Thursday, July 28, 2011

Great Grant, Great Taste, Great Nutrition!

One of the easiest but perhaps most diverse type of gardens for any age gardener is an herb garden. As anyone who has ever planted mint in an outdoor bed can tell you ... there are actually some plants that will grow like crazy, even if you don't want them to! Many herbs are vigorous growers even in small pots, even on a window sill during winter, or under a small grow-light.

So it seems usually something that easy would fall short in some other category, like taste or nutritional value. Not this time!

What would summer tomatoes be without fresh basil? Did you know lurking in all that yumminess is beta-carotene, potassium, iron, and magnesium, just to name a few health benefits of basil?

Personally, I wasn't crazy about fresh green beans ... until someone introduced me to summer savory. The fact that savory is a source of the B-complex group vitamins is a total bonus!

Herbs aren't just a delicious staple in seasoning our favorite foods or making not-so-favorite foods bearable. Many herbs contain unique anti-oxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phyto-sterols, and much more.

So starting an herb garden in your classroom, childcare center, or after-school program has some pretty powerful appeal: almost guaranteed success, a wide-variety of flavors and ways to use in a meal, nutrition ... and for 4 lucky classrooms, the Donald Samull Classroom will provide $200 in "seed money"!

Check out this grant opportunity for 3rd - 6th grade classes:

And here's a great listing of school garden grant sources, graciously compiled by the San Diego Master Gardener Association:

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