GROWING RURAL GARDEN PROGRAM

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Alamo Resource Conservation & Development Area Inc. 
Protecting our Environment and  Enhancing our Communities 
One of our very successful programs is our  Growing Rural  Garden Program which we have instilled in multiple counties in our area with hundreds of of families and youth, age 3 to 11 years,  in participation!

The Goal of our Growing Rural Youth Garden Program is to link youth and their families to Gardening Programs centered on our mission, to build leadership, provide academic improvement and life skills training as we also instill an appreciation for agriculture and our environment. 

Children and youth and their families,  learn to develop skills within a structured community empowered Gardening Project (directed by Alamo RCD) that is a “hands-on” project for youth (ages 3 to 11 years) and their families,  under the supervision of Alamo RCD volunteers). 

Growing Rural is an innovative program designed to create rural leaders for tomorrow. In direct alignment with our mission, Growing Rural builds skills gardening along with critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, innovation, character development, leadership, environmental and agricultural advocacy and appreciation among our youth and their families.  The program encourages youth (their families and their adult mentors) to work together toward environmental stewardship and community betterment.  

The Growing Rural program aligns with our agricultural roots, through a rural development model where youth go through six steps as they implement the project:
  • Community Need: What does the community you live in need? How could gardening help food insecurity or hunger in your community?
  • Soil Conservation: How can we enhance our soil, improve its quality and encourage conservation. 
  • Learning about Gardening: What Skills do we need to become a good gardener and to improve our agriculture?  Science, Math, Art, Research & Technology….. Growing SMART! We have developed our own Growing Rural Journal Curriculum with gardening academic lessons that is a required part of this program. 
  • Good Gardening Skills: What do we need to do to plant, maintain and harvest from our garden?  How can we garden organically? 
  • Harvest to Table: What good will come from our project? What are our outcomes? What are the nutritional benefits that we get from our garden? How can we continue our garden into the future on location and at home? 
  • Making it Last: How do we insure the continuance of the good that comes from our garden? Evaluation of our outcomes and sustaining the project into the future. How can we expand our garden into the future? How can we use our new gardening skills into our future as an adult. 

Alamo RCD Growing Rural Program provides opportunities for Youth and their Families to become stewards and advocates for our environment and for the improvement of agriculture. Participating families, youth and kids will be improving their lives, as they also conserve and steward our natural resources!! 
Kendall County
2016 -2018 St. John Lutheran Vineyard Community Garden-Boerne, TX.
Our Growing Rural Program was partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of the Texas Hill Country, Boerne Chapter, various Home School Groups, and local families at this location. In the Spring of 2016, 26 students from the Boys & Girls Club began the program. Since then multiple students and their families have planned, planted, nurtured and harvested from four garden beds at the St. John Lutheran Vineyard Community Garden in Boerne. ​







BANDERA County:
2015-2020 
Our Growing Rural kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Bandera County planted, cultivated and harvested, two large raised bids at the Lakehills United Methodist Church Community Garden. In the summer of 2015 the project moved to the Hill Country Elementary Campus, home of the BGC, where they planted two more garden beds with great success! From 2016 to 2020, they  cultivated 6 to 8 garden beds at the Hill Country Elementary School Campus where they hold their programs. Over 157 children have been become gardeners though this program to date!! They have been so successful that they have shared their harvest with senior citizens and other families in need in the Lakehills/Pipe Creek Texas area. We are so so proud of these kids! In the fall of 2019 they had planted three garden beds with fall vegetables and two Butterfly Gardens and now there are 34 members in the club. 











KENDALL County: 
2019 The BCFS Education Services (Kendall County Head Start Program - Boerne, TX. 
The Head Start Family Services Specialist, Sherry Johnson, approached our program for four classes with Preschool kids ( 3 & 4 year olds) at their location at the Benedictine Convent in Boerne. A garden area was selected and Alamo RCD provided a training workshop for the teachers, provided garden materials such as garden gloves, hand spades, 5 gallon planters, 2 gallon planters, classroom grow lights and our curriculum packets for 80 children (age 3 & 4 classes) along with a grow light for all four teachers and three garden story books. They completed the Bean Seedling classroom project under the grow lights in the classroom. Our full program began in the fall of 2019 in the NEW GARDEN that was built by the families of the young gardeners on campus.  A total of 80 students and their families were active participants in this program in 2020.


2017-18, Homeschool Programs- Boerne TX.: Students from individual families, from local Homeschool Programs participated in our Youth Garden Program with great success (Over 30 total) at the St John Lutheran Vineyard Community Garden as they Learn - Grow and Give. The students donate their produce to our Senior Assistance Program at the Comfort Golden Age Center in Comfort Texas. 


2015 Hill Country Family Services- Boerne, TX. 
Our Growing Rural kids created a Bucket Garden at Hill Country Family Services so that families who are in crisis, with financial challenges or health challenges can learn how to grow their own vegetables in containers. They were planning on this garden growing into a full training center for those in need that are served by Hill Country Family Services in Boerne, Texas. 



