Urban Kinder-Garden Workshop Day 1

Posted on Dec 2 2009 - 6:00am by Mike Lieberman

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For the first day of the Urban Kinder-Garden Workshop at Kester Ave Elementary School, I worked with the parents and relatives of some of the students to build the self watering containers for the garden.

We also discussed the environmental impacts of gardening and building the containers. Since we’d be growing our own produce, it cuts out the travel and oil costs associated with the food.

I mentioned to them that on average food travels from farm to table about 1,500 to 2,000 miles. For someone like me, who lives in New York City, most of my food is coming from California (if I’m lucky).

By the time it’s picked, packaged, shipped, unpacked and put on the shelf at a store…is it really fresh at that point? When you grow your own, you can trace the life of the vegetable.

Additionally, the containers are made from pre-existing materials. That brings down the cost to make them. Not only is it low cost, but it helps to keep the materials from landfills as well.

The one fact that I thought resonated with the parents (besides the low cost) was a soda bottle will sit in a landfill for 700 years before decomposing (GreenYour.) So imagine how long the big plastic containers would sit for?

After we spoke for a bit, we got to working on the containers. The tasks to build them were divided up and everyone got to work.

All said and done, we built about 15 containers for the kids to plant in. Some of the parents expressed interest in building some of their own self-watering containers at home.

When we were finished, the kids returned to the classroom and asked me a few questions about gardening such as, “Plants need worms” and “What’s an herb?”

The next day I’ll be planting the veggies with the kids and setting up a worm bin.