School Gardens have a wide variety of benefits. A school garden provides an opportunity for children to work with their hands and build skills such as leadership and teamwork, while also providing your school with a source of fresh and wholesome food. They can bring an academic subject to life by using food as part of projects in math, science, writing or art. Lastly, harvesting fresh produce from a garden can change the way kids relate to their food. It can transform reluctant eaters into veggie lovers!
Seattle Urban Farm Company can work with your school to design an education garden/outdoor classroom that fits your space, goals and budget. Gardens can take many forms, and the first step is to schedule an initial garden consultation to determine the ideal location, size and structure of your garden. We use our years of experience in urban farming and organic food production to create a garden design that works with your landscape, maximizes productivity, and is both fun and easy to work in.
We offer design services ranging from a full landscape plan to providing ideas on how to arrange and organize your garden beds, or anything in-between.
We can also use our gardening knowledge to provide information to help you:
- Design a new garden space
- Make your existing garden more productive
- Source local, sustainable materials for your project
- Set up a crop rotation system
- Manage pests and disease using “beyond organic” techniques
- Extend your harvest into the winter months
- Answer any other questions you may have about growing food
Gardens can take many forms, and often the first step is to schedule an initial garden consultation to determine the ideal location, size and structure of your garden.
Contact us today for rates and scheduling!
Your School Garden site may need several hours, several days or several weeks of work to get ready for food production. To properly prepare the space, it might be necessary to remove existing shrubs, trees, or an existing lawn. In other situations, you may choose to build terraces or low retaining walls to create level gardening spaces. Below are examples of possible garden elements:
Cedar, Fir or Juniper Raised Beds: We can build just one raised bed or several dozen, depending on your budget and the space available. Wooden garden beds can be custom built to fit just right into your landscape. Common beds sizes (in feet): 4 x 4. 4 x 8. 4 x 10
Mounded Bed Gardens: some spaces are just right for a simple garden layout of “mounded raised beds”. These beds are most appropriate in flat, level spaces that have an existing soil base. It is easy for us to remove your lawn, prepare your soil and create a mounded bed garden of any size.
Container Gardens: when a patio, deck or driveway is the best location for your garden (because of space or sun limitations), we can help you set up a functional, beautiful container garden. Containers may range from 1 gallon to 50 gallons in size and many container gardens use a variety of sizes depending on the chosen crops and the space available.
Terraced Gardens: if you have a sloping garden site, we can use natural rock or wooden timbers to build a series of terraces. Terraces can quickly convert a difficult space into a beautiful, easy-to-use garden.
Edible Landscapes: Many projects have the potential to expand beyond the borders of annual beds and incorporate fruit trees, perennial berries and herbs, arbors, pathways, and more!
Regular and consistent attention is vital to keep a vegetable garden at the peak of productivity and beauty throughout the year. Our maintenance program is designed to help you manage your garden in way that fits comfortably into your lifestyle. For those who are interested in learning to take care of your garden on your own, we always welcome you to join us during our maintenance visits.
We tailor our services to meet your needs, so you can choose from:
- A weekly “full service” program for those who have limited time to work in their gardens
- A bi-monthly or monthly program for those who want to do most of the work themselves.
- We also have a custom “you set the budget” program where you tell us how much you want to spend for the year, and we design a maintenance schedule around your budget.
For those of you who take care of your garden on your own but would like assistance with soil building and spring or fall garden preparations, we offer a “revitalization” service where we assess the current condition of your garden soil and use organic compost, soil amendments, and mulch to bring your soil health back to an optimum level.
Recent School Projects
We’re partnering with Westside School in West Seattle to set up an onsite “urban farm!” The farm will be used as a tool to support curriculum for math, science, environmental studies, art, and life skills. In spring and fall, students will spend part of their school day caring for and harvesting from the garden! In summer a parent volunteer crew will continue to work the garden and donate produce harvested from the garden to area food banks.
The Westside School Garden includes:
- 8 beds (one for each grade) built from juniper timbers
- a water-efficient drip irrigation system
- a greenhouse for propagation
- worm composting bins
- a small shed for tools and educational supplies.
Like many school yards, the yard at Westside school was completely covered with asphalt. Instead of tearing out all of the asphalt, which can be prohibitively costly and time consuming, we are using juniper timbers to build deep raised beds directly on top. We’ve had our work cut out for us getting everything level on the heaved asphalt but the garden is turning out beautifully and will be ready to plant this spring. Once the garden is complete, we’re looking forward to helping Westside with creating a planting plan, choosing crops, and developing curriculum.