Real Stories
  • Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Health and Nutrition , Educators , Community , Social Studies , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes

    Kindergarten teacher, Lester Sipma, at George Clarke Elementary (Fort Worth, TX) has participated in the past two years of the Smart Potatoes Program.  He shared his experience this year with us below:    


    Participating in the Smart Potato program has impacted me, my students, our George C. Clarke staff, faculty and families in many ways. Some of the ways in which the program has impacted our campus were expected and others were wonderful surprises.

    I used the Smart Potato project as a platform to teach a variety of science lessons such as plant life cycles, soil types, problems and solutions to gardening, identifying insects, determining ...

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  • Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Filed under Volunteering , Environmental Stewardship , Educators , Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters


    Volunteers are found at the core of every successful nonprofit organization, and REAL School Gardens is no exception to that.  Without the dedicated service offered by our community volunteers, we would be much further away from accomplishing our mission of creating learning gardens that grow successful students. REAL School Gardens would like to send out a well-deserved, special “Thank You” to each individual who has generously donated their time and service to help install and sustain beautiful, dynamic school gardens, provide garden support for North Texas elementary schools and administrative and special event support to REAL School Gardens.  Our ...

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  • Thursday, May 24, 2012 | Filed under Engineering , Community , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes


           Chemical to electrical energy transfer to power a calculator with Solanum tuberosum (Potatoes)

    There are several interesting things happening with potatoes during this potato harvest time in the DFW area. One standout is the “Smart Potatoes” campaign initiated by REAL School Gardens in concert with BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas) whereby 30 elementary schools in 5 school districts are growing, tending and harvesting potatoes to donate to their local food pantries.

    Another potato happening was that on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 -- United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Texas Instruments in conjunction with REAL School Gardens and ...

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  • Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Community , Family Activities

    Get green and go visit the Grand Prairie Farmers Market!  It is located at 120 W. Main Street and is open from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday through December 15th, 2012. 

    Grand Prairie Farmers Market

    The Grand Prairie Farmer’s Market features local growers and vendors whose produce and handmade items are all grown or created within a 150 mile radius of the Market. 

    The Grand Prairie Community Garden Program is a featured booth and includes seedlings and veggies grown by community volunteers, including contributions from the school gardens located throughout the city

    The 2012 Grand Prairie Farmer’s Market Season includes lots of special ...

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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | Filed under Volunteering , Educators , Community , REAL Supporters , Smart Potatoes


    REAL School Gardens' community members in both Tarrant and Dallas counties came together recently for two community-building extravaganzas highlighting the learning gardens of two REAL School Gardens’ partner schools.  Both of these events celebrated the successes experienced in REAL school gardens during the 2011-2012 school year.  Educators as well as other community members including volunteers, partners and contributors were recognized with certificates of appreciation for their dedication to helping REAL School Gardens fulfill its mission of creating learning gardens that grow successful students.



     Student-created sign in the garden at REAL People - Tarrant County


    On May ...

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  • Friday, May 18, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Family Activities

    The countdown to the end of the school year has begun and temperatures in North Texas are tiptoeing into the 90's - summer is almost here!

    Heirloom tomato harvest

    For gardeners young and old this means that sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and spicy peppers are almost ready.  Our friend Beverly Thomas of Cold Springs Farm has already started harvesting corn, and we've spotted plump, red cherry tomatoes in gardens at our partner schools.  In this post, we've gathered a few great ideas for how kids and adults alike can feast on garden-fresh produce this summer.


    Our friends at Blue Mesa Grill are ...

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  • Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Smart Potatoes

    Chef Cassondra Armstrong is responsible for my first real taste of "greens." Cooked slowly with a smoked turkey leg and seasoned to perfection, Chef Cassondra had given traditional greens a make over by using healthier ingredients for flavor. I found myself literally slurping up bowl after bowl. I was 29.



    Few foods rival the nutrition profile of leafy greens. Lauded for their calcium, fiber, vitamin E, beta-carotene and ascorbic acid content, they also boast a low calorie, no cholesterol, no fat, saturated fat or trans fat profile! Would you believe that kale and its leafy siblings have an ...

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  • Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | Filed under Student Behavior , Science , Smart Potatoes

    On a warm May morning, Ms. Koop's kindergarten class at Bonnie Brae Elementary became an observation train and baby potatoes as we learned to observe potato plant parts and learn about what plants need to grow and thrive.



     The school garden potato bed at Bonnie Brae Elementary

    As we drove around the Brae Elementary garden, our train cars used their senses to observe the plants. "I see a potato leaf." "I hear the birds." "Choo choo! I feel the air on my face." Together under the arbor we pieced together the parts of a potato plant: the stem ...

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  • Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Smart Potatoes

    Childhood obesity has skyrocketed in the last few years. Most of these kids are woefully deficient in the nutrients their growing bodies need most. Most recent stats show that nearly 17% of school-age children are obese. Currently, the food they grow can't be used prepared in school cafeterias because of strict codes. Can you imagine if students were eating food that they grew in their school garden?  So what's the problem? Not enough kids are getting their hands dirty at school. Fortunately, organizations like REAL School Gardens provide children that opportunity every day at schools across North Texas:


     Kids getting dirty ...

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  • Friday, May 4, 2012 | Filed under Community , Family Activities , Fine Arts

    Would you care for some art in the garden?  If so, be sure to check out the award-winning exhibited artwork of Dale Chihuly inside the beautiful setting of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.      



    About Dale Chihuly

    Artist Dale Chihuly creates free-standing sculptures, large-scale artwork installations and drawings, which have been exhibited at museums, gardens, architectural environments and galleries throughout the world.  Ninety-seven exhibitions in seven countries have presented Chihuly’s artworks during the last decade, which have been enjoyed by more than 10 million visitors.  Chihuly’s lifelong affinity for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within a variety of botanical settings.  


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