SAVE THE DATE & VOLUNTEER - CSG is looking for volunteers for our 6th annual Fall Harvest Festival at Buford Middle School on September 18th!  Volunteering for the event is more than half the fun - click on the link to sign-up! 

CSG Team Talk & Our Buford Summer Crew

[Top: students working in the garden at Buford Middle School. Bottom left: students reflecting on what they value about the garden during one of the Team Talk sessions. Bottom right: students from the Buford Summer Crew.]

This summer, Buford Garden Crew students sat down with CSG Executive Director, Jeanette Abi-Nader, for lunch and three Team Talk sessions to find out what they value about their time in the garden, to see how our current programming fits in with their values, and to understand how we can change and adapt current programming and build new programs in alignment with their vision of a school garden program.

In one of the sessions, students took the 4 core areas of CSG's mission: Engaging youth in nature; Enhancing learning through hands-on experiences; Cultivating healthy living skills; and Building environmental sustainability, and examined how their values aligned. Students observed whether their values fit in more than one mission area, whether they didn't fit anywhere, and whether there were additional values we'd missed.

Check out our blog on the opportunities for student voice to shape CSG program design and to encourage student ownership and leadership of the gardens.

Thank You to Jennifer and Other Venable News

[Top: Jennifer and her daughter Natasha at the Venable garden. Bottom left: second grade students filling up the bird feeders near the Venable garden. Bottom right: fourth grade students proudly displaying the take-home pansies they started from seed in their classroom.]

A schoolyard garden is a dynamic place constantly being remolded by the seasons, crops, weather patterns, and hands that touch it. Over the last year as Garden Coordinator at Venable, Jennifer Esser has done such an incredible job of helping to create a flourishing garden program that engages so many students, teachers, parents, and community members in the garden and garden-based activities.

Through seed-starting lessons, a week-long garden to table feast, and numerous other programs that Jennifer designed, by the end of last year, nearly every single class was involved in the garden in some way or another and the garden was a hub for outdoor learning at the school.

We are sad to say goodbye to Jennifer as she moves on from her role as Garden Coordinator at Venable but take this opportunity in our blog to reflect on the amazing work she has done over the last year and what's in store for the garden program at Venable this fall. Thank you Jennifer!


CSG Garden Corner

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

August 2015:
Fall Planting Calendar


As the brisk autumn air begins to sneak into those warm summer evenings, now is the time to transition from the hustle and bustle of the booming summer harvest to planning and planting your cooler-weather fall crops.

Virginia's cool, moist autumn climate makes it a wonderful season for continual growth and harvest. The warm autumn days and chilly nights are perfect for growing lots of greens, cabbages, and root crops.

In this blog, we explore optimal planting, harvesting, curing, and storing techniques for your fall vegetables including a fall planting calendar and tips for how to harvest and store those delicious potatoes, carrots, cabbages, squashes, and other fall crops! We also look at how some crops actually get tastier as the temperatures begin to drop. Read our recent blog to learn more!


Harvest now: peppers, green beans, okra, summer squash, zucchini, basil, blackberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, and corn!
What to do now: seed lettuces, carrots, beets, and other fall crops; remove diseased or dying late summer plants from garden.

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! 

We are so excited for our partnership with Charlottesville City Schools and thankful for the financial support that makes programming at 7 of our city schools possible.

We would like to thank the whole team at Petit Pois for launching another year of "Garden Tuesdays"!


A shout out to Black Bear Composting for the donation of over 14 cubic yards of compost across our gardens. And that is some fine dirt!

Many of our printing needs are taken care of by T&N Printing located near the downtown mall in Charlottesville. Thanks for the donation.



Board Profiles: Paul Freedman & Katie Kellett



Each month, CSG board member Julia Kudravetz sits down with two board members to talk to them about their history in the garden, hopes for CSG, and more and shares their stories with us on our blog. This month's board members in the hot seat are Paul Freedman and Katie Kellett.

Katie is a founding board member and has a lot to share about her experience with CSG and her hopes for the future. Paul joined the CSG Board last January and shares some great insights from his work with CSG thus far.

They each have wonderful stories to tell about their work with CSG, including what kind of vegetable they would be from the garden if they had to pick one. Hint: They both chose root crops! :)



A Warm Welcome to Anthony Burton!

This summer, City Schoolyard Garden was excited to have Anthony Burton join the team as the new Garden Coordinator at Jackson-Via Elementary! Anthony has stepped boldly into his new role, tending to the vegetable garden as well as the native pollinator garden at Jackson-Via and fixing just about anything that needed fixing (including CSG's lawn mower!)

As a parent at Jackson-Via, Anthony has spent lots of time already volunteering in the school's library, classrooms, and out in the garden. His awesome sense of humor, positivity, and can-do attitude are just a few of the wonderful characteristics that make him such a great addition to the CSG team.

We are overjoyed to welcome Anthony to CSG and are looking forward to a great year together! Read the full blog post on Anthony and his plans for this fall at Jackson-Via here.

Tidbits & Dates to Remember


Fall Volunteer Orientation

Wednesday, September 2nd, 5:30-7:00pm at Johnson Elementary School
Are you looking to get more involved with City Schoolyard Garden? Twice a year, CSG hosts a training for parents, teachers, and community members interested in learning about CSG or participating as volunteers. Join us on as we share the vision and mission of CSG, talk about how we engage with youth, and look at opportunities for digging in. Sticks Kebob Shop is generously providing snacks for the event.

Fall Harvest Festival

Friday, September 18th, 5:30-7:30pm at Buford Middle School
A FREE community event with delicious food, great music, garden activities, student-let tours, scavenger hunt, craft fair, face painting & more! Dinner for all includes Korner BBQ, Sticks veggie salad & hummus, the winning dish from the student Veggie Cook-off, pressed apple cider, & dessert from Albemarle Baking Company. Music by singer-songwriter, David Tewksbury. Rain or shine. Bring a chair or blanket. We hope you'll join us!

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

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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