Roots! that Nourish CSG Programs
April 2016

Gardeners know the critical importance of root systems. They connect our plants to the soil, draw in nutrients and water, provide support and a structural anchor, and act as the vehicle for growth and vegetative reproduction. For our fourth year, CSG has taken time out during our full and active spring season to thank our "roots" - our partners and volunteers, donors and supporters, and team members. It's a hearty group whose list grows every year as additional people and organizations invest in engaging Charlottesville youth in garden-based experiential learning.

CSG Golden Beet Team Award for Harvest of the Month. Awardees (3 in the center from left to right) Lisa Reeder - Local Food Hub; Carlton Jones - Charlottesville City Schools Nutrition Services; Elizabeth Beasley - Thomas Jefferson Health Department (Not pictured - Heather McNulty Haynie & Dani Atol from rock paper scissors). Presenting the Award is Wendy Brown (right) from Hartfield Foundation and recipient of the Golden Trowel Sponsor Award and Jeanette Abi-Nader (2nd from left), CSG Executive Director. Also in the photo is Carla Garcia, Regional Lead at USDA Farm to School.

Photos (from top left clockwise) - 1) CSG Golden Trowel Sponsor Awardees - Albemarle Garden Club's Dorothy Tompkins & Melinda Frierson with CSG Executive Director, Jeanette Abi-Nader; 2) CSG Golden Trowel Sponsor Awardees - Hartfield Foundation with Wendy Brown and Austin Buck; 3) Sober Pierre, CSG Board Member and Co-Owner of Pearl Island Catering, who along with Relay Foods and Caribe Juice, donated the delicious food for our event; 4) Old Time Snake Milkers offered up their sweet music for the night and are caught here with Kate Hopkins, CSG Root! Coordinator. 

This year, our Root! Celebration brought us to Venable Elementary's sweet urban garden, tucked in a walkway, vibrant and bursting. CSG's Garden Coordinator at Venable, Ashley Crank, works with superstar teacher Traci Martin, among others. Support from the Venable Principal, Erin Kershner, helps to keep the garden going.

We thought we'd share a feast of photos from our event on our CSG Root 2016 Facebook page. These include our Golden Trowel Educator and Partner Awardees and our Golden Beet Harvest of the Month Team Awardees. Each of these individuals and organizations are true garden stewards and generous supporters. Thank you from the bottom of our veggie loving hearts!

Photos (from top left clockwise) - 1) CSG Golden Trowel Awardee Rachel Caldwell, 2nd Grade Teacher at Burnley-Moran Elementary (center) with Matt Darring, CSG Garden Coordinator and Melinda Frierson presenting the award;  2) CSG Golden Trowel Awardee Traci Martin, Physical Education Teacher at Venable Elementary (center) with Emily Axelbaum, CSG Garden Educator and Melinda Frierson presenting the award; 3) CSG Golden Trowel Awardee Eileen Ackers, 2nd Grade Teacher at Jackson-Via Elementary (center) with Anthony Burton, CSG Garden Coordinator and Dorothy Tompkins presenting the award;  4) CSG Golden Trowel Awardees Gail Heard & Renata Germino, ESL Teachers at Buford Middle School (center) with Matt Darring, Emily Axelbaum and Melinda Frierson presenting the award.

Photos (from top left clockwise) - CSG Golden Beet Team Awardees for the Harvest of the Month Program - Charlottesville City School's Kitchen Managers -Karen Smith, Charlottesville High School; Tina Bowen, Johnson Elementary; Julia Green, Greenbrier Elementary; Jamie Hayslett, Clark Elementary; and Patricia Shull, Burnley-Moran Elementary. Not Pictured: Teresa Snow, Venable Elementary & Rachel Dorman, Jackson-Via Elementary.

Art & Nature Mix It Up at Clark Elementary

With Spring blooming, so have the garden activities at Clark Elementary School!  The students with the After-school Garden Club, led by CSG Garden Coordinator Eiley Patterson, have started working diligently to renew and revive the garden from its winter’s rest.  Despite the April frost, the garden was alive with fruiting strawberry patches, lettuce, asparagus, kale, peas, spinach, cabbage and herbs such as lovage, mint, and mountain mint.  The children took a peek under the garden blankets that protected the strawberry patches from the recent cold nights.  They were surprised to see the strawberry fruit and debated amongst themselves whether it was possible to eat them while they were green.


Several students were anxious about one of their favorite bushes, the raspberry bush.  After being told that the bush would not fruit until the Fall, one student disappointingly said, “I can’t wait until they grow!”  Yes, the raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries in the garden often get raided by the little hands of children looking for a delicious and healthy snack.  But the best things come to those that wait...

