[permaculture] [Permaculture International] work book for primary school age children

Paul Cereghino paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Wed Dec 20 14:08:36 EST 2006

When I've worked on school based landscape management projects in the NW 
US (my experience IS unique to this system... and may not apply 
elsewhere), the primary factor has been staff time rather than ideas:

It is a rare teacher that also has the land skills to creatively mentor.
Land use projects are difficult with a 30:1 ratio -- teachers need 
supplemental staff
landscapes that fail tend to spoil the idea of landuse in the community.
schools have a rough time being land stewards as they have a hard time 
retaining staff.
US teachers get paid for 35 hours and already work 50 just maintaining 
basic self esteem.
Schools are out during most of the harvest season.

Opportunities I have found:

Develop curriculum with a teacher advisory group to match local 
standards and needs!!
Engage the existing grounds maintenance staff.. sometimes there are 
jewels, and they tend to stick around, and then they won't undermine 
your design, and they have the flow resources necessary for site repair.
Identify parents in kindergarten and get them trained up early (PDC 
crash course for elementary school parents).
Develop a mentorship system where older kids teach younger kids, and 
experienced parents teach new parents.
Use highschool horticulture programs and build a relationship between HS 
and primary schools.
Supplement class work with parent/student/community volunteer work 
parties to get systems up and running, so that the children can be light 
handed caretakers and also witness a model of community making places 
and nurturing the earth
Focus garden on propagation of perennial food plants for sale to the 
general community... the woody plant propagation cycle better fits the 
school calendar than actual food production, and can generate revenue.
Montessori or Waldorf programs have more flexibility and often existing 
gardening programs, but don't serve the broader community.

I have not found any really strong resources (other than $$) that align 
with my above experiences...

Paul, Olympia, WA

Graham wrote:

>Sounds v.interesting, are there any samples online that one can check
>out??? Partly because Naturewise,the London based permaculture group I
>work with, have been thinking about doing something similar, ie,
>producing a book about forest gardening/permaculture for children. It
>would be good to see what already exists in order to avoid re-inventing
>the wheel and at the same time gaining some inspiration from others'
>On Tue, 2006-12-19 at 09:14 -0400, permafrog at riseup.net wrote:
>>I have a copy of the Childrens Food Forest, it is a great resoucre.

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