Here comes the harvest!
August 2016
When asked how they feel in the garden, 99% of students said they feel happy or peaceful, connected or confident. So, let's get some garden happiness! From young adults at Charlottesville High School to summer Garden to Table campers - our youth are getting connected and sharing their story in the blogs below. And, if you haven't yet seen it- check out this news story that profiles this summer's CAYIP intern, Makayla Howard, telling you why she's happy in the garden and supporting her school's green ribbon award at the same time!
Charlottesville High School - Garden to Market Class
By Peter Davis, CSG Garden Coordinator and CHS Teacher
During the 2014-2015 school year, my Garden to Market class was launched. We learned a lot in our first full year as that class spent about 80% of its time landscaping and building and about 20% of our time gardening!  We managed to squeak out a small harvest of greens, radishes and garlic.

As we headed into the 2015-2016 school year, we had a lot more momentum!  Our first year was focused on selling the greens from the garden to teachers. We expanded that idea this past school year and raised over $500 selling our own vegetable seedlings, garden harvests, and flower seeds harvested from the flowers planted by the previous year's class. This taught the students vital job and entrepreneurial skills.

While building this program, I had hopes that we would be able to join with CSG in order to provide a comprehensive K-12 gardening experience to our students. As of May 2016, the Charlottesville High School garden is CSG's newest school garden. In addition to entering into my 8th year of teaching at CHS, I am also serving as the CSG Garden Coordinator at CHS!

This year, now that all of the growing beds are established and healthy and our infrastructure is strong and secure, we will hit the ground running in the Garden to Market class as well as our new After-School Garden Club.  

Overall, I could not be any happier about our new partnership with City Schoolyard Garden and I'm excited to be a part of the team!

See the full article here and learn more about Peter below


Garden to Table Camp 

By Tiana Washington, CSG Program Intern

What could a summer camp possibly do in a garden and a kitchen for a week? We planted, harvested, and weeded a lot. We weeded any chance we could! We had a day where we grounded wheat berries and made our own flour to bake with, and we also made flower bouquets and herb bundles. Everyday we would start with some kind of name game to learn names and to help make the students feel more comfortable in the garden. 


Once we made our way to the garden, we would go though a task list with the students. The top two favorites on the task lists were: 1) Harvesting cherry tomatoes and 2) Watering the plants. These might not seem that exciting, but if you saw how the watering system worked, you would understand their excitement. They loved the bike-powered watering system at the Buford garden. Whenever we had to water, the kids would rush to the bikes and push for turns. After a quick “spin class,” eating a few cherry tomatoes was a great way to cool down.

Once we were done with garden work, it would be time to head out to the commercial kitchen at the PB&J Fund to cook with what we harvested. We harvested kale often, which meant we used it a lot in our cooking – from kale chips to kale pesto. From being in the kitchen, I learned a lot about cooking. I realized that cooking isn’t that hard if you just read the recipe. Although we had a recipe to follow, we often improvised. When there was a surplus of beets, we added the beets to the vegetable frittata at the last minute. Most of the students I talked to said they liked it better with the beets.  

Yeah, Garden to Table camp was pretty fun.

Check out the complete blog on the Garden to Table camp at City Schoolyard Garden.

NOTE: Tianna was there the very first growing season for City Schoolyard Garden when she was a student at Buford in 2010. Now at PVCC, T.T. served as the first CSG Program Summer Intern and shared leadership in the garden. Thanks for blazing trails T.T.!

CSG Garden Corner

Join us for tips about planting, pruning and harvesting in your garden.
August 2016

Composting Tricks and Tips

The hot summer months are prime time to get your compost pile active and generating heat for faster decomposition and fertilizer growth. Read below for a list of what can and can't be composted, as well as tips for storage and garden use. 

