Monday, January 30, 2012

Off and Running

Saturday Morning Class on
Garden Planning
Its late January and we have already had 2 successful weeks of classes . The gardening classes are going well and the number of people coming is awesome. They all show a true interest in the classes, and we think everyone is going away with some added knowledge. Just the discussion alone among novice gardeners to master gardeners is great. Every week I see connections being made.
Jr Master Gardeners Making Mini Worm
       But to me the shining jewel is the Jr. Master Gardeners Class . The kids are engaged, and the parents are engaged . While its a simple lesson, and a couple interactive projects I think everyone leave with a little added knowledge. So we are glad to be off to a good start ....Come join us all the classes are listed on the classes tab above .

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gardening Season Has Started

At Unity Gardens we mark the start of gardening season with the kick off of our classes . This year we are starting off with a 10 week series of gardening classes for adults. It started Saturday at 10am with a nice class on plant basics.
     At 12:30 we had our first Jr. Master Gardener class it was a great class, and I think everyone learned something including the adults , and teachers ! We also had a great time , These classes will continune every Saturday through March . At that time we will continue with another series , some in the Garden some inside . All the classes were held at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana , 702 S. Chapin . Check the tabs above for a full list of classes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome Myles our latest intern

Hello, my name is Myles Robertson and I am excited to be the new intern for Unity Gardens. I am a current student at IU South Bend studying sustainability. I will be graduating this May. I have been a part of several organizations working to make Michiana more sustainable throughout my college career and am still doing so. My most recent projects have included organizing, building, and leading the campus garden at IUSB’s student housing. Helping plan and build gardens at the Grill Dining Services on campus and at the Robinson Community Center. And I am currently the liaison between the Center for a Sustainable Future and student housing and as the Resident Assistant in sustainability. I enjoy gardening and always have thanks, in part, to my father’s obsession with growing hot peppers and my family’s enthusiasm for home grown vegetables. This, coupled with Unity Garden’s mission is what makes this internship mean so much to me. Thank you for this opportunity and I will be looking forward to working with all of you in the weeks to come!

Pura Vida,

-Myles Robertson

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Windpower Class

The first thing many people ask when we decided to hold a wind power class was " what does this have to do with gardens ?" For us we hope to in the future harness wind power to supplement some of the power at our greenhouse and learning center. But also what better way to help young minds grow , and after all growing is what we do .
The Class was put on by Karana Olivier. Karana spends the bulk of his time in

post conflict countries in Africa exploring cheap accessible ways to restore balance to ravaged social and economic systems.

    So what a great opportunity to blend a science lesson with a social one . The class was broken up into 3 sections . First Theroy , Next a hands on building of a small windmill the , and it all concluded with a test of the windmills output . The kids and parents loved the class . We hope to put this class on again this spring.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Jr. Master Gardeners Class

For 2012 the Unity Gardens is starting a Jr. Master Gardeners Program

The target age group for this club will be 3rd to 6th grade.
We invite anyone to join in . Its Free ! The goal will be to have fun and learn something.
We will be starting the program with a 10 week series of classes held at our office, and classroom located at the
Food Bank of Northern Indiana
702 S. Chapin St.
Each class will have a lesson and a fun hands on learning activity.
Classes will start on Jan 21st at 12:30 and run for 10 weeks . As the weather warms we will have classes in a outdoor garden setting.

Jan 21st Sat 12:30 – 2pm Plant Growth and Development
Jan 28th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Soil and Water
Feb 04 Sat 12:30 – 2pm Ecology and Horticulture
Feb 11th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Insects and Diseases
Feb 18th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Landscape Horticulture
Feb 25th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Fruits and Nuts
March 3rd Sat 12:30 – 2pm Vegetables and Herbs
March 10th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Veggie Tasting for Kids
March 17th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Seed Starting for Kids
March 24th Sat 12:30 – 2pm Life Skills and Career Explore

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hands on Learning

Sara explaining the Characteristics and
how to teach 9 to 11 year olds
Friday Sara and I attended a conference put on by Purdue , and the Lily foundation. What I thought was going to be a somewhat dry presentation was nothing of the sort. The goal was to teach the us how to teach youths. The day started early with sessions on Experimental Learning , and Characteristics of youth ages 6 to 18 . They were 2 great learning exercises.

Working on a seed germination project
After lunch I went to the plant sciences where we learned the basics of the Junior Master Gardener program. Unity Gardens will be hosting a Master Gardener Club with classes starting on Sat Jan 21st . The class was awesome we did 3 different learning exercises designed to get kids involved in plant sciences.

While I was in the Plant Sciences Class Sara was in a nnatural resources class learning the basics of wind power, soil , and water management.
     All in all it was an awesome day Thanks Purdue University for facilitating this day , and the Lily Foundation for funding this great day of learning.