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Category Archives: School Gardens

Ollas for a Tomato Garden at Woodward Garden

Ollas for a Tomato Garden at Woodward Garden

Earlier this year, in April to be exact, I visited the Woodward Gardens at Mary Woodward Elementary School in Tigard. At the time, Jo Noren (one of Mary Woodward’s two garden coordinators) and I came up with a plan to irrigate an out-of-the-way tomato bed using Ollas. It seems that even in a garden with a great drip system there is always one area that is just beyond the sprinkler system’s reach.
Well, this week we had a chance to put our plan into action. Luckily, we had lots of help from the 5th grade Ambassador’s group.

Jo and Nancy Ross (the second garden coordinator) explained that the Ambassador’s program incorporates community service into the fabric of school life. As part of their community service, these students sometimes work in the garden.

So, after their lunch I gave a brief, 10-minute slideshow explaining how Ollas work. And then we headed out to the garden to install two Ollas, which have been donated to the school by Dripping Springs Ollas.

5th Graders Filling an OllaI wish I could say that we all spent the afternoon out in the Oregon sunshine, because it was a lovely day. But…proving that Ollas are amazingly easy to install…the children dug the holes, buried the Ollas, and filled the water reservoirs in just about 15 minutes. And then it was back to class for them, and back to work for the rest of us.

At this point, I’ve installed Ollas in three different school gardens: Sunnyside Environmental in Portland, the Transitions School in Beaverton and now, Mary Woodward in Tigard. I plan to check back with all three schools for garden updates. So stay tuned!


Third Graders Learn about Olla Irrigation

It’s “school garden season” here in Portland! So just one day after installing Ollas at the school garden in Beaverton, I found myself at the Sunnyside Environmental School, which is just a few short blocks from my house in Portland. Sustainability The Sunnyside elementary school is well known for it’s focus on sustainability. Students at… Continue Reading

Easy Irrigation for Transitions School Garden

Last week I had the opportunity to work with a school garden at the Community Transition Program, which is part of the Beaverton school district. School gardens are often touted as a great complementary learning tool. They give students practical demonstrations of botany, provide opportunities to talk about nutritious food, and offer a calming respite… Continue Reading

Field Trip! My Introduction to Oregon’s School Gardens

Field trip! Do you remember your school days—and especially those trips you took with your classmates to the zoo or museum? Well I recently had a chance to indulge in a little nostalgia by taking a field trip out to Tigard, Oregon to visit the Woodward Gardens at Mary Woodward Elementary School. Although I must… Continue Reading