grant opportunities will also be discussed.

While the training session is free, registration is required since space is limited.  Contact 920-391-4655 for more information or to register.

Visit for more information.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Resource: Free Seeds!

Are you looking for ways to save money for your school garden project?

The America the Beautiful Fund offers free seeds to community projects.  The application process couldn't be simpler!

Just go to the website and download the application.  The application requires you to
  • Write a short letter describing your project
  • Fill out the application form
  • Enclose a check for shipping and handling
  • Mail your letter and information to the address listed
You can request 100-1,000 packets of seeds to start your gardening project!

Send in an application today to make your garden a reality!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Activity: "Planting" an Indoor Garden

Even if you don't have the space available to start a school garden, you can still teach your students about fruits, vegetables, plants and gardening.

This easy activity allows you to "plant" a garden in your classroom and teach kids about various fruits and veggies.

  • Clip art of fruits and vegetables on white paper for students to color
  • Coloring materials (markers, paint, crayons, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Craft sticks
  • Glue
  • Container and potting soil or styrofoam to create "garden plot"
  • Find clip art of fruits and vegetables for students to color
  • Print pictures on white paper
  1. Give each child one or several images of fruits or vegetables.
  2. Have the children identify the type of fruit/veggie and color it the appropriate color.
  3. Have children cut out the pictures and glue them to the craft sticks.
  4. Place the potting soil or styrofoam into the container.
  5. Have students "plant" their garden by placing their craft sticks into your "garden plot"
  6. Continue to have children identify the fruits/veggies in their garden.
  • Have children use the fruits and vegetables from their garden as puppets. 
    • Have children create skits or plays with the puppets.
    • Read a garden story and have children hold up their fruit/veggie when it is mentioned in the story.
  • Use the pictures of the fruits and vegetables to help plan your school garden.  Have students decide where each one should go and place it into the "garden plot" accordingly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Activity: Seed Necklaces

This fun activity allows students to create seed necklaces.  Students can observe the growth of their seeds as they begin to sprout. 

  • Small re-sealable plastic bag (ex: small jewelry bag, found in craft stores)
  • Yarn
  • Cotton Balls
  • Water in spray bottle.
  • Spray bottle
  • Seeds or Beans
  • Scissors
  • Single hole punch
  • Permanent marker
  1. Punch a hole in the top of each plastic bag.
  2. Using the permanent marker, write the student's name on the plastic bag.
  3. Wet the cotton ball using the spray bottle.
  4. Place the cotton ball in the plastic bag.
  5. Place the seed/bean in the bag so that it is resting against the cotton ball.
  6. String the yarn through the hole in the plastic bag to create a necklace.
  7. Moisten the cotton ball as needed.  The seeds should begin to sprout within a week, depending on the type of seed used.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Garden Jokes and Riddles

It's a bit snowy outside today, so to lighten the mood and make you smile here are a few gardening and fruit/vegetable jokes and riddles for you  to enjoy and share with your class...

  • What vegetable do you need a plumber for?
    • A leek!

  • What gets bigger the more you take away?
    • A hole!

  •  Why do potatoes make good detectives?
    • Because they keep their eyes peeled!

  • What vegetable can you throw away the outside, cook the inside, eat the outside and throw away the inside?
    • Corn!

  • Why did the banana go to the doctor?
    • Because it wasn't peeling well!
More jokes and riddles to come!

In the meantime, we'd all love a chuckle...share your favorite jokes and riddles below!

*Today's riddles and jokes courtesy of ,, and

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Training Date: March 10 in Oshkosh, WI

A new Got Dirt? training session has just been announced.

Join us!

Wednesday, March 10
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Winnebago County UW-Extension
James P. Coughlin Center
625 E. County Road Y, Suite 600
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Visit for more information and to register today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book: A Garden for Groundhog

Happy Groundhog Day!

The groundhog may have seen his shadow today and predicted six more weeks of winter, but reading the book A Garden for a Groundhog will get you and your students longing for spring.

The School Library Journal says it is "A delightful book especially right for reading around Groundhogs Day. During the winter, the O'Learys feast on the bounty from their summer garden, and Groundhog hibernates in his burrow home beneath the apple tree. The O'Learys know that the groundhog does not come forth on February 2 to forecast the weather but rather to check if the O'Leary garden is planted. Mr. O'Leary's plan to keep the groundhog out of their vegetables has one flaw, though, which is humorously revealed on the final page. Full-color illustrations in soft hues add to the aura of warmth and gentleness which permeate the story. A delight to read and share."

And a fun fact for Got Dirt? gardeners: the author, Lorna Balian, was born in Milwaukee and still resides in Wisconsin.

Happy reading!

Monday, February 1, 2010

February School Garden Ideas

At the beginning of each month, the Got Dirt? WI blog will feature a variety of month-specific ways to incorporate your school garden into your classroom.

It may be cold outside but this month's activities will get you and your students thinking spring and excited about the approaching warm weather.  Have students learn all the basics about gardening now so they can get their hands dirty as soon as it's warmer outside!

  • Feb. 5: National Weatherman's Day:  Although a bit of an unusual holiday, use this as an opportunity to talk about different types of weather.  You can explain that different parts of the county have different weather patterns and climates, which impacts when you can plant a garden.  Reinforce the type of weather that helps your garden grow!

  • Feb. 12: Winter Olympics: Use the Olympics to discuss the differences in culture and countries around the world.  Talk about food grown in different countries.  Have students pick a county and research its foods and agricultural traditions.

  • Feb. 14: Valentine's Day:  Put a twist on Valentine's Day traditions and instead of focusing on chocolates and sweets, have a "Love Your Fruits and Veggies Day."  Students can bring in their favorite fruit/vegetable to share with the class.  Ask students how they like to have their favorite fruits/veggies prepared.  Tally/graph the class's favorite type of fruit/vegetable. 

  • Feb. 15: President's Day: Discuss the White House garden and Thomas Jefferson's contribute to gardening.  Students can also research the past president's favorite foods.
What are your favorite February gardening activities?  Get inspired and share below!