Welcome to summer break!
June 2016
Congratulations to all the Charlottesville City School students who are wrapping up their school year today! We are so proud of how you nourished and grew your gardens all year long. CSG will be working over the summer - with Garden  Coordinators planning harvest days and workdays; our Garden Educator hosting summer camps; and the plants just keep on growing! So, stay in touch, visit your garden to harvest some crops and we hope you have a bountiful summer!

We have a winner: First Peas to the Table
With school about to let out, standardized testing running the show at the schools, and temperatures heating up, we know there was really only one thing on every 1st grader's mind these past weeks:

WHO is going to win this year's First Peas to the Table Competition?

On Wednesday, May 25th, it was time to measure peas for this yearly contest inspired by Thomas Jefferson. Schools measured the length and width of their top 3 peas.  The values were added up to calculate a total measurement. We wanted a metric that 1st graders could comprehend and could help with calculating.  

And the winner, you ask?

Well, drumroll please.....

Above: A photo of a few of the outstanding peas.

Great job Venable Elementary School!  Here's to all the schools who grew peas for this year's competition, and to all the students who helped. Get the full scoop here, with data on planting, sizes, and last year's contest information. 

City Schoolyard Garden will be saying goodbye to one of our first Garden Coordinators, Eiley Patterson.  Eiley started with CSG when the Clark Elementary School garden was just breaking ground.  First as a parent volunteer and then an instructional assistant at Clark, Eiley took on the additional role as CSG Garden Coordinator in 2012.  Through her hard work and dedication, she helped establish Clark’s Vegetable and Wildlife Garden, a vibrant and bountiful garden that provides much joy and learning to the Clark community.

Eiley started when the garden was just playground space, slowly transforming the landscape as she led community hands – young and old – to construct garden beds and a garden shed, and to plant and tend to a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.  With her creativity, the garden program developed into what it is today.  Partnering with the Clark team, especially from Clark librarian Ms. Mary Craig, Eiley has integrated garden-related experiential lessons into the student life at Clark.  Check out our recent story on Eiley to hear about what she's been growing with the Clark community.

The students, whose lives she has so dearly touched and influenced, say farewell to their beloved garden teacher.  They continue on at Clark with the knowledge and appreciation for gardening and nature that she has instilled in them.  The City Schoolyard Garden staff and fellow Garden Coordinators will miss Eiley greatly.  Her contributions to the garden program at Clark, her extensive gardening experience, and her engaging personality has helped CSG better achieve our mission. We wish Eiley the best of luck as she moves on in her life’s journey.   

CSG Garden Corner

Join us for tips about planting, pruning and harvesting in your garden.

Johnson Accessible Garden Bed

We are blown away by the level of generosity shown to City Schoolyard Garden and the commitment to making a place for ALL students to grow in the garden!  We just met our goal of $2,000 for the Accessible Garden at Johnson Elementary by our deadline of May 27 - with a total donation of $2,092.34! Thank you!

And, we couldn't wait. The bed is under construction and will be completed soon. We now need to add lots of soil and then we can plant!

A hearty shout out to Rick Harden, CSG Garden Coordinator at Johnson, who took this vision and ran with it. And, to the many folks who pitched in to make this garden possible. 

CSG sends out a hearty thank you to each and every one of the individuals, businesses and foundations that support the work we do to engage youth in nature, enhance academic learning, and cultivate the skills for healthy living. We can only thrive with your partnerships! 

This month we are spotlighting partners who know what healthy food is all about and give generously to CSG. 

Thank you, Tomas Rahal at Mas Tapas for giving every month to keep CSG going - and for hosting the Clark Students! 

The Healthy Ladle: Shares neighborhood meals for CSG at Souper Mondays!

Sticks Kebab Shop: Thanks for featuring us for Sticks Saturdays in May!

Petit Pois: Hosts Garden Tuesday's every week - and they couldn't be sweeter.
As always, thanks for keeping our hands in the garden!

Staff Spotlight: Ms. Emily
Have you ever had a chance to look at the Buford Middle School garden?  It’s okay, you can say it out loud.  “Wow, beautiful, breathtaking,” right?  From the tall garlic plants to the colorful rainbow chard, it takes a lot of human power to create such a vivacious space.  You would be delighted to hear that the human force behind this 4,500 square foot green arena consists of the Buford youth under the wise and experienced leadership of CSG Garden Educator, Emily Axelbaum

Emily works with the Buford students through a variety of classes in the garden.  Emily’s positive attitude and patience is crucial in working with the Buford students, most of whom are in the midst of discovering their own identities and heavily influenced by their peers. Some students might not think the garden is "cool" or have concerns about getting their shoes dirty. Emily's consistent positive approach in connecting students with their garden along with her confidence in them is key.
Emily also functions as the overall Garden Educator for CSG. She connects the Elementary School CSG Garden Coordinators with educational resources and writes the Harvest of the Month Program lessons.  She has also worked to develop cross-curricular lessons which tie garden instruction to target SOLs. Her work at CSG has touched so many students. Her ability to tie together learning targets, gardening skills and joy together makes pure garden magic!  We are grateful to have her at City Schoolyard Garden!  See the complete blog article on Emily here.
(Emily on the left with Aleen Carey,
CSG Board Chair)

School Spotlight:
Buford Garden Aides

This month, the Buford Garden Aides wrote two incredible blog posts about their year in the garden. The words of these 7th and 8th grade students are worth the click and read! Check out their blogs at 
You'll also see photos of their projects throughout the year as they share what they enjoyed, learned and even struggled with during the nine months of daily garden classes. These youth are truly exceptional as Emily highlights below.

Period 5:  Aidan Charron, Raihana Fnu, Joseph Gainey, Freeman Liu, and San Dar Pyoe work in the garden as Buford’s 5th period Garden Aides.  These five characters are a joy to work alongside in the garden.  However, working beside them isn’t often where I am.  Instead, I’ve seen each of them thrive working independently, following directions, and showing craftsmanship in their work.

Period 6: Jayda Anderson, Makayla Howard, Susmita Subba, and Ashika (Sumitra) Tamang make up Buford’s 6th period Garden Aide class.  These four young women have grown both individually in their own strengths and together as a team.  They share their similarities, their differences, their senses of humor, their frustrations, and their joys with each other every day in the garden. 

Tidbits & Dates to Remember

CSG is hiring! 

With Eiley Patterson heading out to the country, we will be looking to fill the Garden Coordinator position at Clark Elementary. This position is a part-time consultant and responsible for garden care, engaging students & teachers, and connecting across CSG and the district. Please contact Kim Nguyen, CSG Program Coordinator for more information at kim@cityschoolyardgarden.org

Attention Teachers:

CSG is co-hosting a free training this summer that will support educators in garden-based experiential learning. Tuesday & Wednesday, July 19th & 20th. Details here.

Want to volunteer? Join us for a summer workday
Jackson-Via Elementary on Saturday, June 11th from 8:30AM to 12:30PM


Check out the CSG Events page for more events.

For fun updates, photos and stories, be sure to like us on Facebook!

City Schoolyard Garden needs and appreciates your support. Click on the apple to donate or send a check to our address below. Thank you!

P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
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