Cream of the Crop

May 2009

1. Cream of the Crop Spring 2009
The spring 2009 issue of Cream of the Crop was recently mailed. It is also available to view online: download a PDF or visit the Web site at Our next issue will arrive in your inbox instead of your mailbox. We're going paperless! If you receive our monthly e-newsletter, Current News, you will automatically receive the electronic version of Cream of the Crop. Do you know someone else who would like to receive this resource? Please direct them to

2. 2009 AITC Conference, October 23-24, Sonoma County
School garden and nutrition-based lesson plans, hands-on activities, exciting field trips, tremendous networking opportunities, and inspiring testimonials from educators who creatively use ag in their classrooms await you at the 2009 AITC Conference in Rohnert Park.

Is funding a challenge? Use your School Garden Grant Funds to pay your way (funds expire in June, so make your plans ASAP!) Consider special funding sources that support gardens, nutrition, and/or afterschool development. Contact local agriculture organizations or businesses to ask for support or scholarships. Check our Web site for registration and more details later this month at

3. WE Garden
May 21, 2009 11:30am, California State Capitol, Sacramento
WE Garden, the latest in the WE projects by First Lady Maria Shriver, will celebrate its launch at the Capitol building on Thursday, May 21. Students from local schools will help plant a garden on the grounds and then learn more about agriculture and nutrition through activities in the "Food Alley," where more than 40 organizations will be on hand to demonstrate how to Grow it, Know it, Cook it and Get it. CFAITC has organized ten lessons that will be available at the event and also for download at

4. Summer Ag Seminars
Summer Ag Seminars are county-based educator workshops that share useful information about agriculture's universal value and provide a connection to regional agriculture. Sign up for one of the seminars listed below or contact your County Farm Bureau to learn about opportunities in your area. Check the CFAITC Web site for new dates as they are announced.

June 8-12, 2009 San Joaquin County
Contact: Cory, 209/931-4931
June 9, 2009-June 11, 2009 EAT Foundation Ag Tour and Seminars - Kings County
Contact: Kelly Deming, EAT Foundation 559/707-8823
June 23, 2009-June 25, 2009 EAT Foundation Ag Tour and Seminars - Kings County
Contact: Kelly Deming, EAT Foundation 559/707-8823
July 7-8, 2009 Santa Rosa, Sonoma County
Contact: Tim Tesconi, 707/544-5575
July 13, 2009-July 16, 2009 EAT Foundation Ag Tour and Seminars - Kings County
Contact: Kelly Deming, EAT Foundation 559/707-8823
July 27-29, 2009 Bakersfield, Kern County
Contact: Rebecca Been 661/444-5375
July 27, 2009-July 30, 2009 EAT Foundation Ag Tour and Seminars - Kings County
Contact: Kelly Deming, EAT Foundation 559/707-8823

5. Farm Kids Photo Contest
Deadline: May 15, 2009
Farm Safety 4 Just Kids has teamed up with Country Living Association to host this photo contest. Submit photos of kids safely enjoying the rural environment for the possibility to receive a free DirecTV subscription for June 1, 2009 - April 1, 2010.
For more information, and to enter, visit

6. Help Grow Your Soup
National FFA Organization, in partnership with Campbell Soup Company and Urban Farming, continues their "Help Grow Your Soup" campaign with a goal to grow more than one billion tomatoes across the country. Continuing through June 21, 2009, anyone who purchases Campbell's condensed soup and enters the code on the can at will receive a free packet of Campbell's tomato seeds to plant and grow at home.

7. The Garden, a Master Teacher
Life Lab is publishing four essays during their 30th birthday year. Read on to be inspired by the garden.

When I was a child and the world seemed grim I had a place that I would go to and find myself again. I think, or hope, that most of us had such a place. Mine was deep in what I remember as a thick forest behind my home (though I later saw it was only a small grove of trees!). In that forest there was a tree that had all but fallen and was stripped of bark. I would climb onto the smooth horizontal trunk and teeter-totter recklessly in the enchantment of the woods. When I came down I felt that all was well again and even at five or six years of age I sensed that I knew who I was. Read more...

8. Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)
Deadline: June 1, 2009
Given only to Californians who exemplify exceptional leadership for protecting and enhancing the environment while at the same time promoting economic growth, GEELA is California's highest environmental honor. Competition is open to all California residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, professional and trade associations, communities, state and local government entities, tribes, and federal agencies operating in California. Categories include Children's Environmental Education, Ecosystem And Watershed Stewardship, and more.
For more information, and to apply, visit

9. Natural Resources Conservation Service - Soil Education
This recently launched Web site from the Natural Resources Conservation Service offers teachers facts about soils, lesson plans, access to a free photo gallery, and a movie about the movement of water in soil.
For more information, visit
Source: AgroWorld Newsletter

10. Garden Crusader Awards
Application Deadline: June 15, 2009
This year, Gardener's Supply will award more than $15,000 in cash and gardening gear to individuals across the country who are using gardening to make a difference in their communities.
For more information, and to nominate a gardener, visit