Upcoming Garden Projects – Volunteers Needed

IMGP1018Hello Green Classroom Steering Committee and Friends!

School’s on again, and we’re busy getting the garden ready for our fall garden classes. We’re asking if any of you would be able to help us with a couple of projects that are coming up soon. We also have some on-going volunteer tasks that are listed at the bottom.

Saturday, September 6, 9:00 am to noon.
We need one or two people to help us this Saturday with a Volunteer Workday. We already have plenty of volunteers lined up to do the work, but we need a couple of people to help supervise the workers.

Wednesday, September 17, 1:00-3:00pm – Spread the Harvest Resource Give-Away
As part of this program, we are eligible to pick up a truck load of great compost for the Green Classroom! The pick-up takes place at the New Day Community Garden at 2215 E.M. Franklin, and we need a truck to be able to get the maximum amount. Does anyone have a truck to use for this project? In addition to the truck and driver, we will need some volunteers to help us load and unload.

If we can’t get a truck for the pick-up, we still need even more volunteers because we will need to bring lots of bags and bag the compost. It’s a lively scene there at the Austin Baha’i Center on pick-up day, so we hope you can join us for the fun!

On-Going Volunteer Jobs
Leaders and Assistants for weekly garden classes
Watering an assigned area of the garden once or twice a week
Occasional weeding and other maintenance
Website or technical support
Steering Committee for planning and organizing garden programs and activities
Site Construction and Repairs

Please let me know if you’re interested in helping out in any of these ways. We also welcome any of your ideas about other ways you would like to use your interests and skills in the Green Classroom!

Thank you,


School Volunteers Needed

IMG_0567School has started, kids are getting their hands dirty, and seeds are sprouting at Becker Elementary’s Green Classroom. Every class at Becker has the opportunity to garden each week in the unique space across from the school known as “the green classroom” that is dedicated to growing vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers, compost and other plants.

You can share your expertise or learn about gardening with the students while lending a hand alongside a veteran volunteer. Garden leaders work together to plan and lead a 30-45 minute weekly session with the same class of children throughout an entire school year. An orientation session, website with project ideas, and a resource library are available to help volunteers plan projects.

Come join us and inspire young children through hands on learning, create lifelong good eating habits, and dig in the dirt with other amazing volunteers.  

Becker students love the Green Classroom and their Green Classroom volunteers! If interested in volunteering or learning more about The Green Classroom, contact Kathy McWhorter at kmmcwhorter@hotmail.com or 512-478-9478 or Kelly Haragan at kharagan@me.com.

Thank you to our Volunteers!

Garden HatHello Green Classroom Garden Teachers!

As we’re nearing the end of the school year, we want to thank you so much for teaching our garden classes and giving the Becker students a wonderful outdoor learning experience.  Your classes have shown how much students can learn through gardening and nature exploration, and they’re proof that learning can be fun!   It’s because of you, our volunteers, that the Green Classroom remains a significant model for school garden programs throughout the city.

We would love to have you back next year if you’d like to have a class again.  We’ll contact you again during the summer if you’re not sure now.  You can decide if you want to follow your class to the next grade, stay with the same teacher, or try a completely new age group.  We want to keep it fun for you!  We also welcome any suggestions you have about ways to improve the program.


Have a fun summer!  We’ll stay in touch!


Mr. ReRucha’s 2nd Grade Shares Favorite Garden Activities

Mr. ReRucha’s 2nd grade class embarked on a project that included drawing and writing about their favorite garden activities of the year. In addition to writing, revising, and editing their work, they also typed their writing into the computer and uploaded their images to the blog page.

Their work, shown below, is our first Green Classroom blog post by Becker students. We hope to see many more interesting garden blog articles in the future!

Have a nice, safe and fun summer!


I planted same tomatoes. I water my plants. It was so fun. Last garden I planted milkweed with Mr. ReRucha.



IMG_2314My favorite thing this year is when we got to go bug hunting. I found a giant beetle. I also found an ant colony. I saw a roly-poly civilization. That’s what I liked the most this year.




My favorite thing to do was exploring the pond. Another thing is to water the plants with a friend.




My favorite thing is looking at the fish and I Like bug hunting too.




My favorite thing to do in the garden was making the salad. I also liked eating the salad, it was good really good!




My favorite thing in the green garden is when we made a salad in the class. Another thing is when we planted things like flowers in the class.



