Cream of the Crop

October 2009

1. Mushroom Fact/Activity Sheet
Agricultural Fact/Activity Sheets are hot off the press! Each commodity and natural resource topic has been updated with current statistical information, and a new sheet has been added for mushrooms. Download your set today from the Web site or pick up a hard copy at the California AITC Conference later this month.

2. CROP Circles: California Regions of Optimal Planting
This new resource is out of this world! The CROP Circle is an easy-to-use diagram that illustrates proper planting and harvesting times for 18 crops commonly found in California school gardens. Six separate regions include Northern mountains, Sierra foothills, Northern/Central coast, Southern coast, Central Valley, and desert. The second page of each features math activities. Get your copy at an upcoming Fresh Fruits and Vegetables training in your area, or download from the Web site.

3. 2009 California AITC Conference
Oct. 23-24, 2009, Rohnert Park, CA
Registration is still available online and the hotel cut off date has been extended through Tuesday, Oct. 13. Field trips and workshops have been filling up, have you selected yours yet?

Special Opportunities

Register Today
Field Trip Descriptions
Workshop Descriptions

4. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Book signing: Oct. 14, 2009, Palm Desert
Contest deadline: Nov. 1, 2009
There is less than a month left until the contest deadline. Have you chosen the top 5 stories from your classroom? Send them to your regional coordinator, postmarked by November 1. Regional winners will be announced on Dec. 1, and statewide winners will be announced on Jan. 1, 2010.
Want to meet a student author? Visit Walmart at 34500 Monterey Ave. in Palm Desert on Wednesday, Oct. 14 to have Sonalei Amador sign your book.
For more information, visit or download an entry form (PDF) with coordinator mailing addresses.

5. CSTA Conference
Oct. 22-25, 2009, Palm Springs, CA
Can't make it to the 2009 California AITC Conference up north? Visit our exhibit booth and attend CFAITC workshops at the CSTA Conference in Palm Springs.
For more information, and to register, visit

6. California School Garden Week
Oct. 24-31, 2009
California School Garden Network (CSGN) is encouraging schools throughout California to host garden activities and events to celebrate the success of school gardens across California. Visit for a School Garden Week Resource Kit with creative event ideas, a press release and tip sheet. The 2009 CSGN School Garden of the Year will be announced at the California AITC Conference.

7. National Gardening Association Grants

2009 Healthy Sprouts Awards
Deadline Oct. 17, 2009
Award: gift certificates towards the purchase of gardening materials, Eat a Rainbow kit, 25 packets of seeds and literature package.
2010 Youth Garden Grants
Deadline November 2, 2009
Award: gift card to The Home Depot, gift card to Gardening with Kids, and educational materials.
Heinz Wholesome Memories Intergenerational Garden Award
Deadline: January 10, 2010
Award: tool sets, composter, watering can, seeds, gardening journals, and more.

8. Lesson Plan: The Great Fence Crisis
The invention of barbed wire facilitated the expansion of farming on the Great Plains. By calculating two household budgets—one for a homesteading family using wood fencing and the other for a family using barbed-wire fencing—students learn how barbed wire helped solve the "fence crisis."
Download PDF from
For more ideas and information, subscribe to AgroWorld E-zine:

9. Target Field Trip Grants Program
Deadline: Nov. 3, 2009
As part of the Target commitment to supporting education, Target Field Trip Grants program will award 5,000 grants of up to $800 each to U.S. educators to fund a field trip for their students. Target Field Trip Grants may be used to fund trips ranging from visits to art museums and environmental projects to cultural events and civic experiences. Education professionals who are at least 18 years old and employed by an accredited K-12 public, private or charter school in the United States that maintains a 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status are eligible to apply. For more information, and to apply, visit

10. Web Sites Worth Exploring