Ripe for Change

Ripe for Change Garden-Based Learning in Schools

Jane S. Hirschi, Foreword by David Sobel
paper, 168 Pages
Pub. Date: April 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-771-2
Price: 33.00

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Pub. Date: April 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-773-6

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Ripe for Change: Garden-Based Learning in Schools takes a big-picture view of the school garden movement and the state of garden-based learning in public K–8 education. The book frames the garden movement for educators and shows how school gardens have the potential to be a significant resource for teaching and learning. In this inviting and accessible book, the author:


The benefits of garden-based learning are enormous. Ripe for Change is a powerful tool to enhance learning that every school should utilize. — Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network

Real-life examples from five urban settings underline the history and importance of learning from the garden as a means to transform public schools. Ripe for Change has ideas and resources for school professionals and educators interested in connecting school gardens with classroom lessons. — Anupama Joshi, executive director and cofounder of the National Farm to School Network

School gardens are transformative. They turn asphalt into greenery, cause second-graders to stuff their mouths with spinach, and unlock a child's inherent love of learning. Nobody knows this potential better than CitySprouts founder Jane Hirschi. Ripe for Change is the perfect resource for anyone looking to join the growing school garden movement. — Curt Ellis, cofounder and CEO, FoodCorps

In Ripe for Change, Jane Hirschi makes a straightforward, compelling, and uplifting case for the need for outdoor experiences at a time when many teachers and administrators feel they must tether students to desks and do little beyond test preparation. The book’s case studies illustrate that it is indeed possible to engage students in meaningful experiences while simultaneously addressing standards. — Jeff Winokur, early childhood and elementary science educator, Wheelock College and Education Development Center

I found Hirschi’s book to be inspiring. She writes with passion for the topic as a leader in the garden-based learning arena... [The book] provides practical information on a process that could bring immense benefits to your students. — Kristin Liewehr Bishop, National Association of Elementary School Principals

Ripe for Change is a terrific how-to handbook for parents and schools about how to bring together two natural friends: school children and edible gardens. — Louisa Kasdon, Edible Boston

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About the Author

Jane S. Hirschi is the founding director of CitySprouts, a school garden program that started in two Cambridge, Massachusetts, public schools in 2001 and now operates in twenty public schools in Cambridge and Boston.

Ms. Hirschi is a vocal champion for school gardens, particularly the need for garden-based learning in low-resourced, urban schools. She has spoken to and written for—audiences as diverse as the business community, public school educators, parents, and children. She’s planted a lot of gardens in her life, mostly small ones, and maintained a compost bin wherever she’s lived. She now resides with her husband and two daughters in Cambridge.

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Sobel

Blog Post: "Garden-Based Learning for Student Success"

E-book available through online booksellers

Other books in Harvard Education Letter Impact Series

Other books in Harvard Education Letter Impact Series

Something in Common

Robert Rothman, foreword by Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.

Other books in Harvard Education Letter Impact Series

Books From This Author