Our School Garden: Gardening With Blind Children
The Kentucky School for the Blind Garden Project
Ideas for our school garden are germinating, and along with them, this webpage!
School gardens are exciting places where children and teachers can work together to produce fruits and vegetables, and in the process learn many skills. Ecology, life cycle, genetics, soil science, seasons, weather, and nutrition are just a few of the subjects that students will learn in a garden. Science lessons spring to life when a child encounters a worm while digging in the soil.
Children learn responsibility when required to care for sprouting seeds and fledgling plants in the classroom. They learn about nutritional choices when they bite into cherry tomatoes they have grown from seeds. High school students learn vocational skills when they sell a load of produce at a farmer's market.
Gardening is a life skill students will take home to their families and their neighborhoods or communities. They will take these skills with them into adulthood.
Our school garden is an exciting place! We cannot wait to see it grow and develop, and our children along with it!
Our School Garden Poll I
Do you have a vegetable garden at your school?
Gardening with Blind Children - Our School Garden at Kentucky School for the Blind
Our school is special, because we are home away from home for around 70 blind and visually impaired students. Our students range in age from 5 to 21 years of age, in kindergarten through high school graduation. About half of our students are reside in the dormitories on campus during the week and go home on the weekends. The other half are day students who live at home and commute daily to school.
Gardening with blind children presents some unique challenges, but they are easily overcome. Gardening can be mastered by partially sighted or totally blind people with a few adaptations.
Many gardens are started by sighted adults for the enjoyment of blind people, but we want a garden where our blind children are actors and agents, not passive recipients of experiences. Blind children often have things done for them, but our school garden is a place where blind children will make something happen.
One of our first jobs as parents and teachers is to learn how to garden with our blind children.
- Gardening for Young Visually-Impaired or Multi-Impaired Children | NFB
Gardening for the child who is visually impaired or blind encourages the exploration of the environment using the senses of touch, smell, hearing, and taste. Gardening enhances these young gardeners' participation in their families and community and
- Visually Impaired & Blind Children Learn to Garden | University of California, Agriculture & Natural
Summer camp presented by Master Gardeners for blind children.
- National Blind Gardeners' Club, Thrive, RNIB, for blind & partially sighted gardeners
Resources for blind gardeners in the United Kingdom.
- Adaptive Gardening Techniques for the Visually Impaired | Oregon State University Extension Service
Adaptive techniques to make gardening accessible to the blind and visually impaired.
- Gardening with Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired | MAER. org
Notes from a speech to Michigan AER by a parent volunteer on gardening with blind children. Good information here.
Starting a School Garden - Suggestions for Our School Garden
School Gardens and Resources - Ideas for Our School Garden
Resources and ideas for school gardens.
- School Garden Wizard
A School Garden requires a child's intellectual, emotional and social engagement with things that must be measured, counted, weighed, arranged, planned and cared for. It can yield gratifying and often surprising results for you and your students.
- Edible School Yard
What we are calling for is a revolution in public education - a Delicious Revolution. When the hearts and minds of our children are captured by a school lunch curriculum, enriched with experience in the garden, sustainability will become the lens thr
- Urban Sprouts
Urban Sprouts grew out of a doctoral thesis project conducted by Dr. Michelle M. Ratcliffe at Luther Burbank Middle School during the 2003-04 school year. At the end of the study, teachers asked us to stay on and help make the school garden a sustain
Resources for Our School Garden
As we start our school garden, a few reference materials are helpful.
In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.
The author is founder of The Edible Schoolyard, a gardening and cooking program on the campus of a Berkeley, CA, middle school. An organic garden on school grounds is tended and harvested by students, with hands-on ecology and nutrition lessons woven into the curriculum. The book details the history of the program while passionately touting the physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits that arise from it. Bright photographs show the engaged youngsters at work.
Instructional Activities for Our School Garden
School garden activities for use with students kindergarten through high school.
- School Garden Weekly
School Garden Weekly was created to allow students, teachers, parents, and volunteers the information necessary to start and maintain a successful school garden.
Our School Garden is Part of a Green Community - Our School Garden's Community Partners
Louisville, Kentucky is a city with a growing emphasis on sustainability. We have many green initiatives, community gardens and backyard farms.
- Community Gardens | Operation Brightside
The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service manages the community garden program. They provide educational services and horticultural strategies that could improve your garden.
- 15Thousand Farmers
15Thousand Farmers helps create, empower, and inspire 15thousand new, sustainable, backyard/front yard farmers in Louisville, KY to feed their families and themselves! How? By using simple and easy instructions, checklists, materials and ongoing supp
- Green List Louisville
We want to list all sustainable businesses, services and organizations in Louisville. We are freely connecting people with providers - for the benefit of us all, and especially that of our planet.
- Slow Food Bluegrass
Slow Food Bluegrass is an all volunteer local chapter of Slow Food International. We seek to carry out Slow Food's mission of good, clean, and fair food for all, here in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Slow Food Bluegrass supports the activities an
- Kentucky School Garden Network
KSGN Mission: To create vibrant, sustainable, edible gardens in every public, independent, and parochial school in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Every child and every school deserves a garden!
If you have experience with a school garden, we would love to hear about that too!