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Growing School Gardens in Winter

You’ve seen them before – those abandoned raised beds in a schoolyard near you. Once filled with tiny pepper plants and towering sunflowers, weeds and rusty tomato cages now occupy their growing spaces. But not all school garden programs realize this fate – some prosper and grow. What makes a school garden program last? Why do some flourish year after year, while others fizzle after one growing season? A significant percentage (43%!) of schools on a traditional calendar cite vacation upkeep as a major challenge to their garden’s continuation and success. So it’s not surprising that there are so many “raised bed graveyards” (as a colleague of mine calls them) in schools across the country.One possible solution? Grow school gardens in winter!

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