Getting Your Green Thumb:

Planning, Maintaining, and Teaching from the School Garden



“Getting Your Green Thumb” is a free, fun, and practical professional development series for primary and secondary educators. Now in its fourth year, the series covers garden planning, gardening techniques, and curriculum connections. Lessons draw on the Ranch, the Huntington’s urban agriculture research station. Classes include lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, gardening practice and demos on the Ranch, and free materials.

We welcome beginning gardeners as well as those who are looking to take their next gardening step. Participants can choose to take all of the classes or can select the ones that best fit their needs. Teams of educators are encouraged to attend together.

All classes take place at the Huntington on the second Saturday of the month (except May, which is the third Saturday). Each class starts 9:00 AM and runs to noon. Parking is free. The registration deadline is one week before the class date although advance acceptance into the series is preferable.


How to Register




Aug. 9, 2014, Head House

Planning for the Gardening Year

Working in the classroom and garden, you will learn about vegetable and herb selection and pairing, weeds to look out for, cover crops, and more. Which crops will come in fast? Which are poor bets? How should you prepare for fall rains? What happens at the end of the school year? And all this just in time for Southern California’s prime gardening season!



Sept. 13, 2014, Teaching Greenhouse

Worms, Worms, Worms

Get up close and friendly with one of our invertebrate allies: worms. See the variety of worm composting bins you could use and how to maintain a bin over the long haul. Learn how you can set up one in your classroom and the lessons these little wrigglers can teach your students.



Oct. 4, 2014, Botanical Auditorium

Intermediate Techniques

Learn how to make your school garden both beautiful and bountiful. First we will discuss factors that affect plant growth such as temperature, day length and soil quality, and apply that to what we see happening in the garden. Then we will learn ways to incorporate native and exotic annuals and perennials in and around the garden.



Nov. 15, 2014, Botanical Auditorium

Math and Science in the Garden

Learn how a school garden can enliven math and science lessons. From simple arithmetic to statistics, from observation to experimentation, there are numerous lessons that rely on the garden. Review curricula and discuss their application to your classroom as well as practicing a few in the garden.



Dec. 13, 2014, Brody Teaching Lab

The Laboratory and The Garden

Pairing our teaching lab with the Ranch, this class will delve into the relationship between flowers and fruits, the difference between fruits and vegetables, and touch up on the living nature of what we grow and eat. We will use the microscopes to take a closer look at plants.



How to Register

To be considered for participation in any of the classes, a one-time application must be completed. Once accepted, registration for individual classes may be done via email to the course coordinator. Participants may choose to take all the classes or only those that best fit their needs. Class size is limited. Preference for registration will be given to teams of two or more educators from one school site. Registration deadline is one week prior to class start date unless otherwise noted.



Cost and Stipend

Classes are free. Participants will receive a $100 stipend for every three classes completed up to a maximum of nine classes.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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