COMAL County 2016-17:
In the fall of 2016 the REACH (Realizing Educational Achievements through Christ at Home) Home School Program joined our Growing Rural Program family by offering a Container Garden Class for kids ages 8 to 12 who are enrolled in their program. With Peggy Hollin (our instructor and writer) as their instructor, 13 kids are learning how to complete a container garden from the ground up! They also followed our Growing Rural Journal Curriculum and gained in multiple life skills and academic skills in the process as they also worked side by side with their families. 


HOW IT GETS DONE:

Within the Alamo RCD Growing Rural Garden Program projects, Alamo RCD is the facilitator, trainer and supervisor and we also provide each agency with support that provides the youth and their families with all the materials, garden products, equipment, etc that are needed to complete that project. The students and sponsors also approach the community in order to "match" our contribution dollar for dollar as they implement their project. 







THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS!

Partners in our projects to date are:  Hill Country Family Services, Boys & Girls Club of Bandera County, First United Methodist Church of Lakehills, Methodist Healthcare Ministries Wesley Nurse Program, Hill Country Elementary of Bandera ISD,  Boerne Family YMCA, The Boys & Girls Club of the Texas Hill Country, St. John Lutheran Church Community Garden, St. John Lutheran Church in Kendall County, Bandera and Kendall County Food Policy Councils, HEB Corporation, REACH (Realizing Educational Achievements through Christ at Home), St. John Lutheran Church Vineyard Community Garden, BCFS Educatuib Services Head Start Program, in Comal County, The Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children in Bexar County,  The Center for Rural Outreach and Public Service (CROPS of Indiana, Patagonia Corporation and the National RC&D Youth Corp.  

We also want to give a special thanks to the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio and the Patagonia Corporation and the San Antonio Council on Alcohol & Drug Awareness for their assistance provided to this program! 













email me
Alamo RC&D Area Inc. 
Mailing Address:
215 W. Bandera Rd. Suite 114-456
Boerne, Texas 78006
alamorcd@gmail.com
Serving Central Texas as an IRS Designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductable as per current tax law. 
MORE ABOUT OUR GROWING RURAL PROGRAM FOR YOUTH & THEIR FAMILIES
Growing Rural Garden Program in Boerne!
St. John Lutheran Vineyard Community Garden
Alamo RCD Area Inc. and St. John Lutheran Church, are working together to create an gardening opportunity at its BEST!

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Wonderful gardening learning experience
and you get to keep all your PRODUCE! 
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A limited number of families are provided with two Community Garden Plots, gardening training and curriculum materials for FREE in 2023. 

Applicants need to submit an application AND agree to participate by completing a full year gardening project, attending to the garden needs twice weekly, participating in all training, via zoom, video (and in person), completing youth curriculum  (for students), participating in all garden work days in groups or on their own, and completing all assigned duties. 

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HOW AWESOME IS THAT!
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Growing Rural Garden Program at the St John Lutheran Community Garden is taking applications from local Boerne Texas families for participation in our PROGRAM NOW for FALL 2023!! Our Program Review Committee is ready for your family to apply. Applications must be submitted by an adult family member and the whole family is invited to participate. (No youth will be allowed in the garden without their parents present.) ❤️ 

NEW in 2023! 
Alamo RCD will also be sponsoring the students and teachers of the St. John Lutheran Church School as part of our Growing Rural YOUTH Garden Program where each grade class will be provided with instructional materials and more so that they can learn how to garden, grow their own food and enjoy the wonderful community garden. We are so happy to be able to assist the students, teachers and families of the St. John Lutheran School in this way! Contact the School for more information. 

OR email us at 
alamorcd@gmail.com, 
with Topic: Boerne Garden, 
and we will send you a copy of our Boerne Garden Welcome Packet with a copy of the Application and Garden Commitment Form. 
St. John Lutheran Community Garden is located at 
315 Rosewook Avenue, Boerne, Texas 78006 
Acoss the creek from the parking lot of the church. 
Look for the butterfly on a blue fence!)
BOERNE GARDEN APPLICATIONS WITH SIGNED COMMITMENT FORM, ARE DUE TO ALAMO RCD
by September 15, 2023
email me
Click on photo to enlarge.

Click on photo to enlarge.

BEXAR County -2017-2022 and ongoing

​We have had the pleasure of working with the Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children since 2017. Each year we have had about 22 children from the two third grade classes in our program and in 2022 we included the 1st grade for about 40 more children. The children, teachers and staff learn all about gardening as they plant and nurture beans, peppers and tomatoes in containers and plant flowers in garden plots in their Campus garden. The children also work on our Growing Rural Youth Garden Curriculum and submit their Journals. We thank the Sunshine School and their wonderful students, teachers and staff of the Sunshine Cottage School for their awesome participation. 
Growing Rural Garden Program in San Antonio!
Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children
Growing Rural Garden Program HISTORY