Let Us Make You a Garden

If you are located in Ventura, Santa Barbara, or West Los Angeles County, California, and would like a custom-built self-watering container garden, but don’t have the time to put it together yourself, we are making ourselves available to collect the recycled pieces, pre-cut the parts, and deliver your container garden to you using proper social distancing measures and safety equipment.

Upon arriving at your location with the containers, soil, live plants, seeds, earthworms, and beneficial nematodes, we’ll assemble and fill the containers on site. We can leave them safely in the front of your location and you can move them around to your liking once we have left. We can help you place them where you want them so long as proper social distancing methods are achievable. Once they are where you want them, you can fill the reservoirs with water and off you go!

Sometimes, just getting a gardening project started seems so daunting that it’s hard to make it happen. But, once it’s started, especially with self-watering containers, the work is fairly minimal to keep it going, but the rewards are well worth it. Compared to other methods of gardening, the cost-savings in water alone make the initial investment in getting things started minimal by comparison.

The Learn & Grow experimental teaching garden

This is a fundraising effort to help cover the costs of our non-profit food security and sustainable living curriculum. Most of the per-container fee goes to the costs of building your garden; what is left over goes back to Learn & Grow to cover the costs of publishing our instructional materials online, operating our experimental teaching garden, and expanding our curriculum to include other aspects of living sustainably.

The investment you make to get started will pay for itself several times over the span of years that you grow food in the containers we provide. You will have healthy, organically grown garden-to-table food that you can take with you if you ever need to relocate, and which can moved around to meet changing lighting needs throughout the year as the seasons change, conserves water, keeps plastics out of landfills, reduces your independence on the commercialized food supply, requires no open ground for growing, and can be scaled to fit in oddly shaped and/or small spaces.


Minimum order – 1 set of 3 self-watering containers, assembled and seeded or planted with your choice of fruits or vegetables. If you want more than 1 set of 3 containers, once you hit the “Add to Order” button, update the quantity in the shopping cart to order additional sets of 3.

Once you have placed your order, we will contact you to find out what you want planted in your containers and schedule delivery. If you have any questions about your order, you can email us at info@kps4parents.org or call us at (805) 292-2003. You can also DM us from our Instagram account and Facebook page.



The next big dream: The Learn & Grow Tiny House!

Our next big undertaking is to have a tiny house built to our design specifications for the purpose of providing instruction regarding sustainable living. This will include grey water recapturing for the garden, rainwater collection for in-home and garden use, alternative energies, and sustainable building methods and materials.

We will be incorporating the Learn & Grow self-watering container gardening and laying hen care instruction with the new sustainable living instruction for our online and in-person learners. In the future, our tiny house will be part of the Learn & Grow instruction, along with the garden and our laying hens. We have eventual plans to add bees for honey and goats for dairy.

We have recently formed a new non-profit organization, the Institute for Educational Equity, Inc. (IEEI), of which the Learn & Grow Educational Series is now a division. We are now incorporated in the State of California and are in the process of assembling and submitting our application to the IRS for our 501(c)(3) status.

Your financial support will help us cover the professional services costs and filing fees to get our paperwork in order, purchase equipment and materials for our instructional programs, create new online and in-person (eventually, once this whole COVID-19 mess is over and we can safely do so) instruction, and cover the rent and fees associated with the space currently occupied by our experimental teaching garden.

If you don’t need our help to start your own container garden or your outside our local area, but still want to help out, you can always donate to us through KPS4Parents at https://paypal.me/learnandgrow.

Food for Thought: Teaching How Systems Work Through Gardening

In our 3rd episode of Food for Thought, our director and creator of the Learn & Grow Educational Series discusses how to use gardening to teach kids about systems, how they work, and how they interact with each other to create larger systems.

References:

Fundraiser: Buy non-GMO seeds for your own self-watering container garden (affiliate link) – http://www.seedsnow.com/?rfsn=3720.1f1.25941

Food for Thought: Teaching Long-Term Planning to Kids with Gardening

Learn & Grow Educational Series’ creator, Anne M. Zachry, M.A. Ed. Psych., discusses the life lessons that are naturally embedded in learning to grow food and how this is deliberately accounted for in Learn & Grow’s curriculum.


How to Pet a Chicken

Quiet Riot, our Silkie, enjoys getting scratched on her neck, under her wings, and along her back before scampering away to play.

Using Repurposed Materials to Combat Ground Squirrels

After ground squirrels dug up one end of the Learn & Grow test garden, Learn & Grow Educational Series creator, Anne Zachry, explains how she used pieces of an old chicken pen to create a barrier to prevent burrowers from tearing up the garden.