So the students wait...but the squirrels and birds are waiting too.  To deal with this issue of birds competing with students for popular garden foods, the students were in need of some bird feeders.  As a result, Jinho Indy Park, a 3rd grade student at Clark Elementary, took on a challenge.  He made a bird drawing during last fall's CSG’s Garden Club at Clark Elementary. It was submitted to the Monticello Bird Club contest where it earned an Honorable Mention award. As a result, the CSG garden at Clark Elementary received two bird feeders and bird literature from Cornell University Ornithology department.  Jinho’s drawing is currently displayed at C’Ville Coffee.


Eiley Patterson and her fellow garden advocate, Ms. Mary Craig - the Clark Elementary librarian, have encouraged the artistic talents of students like Jinho by providing them the time, space, and supplies to create garden artwork.  The picture below shows a student drawing a strawberry flower that he picked from the garden. The students will submit their artwork in the 2016 Youth Art in the Park contest at Shenandoah National Park. The contest is being held in conjunction with the park's annual Wildflower Weekend, May 7-8, 2016.

CSG Bountiful Harvest Donors 2015/2016


In addition to the hearts, hands and good thinking of the diverse team of CSG partners, hosting several schoolyard gardens and garden programming takes resources! Our deep appreciation goes out to these major donors who have provided significant resources this academic year. Help us thank them by showing your support for the good work they do!

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's Cultivar Corner is full of appreciation for our Bountiful Harvest donors (on the left) who are core to keeping City Schoolyard Garden activities alive. And.......


Old Time Snake Milkers

Cate Whittington &
Karen Kennedy
CSG Board Rock Stars!

It was pretty difficult to find a photo of these two dedicated CSG Board members who are always on the move and pitching in with numerous critical projects. Cate Whittington (left) has been a volunteer Board member with CSG since we began, serving as our Secretary and providing insight and feedback on the development of our education program. Cate was a teacher and is an wonderful gardener and chef. Here she is helping serve radishes during Harvest of the Month. Cate currently hosts monthly Souper Mondays through her catering company, The Healthy Ladle. On the first Monday of each month, she prepares a lovely dinner of soup and salad (and more) and opens her home for folks to gather and celebrate community. Proceeds of the $15 fee are donated to City Schoolyard Garden!

Karen Kennedy (right) has been on the CSG Board for two years now and she jumped in whole heartedly from the start. In this photo, she is pulling together the details for our Dig Spring Dinner that she hosted in 2015. The dinner was a feat, as our first ever fundraising dinner and was accomplished in just six weeks. She is also active in so many other ways, chairing the CSG Philanthropy Committee, pitching in with designing our annual appeals, and pretty much anything else we need.

CSG is so fortunate to have Board members with the enthusiasm and skills of Cate and Karen and is so grateful for their dedication. Please take a minute to check out our Board Profile blog post to hear their interview with Julia Kudravetz. 
Cate Whittington & Karen Kennedy

Emily Anderson & 
The Greenbrier Garden


If everyone had a color to represent their aura, CSG Garden Coordinator Emily Anderson would be basked in lavender purple. Every CSG Garden Coordinator provides a unique set of skills and personalities to their respective gardens. Emily is calm, cool, and collected and she brings a wealth of knowledge with a background in Landscaping Architecture.  When entering the Greenbrier Garden gates, it is obvious that the students feel at ease in their garden, but are anxious to get working.  She starts her club with a group circle meeting and a healthy snack to energize students to garden time.

Emily has adopted a Montessori philosophy in her approach in the garden.  She draws from the students’ self motivation and lets that drive them to do what they are most interested in - watering, digging, planting, pushing wheelbarrows of compost, observing worms, etc.  â€œI just prepare the environment for them,” Emily said, “and it has really allowed me to have more 1 on 1 time with students.”  Then, the students break away, grab their tools, and get to their interest area.  Emily trusts the students and allows them to take ownership in their garden.  One parent, Ruth, praised Emily.  “She’s awesome.  She’s such a good presence for the kids.  My son wasn’t interested in the garden last year, but all of a sudden, he’s interested in the garden this year.  He likes Emily a lot.  He goes right up to her and asks, ‘Ms. Emily, what can I do?’”

Check out our blog post to hear more about Emily Anderson & Greenbrier.

Tidbits & Dates to Remember

This May join us at Sticks every Saturday where your meal = a donation to CSG! May also means summer transplants go in the ground and the Buford Garden Aides have been growing for you.


Root! A celebration and thank you for CSG supporters 

This May join us at Sticks every Saturday where your meal = a donation to CSG!

May also means summer transplants go in the ground and the Buford Garden Aides have been growing for you.

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. We are still working to raise funds for the remainder of programs this academic year. 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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