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7-17-12: GEF, Bonnie Plants, and Gardener’s Supply Company Create How-To Video to Promote Gardening

Video Demonstrates Building and Planting a Raised Bed Garden for Schools, Homes or Offices

July 17, 2012 – GEF has teamed up with Green Thumb Challenge partners, Gardener’s Supply Company and Bonnie Plants, to produce a new how-to video designed to show the ease of building and planting a simple raised bed garden. The goal of the video is to educate people on basic gardening strategies and techniques, and encourage them to pursue gardening at their home, school or workplace.

The three and a half minute video stars GEF’s CEO, Victoria Waters, and her two young children. It walks through the entire process of building and planting a 4x4 raised bed garden, from gathering supplies, to assembling the cedar frame and digging the hole, to watering the freshly planted vegetables and seeds. Using this small garden plot, the organizations are demonstrating the amazing results possible with a limited amount of space and resources to motivate and encourage schools, youth groups, and families to get outside and start gardening.

Victoria shared her thoughts after spending the day gardening with her children: “Today has been a fun and educational bonding experience for my family. It’s great to see my kids connecting with one another and with nature, and they will learn to be responsible for the garden’s success over the summer. We’re all so excited to enjoy a home grown pizza in a couple of months!”

The materials selected for this video were chosen carefully to promote thoughtful and sustainable gardening habits. In purchasing soil, GEF referenced Gardener’s Supply Company’s soil calculator to determine the correct amount of bagged soil to buy to avoid waste. You can find the calculator on their website at http://www.gardeners.com/Soil-Calculator/7558,default,pg.html. Before spreading the soil, GEF used Gardener’s Supply Company’s biodegradable weed mat, made from 100 percent post-consumer waste, to prevent weeds from growing. The vegetables selected for planting were part of GEF’s 4x4 Pizza Garden plan, available in the Green Thumb Challenge section of the website under Curriculum and Activities, then theme gardens. GEF opted to use Bonnie Plants’ seedlings because of their biodegradable pots, made from 100 percent recycled paper product. These pots were placed directly into the soil, making it easier on the gardener and reducing plant shock. The team also referred to Bonnie Plants’ mobile site, m.bonnieplants.com, to learn how to properly plant different types of vegetables and herbs.

This video, and other gardening resources and tools, are available in the Green Thumb Challenge section of GEF’s website.   The Green Thumb Challenge connects students with nature through fun contests, classroom lessons, hands-on-activities, and more. For the third year, GEF and Gardener’s Supply Company are teaming up to offer a $5,000 grant to an existing school or youth garden project to support its ongoing success and sustainability. The grant promotes a gardening project that has a positive impact on the lives of students and their community. To learn more about the grant and see winning projects from 2010 and 2011, please visit http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/greenthumbchallengesub/green-thumb-challenge-winners. Submit a contest application form, found on the GEF website, along with a photo or video compilation that summarizes your project by September 30, 2012 to enter.

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About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.

Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities at www.greeneducationfoundation.org. Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on Twitter @greenedufdnand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenedufoundation.

About Gardener’s Supply Company

Founded in 1983, Gardener's Supply (gardeners.com) is an employee-owned company that serves gardeners nationwide. Gardener’s Supply is known for providing innovative garden-tested, earth-friendly products combined with practical information. Located in Burlington, Vermont, the company has won many awards for its patented products and progressive management style. Gardener’s Supply actively promotes gardening as a way for people to make a difference in their own backyards, in their communities, and in the world at large.

About Bonnie Plants

Headquartered in Union Springs, Alabama, Bonnie Plants is the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, with 65 growing stations serving 48 states, regionally, nationwide. Established in 1918 by Bonnie and Livingston Paulk, the company is still family run by the grandson of its founders. Bonnie provides a wide variety of vegetables and herbs in biodegradable, plantable pots saving more than a hundred million plastic pots from landfills each year. Bonnie is committed to providing high quality, vigorous plants to consumers and to green gardening. Bonnie Plants are available at garden retailers across the country. For more information please visit www.bonnieplants.com.

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Mahatma Gandhi