Committed to Ending Childhood Hunger in Ionia and Montcalm Counties.

Spring 2014

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IM Kids Garden

The IM Kids Garden was started at H.O. Steele Education Center in the spring of 2014 with funding from a State Farm Grant and community resources.  This is the basic plan that was created before the garden was started.

Raised Bed 1

  • Apple and Sweet Melons in Center of bed
  • Various Cherry Tomato Plants one in each corner
  • Strawberries on North Border
  • Carrots on South Border
  • Various types of Lettuce on East/West Boarder

Raised Bed 2

  • Cucumbers in Center of bed
  • Various Cherry Tomato Plants one in each corner
  • Strawberries on North Border
  • Carrots on South Border
  • Various types of Lettuce on East/West Boarder

 Large Garden (40ft x 40ft)

  • Potatoes and Basil
  • Onions
  • Watermelon
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Broccoli

 Activity Dates

  • April 14th GYSD Supplies picked up for Outdoor Learning Lab
  • April 16th Global Youth Service Day
    • 12:30 pm – 2pm Heartlands Building Trades Class to build benches and tables for Outdoor Learning Lab.
    • 3 pm-6 pm Open to ALL Volunteers (CFN Group, Boys Scouts, Etc.)  Clean out Raised Beds, Loosen up Dirt, and cover until planting can take place.
  • Late May – Ground worked up in large garden
  • Late May/Early June – Fence around large garden built by Montcalm County Habitat for Humanity
  • June 2nd – June 13th Volunteers will plant Large Garden.
  • STEM Camp Volunteers (will also work in large garden as available)
    • Week 1 – plant radishes and lettuce in raised beds
    • Week 2 – thin carrots, manage vine plants,
    • Week 3 – something with strawberries?
    • Week 4 – harvest radishes, lettuce, and hopefully cherry tomatoes.
  • August – Will need a Volunteer Crew to maintain garden.
    • August 25th – Great Start Collaborative Volunteers
  • September – Will need Harvest Volunteers
  • Late September/October – Will need Clean Up Volunteer Work Day

Thank You Habitat for Humanity of Montcalm County for constructing our fence!

Thank You Heartlands Construction Technology Class and Habitat for Humanity of Montcalm County for constructing our Outdoor Learning Lab!

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View more pictures of this Global Youth Service Day Project at this link!


 


2014 STEM Camp

Youth attending STEM Camp (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) were able to spend their outdoor free time checking out the garden, planting new seeds, and harvesting early items such as radishes and strawberries.

Week 1 of STEM Camp was pretty much rained out!  STEM Campers enjoyed a tour of the gardens with map in hand to determine the difference between the vegetables planted and the weeds that needed to be pulled.

Week 2 of STEM Camp was a bit more sunny and youth enjoyed sampling some of the fresh strawberries that were growing despite the fact that this was the first growing season.  Youth volunteers also sampled some of the radishes that were ready for harvest and planted some new lettuce seeds.

Week 3 of STEM Camp had a surprise in store!  Saranac Area Women’s Club donated over 100 tomato plants to the Community Food Network.  So while this wasn’t part of the original planning, STEM Camp volunteers helped to create an “S” shape out of fence materials to plant 2 varieties of Cherry Tomatoes in the center of the west raised bed.  Volunteers had to figure out how to shape and size the fence, dig down in the dirt to anchor the fence, and then decide how far apart to plant the baby plants.

Week 4 of STEM was the final work week for these young volunteers.  They were able to harvest the remaining radishes, strawberries, and broccoli to share with their peers for an afternoon snack.  The kids were sad that they would not be there to see the tomato plants produce fruit, but discussed the idea of future IM Kids Garden Volunteers being able to harvest cherry tomatoes to send home in 3rd Meals after school started again.

To volunteer in the IM Kids Garden contact Pam at photchkiss@ioniaisd.org or call at 616-225-7264.

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