Skip to main content

"Kate Sullivan Garden Moves to Phase Two" - Tallahassee Democrat Chronicle, 9/1/2011

"Kate Sullivan Garden Moves to Phase Two"
Kelley Des Marais (special to the Chronicle)

After months of planning by teachers, parents, school board members, Kate Sullivan Elementary School Garden Committee proudly announces the completion of phase one of the Community School Garden, completed on Aug. 19th.

The finished garden is approximately 150 square feet including a spigot and three raised garden beds.  The garden eventually will include compost and vermiculture bins, bench seating and enough raised beds for each grade level to create its own garden.  The garden will be fore students as well as the community and is accessible to people with disabilities.  This space will serve as an outdoor classroom with curriculum-based activities that meet Florida state-wide learning benchmarks in most categories including math, sciennce, language and art.  Along with the Department of Education, the garden committee developed a comprehensive guide for teachers based on Gardening for Grades, written by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc.  In addition, our Nathan Ballentine with Tallahassee Food Gardens helped guide the garden committee in the creation of a living educational space.  It is hoped that community-based projects like this one will provide an inspiration for other schools and show teachers how their work can provide students with hands-on learning while experiencing the fun of the outdoors.  Betton Hills Neighborhood Association, Kate Sullivan PTA, Mad Dog Construction, Gramlings, Turkey Hill Farm, and Native Nurseries generously provided funding for this project.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this exciting new project, please contact the garden coordinator, Kelley Des Marais at

Popular posts from this blog

Why Can I Eat Bread in France, but not the USA?

Updated 10/31/2017 as the National Organic Standards Board meets in Jacksonville, FL. This may well be the most important thing you read this year for your health. (Originally written in 2015 while I was traveling-- and eating bread-- with my wife in France.)

I've got a food riddle for you from Paris, France: Why can I eat bread over here when it makes me sick at home?

I'll share my best guess in a minute, but first, a little personal background.

Since my senior year of high school, I've not been able to eat much bread at all. For five years, I was severely hypoglycemic, and everything I ate had to have more protein than carbohydrates. That meant, in effect, that I spent my years of college beer-less and eating lots of salad with meat on top. I ate tons of vegetables, very little fruit, basically no carbohydrates to speak of, meat, nuts, eggs, and cheese. If I accidentally ate, say, meat loaf that was, unbeknownst to me, made with bread in it, I'd spend the next 2-3 da…

Man in Overalls - It's Like Washing Your Dishes

I often hear folks joke, "Yeah, I had a garden once. I put in all this money & effort, and I only got a handful of tomatoes. Each one of them cost $27!" And they usually end by saying something about not having a green thumb.

I smile and think about a mental model I've been working on: Growing your groceries is like washing your dishes.

While they're raving about how many plants they've killed, I'm thinking, "It's not your thumbs. I bet you don't have a sink. And if you do, are you using decent soap or that garbage from the dollar store? And did you mention you've never washed dishes before in your life? And you're surprised you broke a couple wine glasses with no more experience than a four-year-old?" My eyebrows furrow involuntarily belying my thoughts, "Really? That doesn't seem all that surprising to me." But, of course, not only would saying all that confuse people, it'd kill the moment, so I just smile som…

Man in Overalls - The Valley of Food & Ag Startups: Warren Wilson College

If you're interested in tech, pay attention to Silicon Valley. If you're interested in food and agriculture, Swannnoa Valley, more specifically Warren Wilson College, is the place to keep on your radar.
I'm an alum and proud of it, class of 2008. I studied community organizing, wrote a 140 page thesis about social movements as my capstone.
It's a work college, one of seven in the country. Think universal work-study, so in addition to whatever one's academic track, students are also working in the cafeteria, the library, admissions, as carpenters, lock smiths, lab techs, and-- per the agricultural legacy of Warren Wilson-- as row crop, animal, and vegetable farmers, gardeners, and edible landscapers.  Personally, I worked on the electric crew and then on the landscape crew where I led the edible landscape sub-crew in managing a 1-acre edible (Permaculture) landscape around the "Ecodorm."

Per the "triad" of Warren Wilson's educational system,…