Compost loves: all organic material: fruit and vegetable discards, grass and garden clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags, crushed eggs shells, breads and grains, even non-treated, shredded paper material. Avoid adding meat, dairy, fats and invasive weeds to your pile. The City of Charlottesville provides a full list of compostables

Backyard composting is as easy as tossing those items listed above into a pail or bucket with a lid. The microorganisms will do all the work for you, with a little help from direct sunlight and an occasional turn with a pitchfork or spade. If you want to donate your compost, Charlottesville offers two convenient drop-off locations: the Saturday City Market and McIntire Recycling Center. 

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! 

CSG is excited to launch the garden at Charlottesville High School with partial support from the Thomas Jefferson Area United Way. Thank you for your support!

Support from community members and Charlottesville City Schools families is critical to CSG. This year the Elmo Foundation has been a shining example of individuals and families investing in engaging youth in gardens.

We've said it before - the CSG Board of Directors Rocks! This past fiscal year they've donated over 861 volunteer hours to make our mission come alive. 

To learn more about becoming a business, individual or grant sponsor of City Schoolyard Garden, contact us at
Partner Spotlight:
Bread & Roses


Bread & Roses is a garden program run through Trinity Episcopal Church which teaches skills in gardening, cooking and nutrition. The program was created to address local food needs and food injustice in the area, and is open to all community members.

Bread & Roses has 24 organic gardening beds and a commercial kitchen, which are used to support food security in the area. The garden is a learning space for people to see how their food grows. Their Garden Gatherings are open to community members of all skill and ability level. These facilities help support lessons in growing, cooking and preserving food to interested community members free of charge. The kitchen also hosts a Community Meal every Sunday morning using produce from the garden. The meal is open to everyone for a small suggested donation.

Bread and Roses is a wonderful partner to CSG and is a part of the Food Justice Network. We are excited to start collaborating with them to improve food security in Charlottesville!
Find out more about Bread and Roses here!
GC Spotlight:
Welcome Peter Davis!

Let's welcome our newest Garden Coordinator at Charlottesville High School, Peter Davis. CSG has officially incorporated the CHS garden into the CSG purview and is thrilled to provide garden-based experiential learning for students in the high school setting. CSG conducted a candid interview with Peter and we’d like to share with you his own words.

What's one of your favorite moments with a student and the garden?
My Garden to Market class last year was a group of 8 male students I had known for a few years.  They worked incredibly hard at building fences, digging new beds, spreading mulch, and all that goes into the initial phase of a garden like this.  They did 90% of all the work that year.  At the end of the year, one student who had a fairly troubled year both academically and behaviorally in school and the community stopped what he was doing in the garden, took a minute to look around, and said, “Man, Mr. Davis.  You know, we did this.”  I love working with older students who are physically able to make most of the work happen, giving them buy-in to the school community and a sense of pride in their accomplishments.

Check out the rest of the interview here.  

Tidbits & Dates to Remember


Whole Foods 5% Day


Wednesday, Augus
t 31st, 7:00am-10:00pm

Mark your calendars and plan to stock your pantry. Our Charlottesville Whole Food Market is hosting a 5% day on Wednesday, August 31st to benefit City Schoolyard Garden. What better way to fill up for healthy food for your family AND support kids planting, growing, harvesting!

Friday, September 23rd, 5:30-7:30pm at Buford Middle School
A FREE community event with delicious food, great music, garden activities, student-led 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. There's music too! Rain or shine. Bring a chair or blanket. We hope you'll join us!

Interested in Volunteering?

Sign up to help prepare and distribute Harvest of the Month snacks to the 6 elementary schools for the upcoming school year.  

Wednesday, September 7 - 2:00PM to 4:00PM 
Thursday, September 8 - 9:15AM to 11:00AM  

Wednesday, October 5 - 2:00PM to 4:00PM 
Thursday, October 6 - 9:15AM to 11:00AM  

Wednesday, November 2 - 2:00PM to 4:00PM 
Thursday, November 3 - 9:15AM to 11:00AM  

Wednesday, November 30 - 2:00PM to 4:00PM 
Thursday, December 1 - 9:15AM to 11:00AM

For more information contact Kim at

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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