OL 305 Assignment Two Homework Instructions
Online Learning: OL 305
The Urban Garden: A Small Vegetable Garden for Family Food & Nutrition
Center for Sustainable Development

How to Grow Food in the City. How your nonprofit can start a small space vegetable garden program: Fresh vegetables for at-risk urban families.

This week’s resources:
OL 305 Assignment 2 Discussion
OL 305 Assignment 2 Homework Instructions

Background Resources on Nutrition
Introduction to the Basic Concepts of Food Security

FAO: Introduction to a Healthy Diet

Healthy Harvest: A training manual for community workers in good nutrition, and the growing, preparing and processing of healthy food.

USDA MyPlate.

Super Simple Online survey with evaluation:
Fruit, Vegetable and Fiber Screener. NutritionQuest.

For participants with a strong interest in nutrition in their constituent communities I am including a list of rapid assessment tools for nutrition at the bottom of this page.

Assignment 2: Nutrition, planning and selecting seeds for a nutritious vegetable garden.
This week’s assignment will be part nutrition, part desire and part fun.

This Week’s Goal: Decide what you want to grow and buy seeds.

But today let’s get started with you.

Step One. Make a List of Your Desires. What are your goals for your garden? Are you trying to improve the nutrition in your diet? Do you simply like the idea of being able to harvest a fresh lettuce at 6 o’clock to turn into a dinner salad? Or are you hoping to have some exotic greens, peppers and vegetables to make some new recipes achievable?

So look through some of the nutrition handouts in the Student Resource Page and jot down a few notes about things that you should probably be including your diet—but aren’t.

Then add to that list fruits and vegetables that you desire. They should be somewhat achievable: a banana tree in inner-city Chicago might not be practical. So look through some recipes that you’ve always wanted to make but haven’t had the ingredients. Or recipes that you make, but you’re lacking some of the herbs that your mother used when she made them. Or would you like to grow some vegetables that are sort of a hobby—like different colored carrots, or differently spiced chili peppers, or unusually colored and textured lettuces.

As always, I would suggest keeping this small for your first planting. Eight or 10 packets of seed that would be a lot for the first planting. Six to eight packets might be just right. Don’t forget, we will be planting twice during this eight week program. So you can plant new things the second time.

My recommendation for your very first planting would be to consider planting things that germinate and grow quickly. This will allow you to have a positive experience quickly. While they are growing you will have time to plan longer-term crops.

I planted bok choy, radishes, and several kinds of lettuce with my granddaughter seven weeks ago and we’ve begun harvesting the bok choy and the lettuce already.

So some quick to germinate and then harvest crops include (as above) bok choy, radishes, lettuce, mesclun and arugula. So you could plant some mesclun today and be having a salad before the end of this course.

Then, towards the end of the course when we replant, you could plant some carrots, beets, more lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and green onions. Then you could plant a couple of more long-term things such as spicy and sweet peppers, beans, zucchini, kale, parsley and cilantro.

Step Two. Research seeds. If you’re lucky enough to have a shop nearby that sells seeds that will give you a very satisfying experience to touch and feel the packages and read the information on the back and look at the pretty drawings. Another very rewarding experience would be to investigate some seed companies online. Type into their search box for example “mesclun” and see the varieties of mesclun that they sell. Pick one that seems interesting to you and click on “Add to Cart.” Do this six or eight times and you’ll have seeds waiting in your mailbox within a week.

Here are some seed companies that I’ve enjoyed working with—but there are a myriad of other seed companies so take a little time and look around.

Seed Companies
Botanical Interests

Renee’s Garden Seeds

Cornucopia Seeds

Ferry Morse

Homework for Assignment 1. Your assignment for week two is to write me and tell me:
1.  A brief sentence on what your personal goals are for starting a garden. And a list of six or eight things that you would like to plant a week from now. And a second list of six more things that you would like to plant towards the end of the course.

2. So the goal for this week is to order/buy some seeds so you can plant them in another week.

Write me and tell me:
Where did you go to look for seeds? At a local store? Online? Which seed company/companies did you choose to work with?

What seeds did you buy/order?

3. Nonprofit Professional Development:
Time to continue your notebook! Print out this homework sheet and jot down a few things that maybe you had trouble doing and that you will need to remember when you begin teaching your constituents.

I look forward to seeing your ideas for Assignment 2 and I look forward to seeing you next week in Assignment 3.

These Nutrition Survey Tools can be accessed on the Student Resource Page.
FAO Dietary Diversity Questionnaire

FAO Guidelines for Measuring Household and Individual Dietary Diversity:

Food Security:
Household Food Insecurity Access Scale Survey Questionnaire

USAID Household Food Insecurity Access Scale HFIAS

FAO Dietary Diversity Questionnaire for Developed Nations

FAO Dietary Diversity Questionnaire for Developing Nations

Home Gardening
Home Garden Survey for Developed Nations

Home Garden Survey for Developing Nations

Copyright © Tim Magee