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Creating Childcare Center Production Gardens

By: Robin Moore, Nilda Cosco, Sarah Konradi, Mary Archer Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on developing fruit and vegetable production gardens in the Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) of childcare centers. Included are basic garden design and layout to help childcare centers get started in year-round gardening activities. This is the second of fifteen publications about childcare center production gardens.

Natural Learning Initiative Gardening Activity Guide

By: Nilda Cosco, Robin Moore, Muntazar Monsur, Bria Sledge, Mary Archer, Brandon Dupree, Matthew Babb, Eve Anderson, John Ring, Lucy Bradley

The Gardening Activity Guide is designed to expose young children to seasonal fruit and vegetable gardening in childcare centers. Based on the Preventing Obesity by Design (POD) model, the guide provides a resource for teachers to encourage children’s physical activity and outdoor learning through gardening and related activities.

Introducing Children to Insects in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Sam Marshall, Mary Archer, Lucy Bradley Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This factsheet is a guide to introducing children to common garden insects in an early childcare setting. It includes age-appropriate activities for childcare providers to engage young children in identifying garden insects at all life stages.

Growing Strawberries in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Liz Driscoll, Mark Hoffman, Gina Fernandez, Mary Archer, Lucy Bradley Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

Strawberries are the perfect fruit for early childcare centers. Their life cycle is short (planted in September and harvested in April) so children can plant, watch the flowers bloom, observe pollinators in action, watch the fruit develop, and enjoy the delicious, nutritious result of their newly acquired gardening skills. Many children are familiar with strawberries and eager to eat the fruit. Easy to grow, they have very few pests or diseases to challenge inexperienced gardeners.

Growing Warm-Season Fruits and Vegetables in Childcare Production Gardens

By: Mary Archer, Sarah Konradi, Hannah Dankbar, Liz Driscoll Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, warm-season fruits and vegetables suitable for childcare center gardening. This is the third of fifteen publications about childcare center production gardens.

Easy Fruits to Grow at Childcare Center Gardens

By: Mary Archer, Lucy Bradley Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, fruits suitable for childcare center gardening. It provides information about what, how, and when to plant. This is part of the Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens series.

Growing Blueberries in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Bill Cline, Mary Archer, Lucy Bradley Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

In addition to their delicious fruit, blueberries also provide year-round interest in the garden. Bell-shaped white flowers are popular with native bees in the spring, the fruit is beautiful and nutritious in the summer, and the fall leaves are gorgeous. Best of all, blueberries are relatively easy to grow.

Growing Cool-Season Vegetables in Childcare Production Gardens

By: Mary Archer, Hannah Dankbar, Liz Driscoll Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, cool-season vegetables suitable for childcare center gardening. This is the fourth of fifteen publications about childcare center production gardens.

Growing Fruit Trees in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Mary Archer, Michael Parker, Lucy Bradley Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

Early childhood educators can easily engage children in growing, harvesting, and preparing tree fruits that provide numerous opportunities for hands-on learning. Fruit trees add year-round value to childcare outdoor learning environments and provide opportunities for children to follow seasonal changes. In addition, fruit trees help to increase the natural diversity of the spaces and provide pockets of shade. While growing fruit trees can be a very rewarding process, proper planning, preparation, and care of the trees takes time and is essential for success.