Food for Thought: Food Security During Times of Crisis

This is Episode 1 of our Vlog, Food for Thought. This episode is titled, “Food Security During Times of Crisis.”

This video discusses the use of an old urban gardening technique, self-watering containers made from 5-gallon buckets, as a means of ensuring food security for individuals, families, and communities regardless of the economy and condition of the commercialized food supply.

The Learn & Grow Educational Series was created according to best practices in educational program design to teach people everywhere how to grow food anywhere.

#FoodSecurityIsFreedom #TeachEverywhereGrowAnywhere

References: Compost Tea vs. Leachate – https://thesquirmfirm.com/leachate-vs…

The Value of Patience

artichokes growing in a self-watering container in the Learn & Grow test garden

In our ever-increasingly rapid-paced world, we have become accustomed to real-time results to many of our efforts and inquiries, which amounts to instant gratification. Surrounded by these experiences, it is easy for developing young children who are still processing the world according to intuition rather than logic to misperceive this constant stream of instant gratification as the only kind of gratification to be had.

The danger in this is that it fails to teach children the value of patience and planning things for the long haul rather than immediate, short-term benefit. One of the most compelling reasons that KPS4Parents has based our instructional content on gardening is the fact that gardening takes time. One of the critical concepts that children must learn about where food comes from is how long it takes to grow it.

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The Connections Between Our Two Areas of Expertise

For those of you who only know us for the Learn & Grow Educational SeriesSM and its efforts to teach sustainable living concepts and methods, you might be interested to know that KPS4Parents, our non-profit organization, which owns the Learn & Grow Educational Series, has a whole different side to it. KPS4Parents also works with families of children with disabilities and helps them navigate the bureaucracy of the special education system, as well as other publicly funded programs and agencies created to serve their needs.

The types of services we provide as lay advocates, experts, and paralegals to these families may at first seem extremely different from our work with Learn & Grow, but it really isn’t. This post explains why.

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From Our Garden: Okra

Okra, known as Lady Fingers in some parts of the world, forms an elongated fruit from each flower. The flowers only last for a day or two and the fruits are ready to pick just a few days after that. Okra is most commonly prepared in stir fries and sautées. This okra plant is growing in a self-watering container made from buckets recycled from a restaurant and some inexpensive parts. #TeachEverywhereGrowAnywhere #FoodSecurityIsFreedom

New Self-Watering Container Garden Built in India

About a year ago, I encountered my friend, Avanish, on Facebook through mutual online friends in the organic gardening realm of the web. We both had a common interest in sustainable living and our online conversations started around Learn & Grow.

At about that same time, the virtual assistant I’d had could no longer continue in the position and I needed someone to replace him. Avanish ended up taking on that responsibility and he and I began speaking almost every weekday for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours a day from that point forward. He’s learned my special education advocacy and intervention caseload and helps me stay on top of all my responsibilities, including running my calendar, all from his smartphone in Gwalior, MP, India. I’m located in Southern California, USA. Technology is amazing.

But, virtual assistant awesomeness aside, my collaboration with Avanish started with Learn & Grow and the intent was always for him to build his own container garden in Gwalior. Sourcing the tools and parts turned out to be a challenge, but we ultimately figured out that we could order everything through Amazon. The PVC, soil, and plants were locally purchased. And, now, Avanish has started his self-watering container garden in Gwalior using the same methods we use in our Learn & Grow test garden here in Southern California!


Here is Avanish’s photo story of building out his first two containers to start his garden:


This is an exciting moment for us. The Learn & Grow Educational Series started in 2013 in my little apartment patio/yard with a few self-watering containers that served as our test garden. Today, the original garden has approximately 40 containers and a chicken coop and pens that hold five laying hens. We are using social media marketing methods to push instruction on how to have food security and food independence in these uncertain times, in a way that can be scaled according to each person’s available space and resources.

Our audience has become global. We get the most fascinating stories and inquiries about food security, gardening methods, local fruits and vegetables, and worries about the future of food availability from people around the world through our social media, primarily Facebook and Instagram. We are thrilled to have our methods replicated in a country where access to food is a serious concern for millions of people and growing their own food using our methods could be one of many tools used to combat hunger and poverty in India.


If you would like to donate to KPS4Parents to help fund our international efforts through our Learn & Grow Educational Series, please click on the Donate button below.
KPS4Parents is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; discuss with your tax advisor whether your donations to KPS4Parents are tax-deductible.