I liked bug hunting because I like finding roly-poly and getting my hands dirty. I like scooping  the fish. Last but not least eating with the group.




I like bug-hunting. My favorite part bug-hunting is that I get to lift up rocks, finding worms and June bugs. Finding bugs is very fun.




My favorite activity is exploring the pond because I want to catch fish.  I also want to catch a tadpole, and like exploring the place. I like exploring the bugs.




I love planting flower and vegetables. It is fun finding insects.  I remember planting milkweed. The thing I most like is watering the garden. The tadpoles are hard to find.



IMG_2315My favorite thing was planting carrots. I  also liked  putting  the dirt in the wagon. I liked seeing the tadpoles in the water.




I love bug hunting because I like finding bugs. I like eating. I LOVE finding pill bug civilizations.



Chloe My favorite thing to do in the green garden is to explore the pond. I like to feel the water. I like to use my senses. I like to help with the garden.




I liked it when we made paper pots with paper mache. I was in a group with my friends and my mom. Then we planted plants in the paper pots. I enjoyed planting and making the pots.




I like flowers. I liked apple-tasting. I liked writing in the garden.




My favorite thing I did this year is a lot of stuff and planting flowers and having people play bug-hunting with me and exploring the garden.




I like bug-hunting because it’s fun. I like fishing in the pond. I like eating food.




The one thing I like about the Green Garden is that we get to look for bugs and insects and we get to make food.


Join Us for the Green Classroom Spring Workday

We’re having our annual Spring Workday on March 22, 9am to noon.  We hope you can come help us get the garden in shape for the spring season.  We’ve got some fun tasks lined up, and we’re excited about the opportunity to get to know each other better while we’re beautifying the garden and getting it ready for spring planting.

We also still need help picking up compost on March 19.  

I hope you’re having a fun Spring Break!

The Green Classroom Welcomes New Garden Instructors

Exploring the garden sheds
Exploring the garden sheds

On a sunny morning in September, the Becker Green Classroom welcomed its newest garden teachers. Some were parents and some were from the community, but all were interested in teaching children through gardening. These new garden teachers are key to the future success of Becker’s Green Classroom program.  As the school continues to grow each year, we have additional classes of kids who are eager to learn about science, nutrition, gardening, and more in the Green Classroom.

The purpose of the orientation was not only to welcome them, but share the in’s and out’s of the garden, and convey some ideas about teaching a garden class.

  • Kathy McWhorter started off the day with introductions and a tour of the garden.
  • Paula McDermott, longtime Green Classroom volunteer and Chair of Austin’s Food Policy Board, walked the new leaders through, “A Typical Day in the Garden.”
  • Lyndsay Razzazz, a representative from the Junior Master Gardener Program led garden teachers through several fun, engaging sample classes, taken from The Junior Master Gardener (JMG)Teacher/Leader Guide, Level 1. The Becker Green Classroom has an updated copy of The Junior Master Gardener Teacher/Leader Guide, Level 1. It is located in the library and available for garden teacher use.

    Garden Hat
    Lindsay Razzazz
  • Lastly, Kelly Haragan, Sameera Balay, and Barb Crocker introduced the new Becker Green Classroom website.


We’re happy to announce that our new website is up and running.  The updated website has a new menu called, Teacher Resource.  This new section contains four areas that could be useful to garden teachers.

  • The first section contains Becker’s weekly science curriculum. Becker’s students often attend their garden class during their daily science slot. Because of this, we ask volunteers to try to incorporate ideas from their weekly science curriculum into the garden classes.
  • The second section contains ideas for garden activities. As garden teachers discover classes that really worked, they are encouraged to submit them for posting on the website. This way the activity section can grow and be used by all the teachers.
  • The third section contains specific information about the garden and its unique features. Garden teachers can incorporate this information into their classes.
  • The fourth section contains general garden information that could be useful for garden classes, such as Travis County planting timelines.

We are happy to welcome our new teachers as well as express gratitude for our returning teachers. And we’re still looking for additional volunteers to make sure that every Becker class gets to come to the garden.  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please contact Kathy McWhorter at 512-478-9478.

Let’s garden!

Natural Gardener Offers Useful Monthly Veggie Planting Guide

Wondering what to plant in your garden for fall?

School has started and we are all beginning plan which veggies to grow in the garden. Natural Gardener has a month-by-month guide that will  help you select appropriate veggies to grow.  It also has information on herbs, too, as well as gardening tips.