The Educational EarthBox®
Youth Garden Package
EarthBox® Youth Gardens and Guides
The Educational EarthBox® Youth Garden Packages introduce students to the rewards and joys of growing fresh, nutritious produce in EarthBoxes wherever there is six to eight hours of sunlight! The guaranteed success of the EarthBox® Garden engages the student in a gardening experience that brings them a life time of satisfaction. Garden related questions that naturally arise from the gardening experience ignite an interest in the science behind water, light, soil, plants and nutrition. The interest spawned in the garden heightens understanding in the classroom where the standards-based support curriculum addresses the same topics.
A Youth Garden Guide that accompanies each package engages students in many hands-on, garden-related experiential activities that build horticultural, internet, entrepreneurial and workplace skills. At a glance, Focus Symbols placed at the beginning of each activity indicate the area(s) of concentration covered in the activity. Focus Symbols.pdf. The nutritional instruction encourages healthy eating habits and shows how such habits build strong bodies to combat obesity, malnutrition, Diabetes II and other diseases. Other activities teach the science-based skills of observation, data collection, record keeping and analysis. Nutrition Activity.pdf
The Educational EarthBox®, its garden guide, and curriculum support packages were co-developed to connect afterschool program instruction with standards-based classroom instruction. Yet, each is an autonomous, stand alone tool that can be used independently to meet the diverse needs of programs across the country. Specific activities from both the curriculum support packages and the Garden guide can be selected independent of each other, or instructors can alternate activities from the guide to the lesson plans to create a customized product.
The teacher friendly guide is divided into four sections that consist of 45 minute instructional periods. The guide is very flexible. Instructors with extended periods of instruction can choose to complete several activities in one session; while another constrained by time can complete six activities over a six week period. Still, another instructor can run an EarthBox® Garden class all year long by following the guide in its entirety. Youth Garden Table of Contents.pdf
The opening section, The Introduction, familiarizes participants with the garden mission, the EarthBox® itself, and the acquisition of personal and workforce skills pertinent to all aspects of the program and life. The second section, Pre-garden and Garden Instruction, builds a broad horticultural knowledge base and sound nutritional awareness. It prepares participants to design a functional garden, to grow and care for 21 healthy crops, to learn their nutritional value and to use that information to create healthy diets. The Workforce Development Section introduces the students to Target Marketing, Point of Sales Marketing, Sales and Value Added Production. The activities in this section can be completed without actually developing a real market. The fourth section, Data Collection and Analysis, teaches students to use data to create graphs and tables as tools for critical analysis.
By using project-based learning and critical thinking skills the EarthBox® Garden and guide increases the potential for student achievement in higher education and the work place where project completion, not tests, is often the measure of success.
Ultimately, the EarthBox® Garden experience is greater than the sum of its parts. Participants experience the life enhancing joy of gardening, the hope of the harvest, the wonder of life, the excitement of biodiversity, the importance of sustainable resources and the responsibility that builds character, self-esteem and confidence in oneself and life.