Help provide food & gardening education to kids
$250 raised
10% of $2.5k goal
2 contributors
3 Years running
Help us help young minds learn and grow. Your financial support will purchase materials and cover the operational costs of our programs that benefit children, families, schools, and communities. KPS4Parents' Learn & Grow Educational Series was ...

Help us help young minds learn and grow. Your financial support will purchase materials and cover the operational costs of our programs that benefit children, families, schools, and communities.

KPS4Parents' Learn & Grow Educational Series was created to teach children about food, where it comes from, and how to grow their own healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables in portable, self-watering containers that fit into almost any outdoor setting using recycled and/or inexpensive materials.

Tomatoes growing in self-watering bucket containersFor children who live in "food desert" neighborhoods where the only food sources are fast food restaurants and there are no grocery stores or vendors who sell fresh fruits and vegetables, a means to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables can be the difference between healthy development and lifelong diet-related health disorders. Most food deserts exist in urban, paved over neighborhoods where there is no open ground for growing or any open ground there may be is potentially tainted by polution.

For children who live in apartments and condos with nothing to work with but patios, balconies, or fire escapes, a self-watering bucket container or two provide(s) a perfect teaching opportunity for parents who want to educate their children about food and gardening at home.

For seniors who enjoy gardening but can no longer handle getting down on the ground to dig, plant, and weed, a self-watering bucket container garden elevates the plants to a workable level while seated in a chair or wheelchair; it is also more protective against pests and uses little water, so the maintenance is fairly low.

For busy adults who don't have time to water a garden by hand or run irrigation, and for adults who want to be conservative with water for ecological reasons, self-watering bucket containers according to the design we use can go up to three months before they need to be refilled with water.  

Wicking mechanism & refill pipe in the bottom of the upper growing bucket, ready to be placed in the lower reservoir bucket.

Each self-watering bucket container holds about 1.5 to 2 gallons of water in its reservoir, which circulates up into the soil of the growing chamber via capillary action through a wicking mechanism. Because the water is involved in a circulatory process between the soil and the reservoir, and the layer of air between them is so narrow, there is not a lot of opportunity for evaporative loss. We advise topping them off monthly; if they overfill a bit, the excess will drain out through "weep holes" created for the purpose of maintaining the gap of air between the bottom of the upper growing bucket and the water level in the lower reservoir bucket.

We've standardized on this self-watering container design because it uses materials that are pretty easy to come by, are less expensive than commercially produced self-watering containers, and they're totally easy to make. Plus, building them, filling them with soil, and planting them with baby fruit and vegetable plants or seeds creates a great hands-on, project-based learning (PBL) activity. PBL activities have been proven by research to be a very powerful and engaging way to teach children.

We are bringing this approach to children in several ways:

Our biggest undertaking, right now, is our development of K-12 lesson plans tied to the Common Core and STEM that use our self-watering bucket containers as teaching vehicles via PBL activities. These lesson plans are coming together nicely and are scheduled to launch in time for the start of the new school year in Fall 2014.

We need your financial support! As low-cost as our program is to run, it still costs money and the money has to come from somewhere. Our goal is to have an entirely donation-driven outreach program to schools, local community groups, and the public through our website and events to educate children about food, where it comes from, and how to grow it for themselves. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so our garden parties are billed at rates intended to cover our costs and not to generate profit.

Please help us grow our Learn & Grow Educational Series through your financial support as well as your use of our wonderful online content to start your own Learn & Grow garden!

Watch this video to see how fast and easy it is to build a self-watering bucket container!

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Perks

$10 USD
One free seedling packet w/starter pellets
  • 5 claimed
Two seedling starter pellets and a mystery pack of seeds to start your own fruit or vegetable plants.
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