The Kids are in the Garden! Seed, Grow and Learn in the Edible Garden

Kids from 2-4 years old in the Rodef Shalom Preschool have planted seeds and are tending to them under the grow light until they are ready to be planted outdoors in the Edible Garden.

kids looking at seedlings growing in grow light

Seedlings growing under the grow light at Rodef Shalom Preschool

 

According to the teachers at Rodef Shalom Preschool,

When a child is involved in a gardening activity such as planting seeds, there are many concepts to explore, discover, and learn. The children explore math skills. They are exposed to literacy through stories about gardening. They learn social skills by working with other children and learning to care for and nurture a living thing. Through gardening, plants grow and children grow too.

Planting the seeds for the Edible Garden

Step 1: plant the seeds

Watering seeds in The Rodef Shalom Preschool

Step 2: water the seeds


Seedlings planted by kids in Rodef Shalom Preschool

Step 3: tend to seedlings under the grow light

 

Lettuce growing in Rodef Shalom Preschool

Time to make salad!

 

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Blueberries and Raspberries-Plants for your Edible Landscape Garden

Create a beautiful landscape with edible plants. Easy to grow edible plants like blueberries and raspberries can be added to your landscape, no matter how small.

Transforming a Suburban Slope into an Edible Landscape

Courtesy of Ecological Gardens

The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom will plant vegetables and fruits in containers as described in our previous post,  container gardens enable those restricted by space, physical disabilities, and location to be be successful in creating their own gardens.

Besides planting in containers, the plan for our Edible Garden also includes another option. Instead of planting edibles in traditional garden beds, you can plant edible fruits directly into your landscape. According to Edible Landscaping with Charlie Nardossi in Growing Berry Shrubs, When you think about growing berries, strawberries are likely the first fruit that comes to mind. While these luscious berries are a favorite addition to an edible landscape, there are other berry-producing plants that not only yield an abundance of fruit, they also make attractive landscape plants.”

Today, volunteers planted eight blueberry and four raspberry plants in The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom.

Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom Blueberry and Raspberry Plants

We purchased 8 blueberries and 4 raspberries at the Pittsburgh Garden Experiment Fruit Tree and Plant Sale


The blueberries and raspberries were purchased through our friends at the Pittsburgh Garden Experiment, a blogging community for city gardeners, in their annual Fruit Tree and Plant Sale. We are happy to note that half of the proceeds from the sale will support Pittsburgh Permaculture

Kerry and Bob planting in the Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom

Kerry and Bob ready to plant blueberries and raspberries on a rainy day

planting blueberries in Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom

Amending the soil and digging holes for the blueberries

We learned two important things about growing blueberries so if you are inclined to try them in your own landscape, here are a few resources for you to consider.

  1. Several varieties of blueberries grow well in Pittsburgh with the proper soil amendments. Our soil was tested with a kit we purchased through the Allegheny County Penn State Cooperative Extension. The soil PH in Pittsburgh is high in alkaline (ours is 7.2 PH) and blueberries grow best in soil with a lower, more acidic PH (between 4.5 and 5). Penn State’s College of Agriculture Sciences Cooperative Extension’s article, So you want to Grow Fruit….is a wonderful resource for information about growing berries. 

  2. When you plant blueberries, you should plant more than one variety to allow for cross-pollination. We planted Blue Crop, Duke, Elliot and Patriot. Keith at Backyard Berry Plants has a great guide with information on how to plant and care for your berries. 

Newly planted blueberries in The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom

New additions to the Rodef Shalom Landscape Blue Crop, Elliot, Patriot and Duke Blueberry Plants

Raspberry plants in The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom
4 Raspberry Plants
Planting Men
Job well done guys, thanks!

Container Gardening Ideas for Fresh Food

Edible Container Garden

How can you grow fresh food and beautiful gardens in small spaces?

Let’s say that you love to garden and the thought of growing your own food appeals to you. Perhaps you also think that you don’t have enough space or that you physically can no longer get down and dig in the dirt, well there is a solution, how about a container garden?

HGTV Container Garden

Growing plants, both edible and otherwise, as well as fruits and nuts is possible for most individuals. All it takes is a few containers and some ingenuity. Planting containers can occupy small balconies, even smaller ones can rest comfortably on windowsills. Container gardens enable those restricted by space, physical disabilities, and location to be be successful in creating their own gardens.

With a container garden, you can offer your plants optimal soil conditions as well as move the containers according to their sunlight needs. It is also a great way for kids to get involved in the education of growing their own food as well as a way to encourage responsibly.

Container Gardening with Kids

Vegetable Garden on a Deck

Are you interested in starting a container garden? Keep an eye on the Rodef Shalom Congregation website for a two workshops: “Vegetable Gardening 101” and “Growing Vegetables in Containers”.

Until then, here are a few resources to get you started:

Happy gardening !!!!