Seedybeans Blog

Celebrating the Humble Harvests of High Desert Homesteading

Cut Loose!!

Well– After two years as a Garden Teacher here in Santa Fe, I have been cut loose, blown to the wind, yep..I have been laid off.  I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  Unfortunately even though there is a garden at the White House, the first lady is on a crusade against childhood obesity and Walmart is the biggest distribter of organic food in the country….when the going gets rough, there just doesn’t seem to be enough funding for school gardening.

Yes, it was the perfect job for me.   After years of farming, gardening, teaching, organizing it finally all merged when I was hired to run the garden program at Monte Del Sol.  It was an honor and pleasure to be in such a pioneering position working with a progressive school community to start a productive learning garden along with custom made curriculum, infrasture, and organizing.  There were of course challenges ranging form gardening in arid subsoil, whipping spring winds and 360 young feet running a muck…. among many other things.  None the less, I will miss it.  Being a part of so many young lives, so eager for an opportunity to be of use, get dirty and learn in a real experiencial way is what really fueled me.

So what next?  I just hope the school takes care of all that was planted in the ground and students and teachers, may it continue to grow and thrive.  As for me, well the gardening continues of course, and hopefully the teaching but in what form I do not know.  I hope to become a consultant, resource, and teacher, now reaching out to the whole community of Santa Fe.

For now I have been mulling over the many questions my students asked me on my last day at work,” When will we know when to plant“, ” What if we can’t remember how to make potting mix?” among other inquiries and worries.  It wasn’t just the students who had question either, there are others too.  All you many pioneering teachers who really want to integrate gardening, sustainability and experiencial education into your classrooms, but simply don’t know how.  All those questions about currilculum planning, outdoor classroom management and community resources, well hopefully I can answer some of them here.  

I have been a part of an amazing growing network of people who really want gardens in schools, as well as thier lives because we all share the belief that this can help us learn, grow and be nourished .  We not only can cut down our carbon footprint but we can shift our growing disconnect form the land and each other and our own sustenance and tranform it with simple  humble acts and take back our education and power.  

This blog is for you all.  It is way to stay connected to each other, but more so provide simple practical knowledge so that we may all reap the bounty and blessings of growing our own food, medicine and what ever else we fancy.  I sincerely hope this is of use to you and it helps us all grow together.



  Sue McDonald wrote @

This looks great! Love the calendula.
Look forward to seeing where your journey takes you. Thanks for all you share.

  kyce wrote @

Erin, perhaps the school’s loss will be the community’s gain as we all benefit from your knowledge and passion. I’m thrilled that you’ll be sharing your wisdom here. It is my hope that from here your voice as an advocate for school gardens can reach…lot’s of schools all over the country and beyond.

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