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December 17, 2015
A (Musical) Summary of What's Been Happening at Green Our Planet Gardens since January 2015....

                                            Sung to tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
Students harvesting plants at Ruby Thomas Elementary School, November 2015
New Pre-K through 5th Grade Garden STEM Curriculum to be Released in January, 2016
After a few delays, the newly-revised and expanded, Pre-K through 5th Grade STEM Curriculum will be made available in January, 2016. The revisions were made after collecting feedback from teachers using the curriculum across the CCSD during the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, nutrition information was added and the curriculum was extended through Pre-Kindergarten. Thanks to all of those who helped out!

                                                
Meet Chef Donald: CEO and Head Chef of VegeNation Restaurant
(Above: Chef Donald Lemperle)

 

What Inspired Chef Donald to Create VegeNation

Four years ago, Chef Donald Lemperle was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. With this diagnosis, he decided to change his lifestyle completely, beginning with a plant-based diet. Healthier eating, exercise, and a positive mindset have our Chef feeling fantastic. He always has lots energy and vigor for life.


Prior to his diagnosis, Chef Donald had over 30 years of experience in the restaurant business. He was raised in his family owned restaurant on Staten Island, New York and later cooked in some of New York City's finest restaurant kitchens including Le Bernardin, the Quilted Giraffe and The Sign of the Dove, shaping a valuable culinary foundation for his career. He had also been the Executive Chef for Park Avalon Restaurant in New York City and the James Hotel and the Mondrian Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Chef Donald's diagnosis and plant-based transformation quickly opened his eyes to the problems in our current food system and how it is harming our health and planet. Chef Donald made it his mission to make a difference in his local community by serving fresh, healthy, plant-based foods that are delicious, fun, and easy to get.

Currently, Chef Donald and his team at Vegenation sponsor an Outdoor Garden Classroom at John S Park Elementary School, and Chef Donald donates his time and skills for garden fundraisers and chef demonstrations. 

VegeNation Restaurant is located at:

616 Carson Avenue (in downtown Las Vegas)
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Phone: (702) 366-8515



 

Garden Tip
As Your Garden Heads into Winter

By Tiffany Whisenant of Garden Farms

 
This time of year, an ugly garden is a good thing. Leaves are everywhere, pumpkin vines are shriveling up and summer crops are succumbing to the cold. If you still have winter squash growing and fruit on the vine, leave those dying plants in the ground for as long as possible until most of the fruit has ripened. Harvest when the vines and stems on the fruit are mostly dry, and let cure by pulling up the entire vine (don't pull the roots from the soil; just clip the plant off at soil level) and packing the dead vine around and on top of the squash, leaving them outside for about a week. Bring the fruits inside when the stems are dry.
 
I'm excitedly pulling up yellowed peanut and sweet potato vines from my own garden to harvest their underground bounty. I've left pole bean and zinnia plants in the garden to completely die back before harvesting seeds. I've gathered leaves from all over my neighborhood to mulch my gardens, and they've made a beautiful, healthy mess of everything. Dead plant material is important! It conserves moisture, improves soil quality, keeps roots warm and feeds plants. Keep some in your garden this winter.
Grant Tip

Walmart Community Grant

Walmart believes in operating globally and giving back locally – creating impact in the neighborhoods where we live and work. Through the Community Grant Program, our associates are proud to support the needs of their communities by providing grants to local organizations. K-12 Public Schools are eligible. Grants are up to $2,500.


To apply for a grant, click here

The deadline to apply for a Walmart Community Grant is December 31, 2015 

Year End Photo Roundup
Chef Nick Brannigan demonstrating how to cook garden produce at Joe Mackey Elementary School, November 12, 2015.
Special Needs Garden Vocational Curriculum launch at Desert Oasis High School, Nov 2 2015--the first such curriculum available in Nevada (thanks to teacher Jennifer Davis and the Mentor's Foundation).
First school garden survey carried out in the CCSD since 2002 due to the collaboration of Green Our Planet, UNLV, and teachers and administrators in the CCSD (results due early in 2016).
First CCSD garden summer camp created due to the collaboration between Green Our Planet, sponsors Owen and Marty Carver, and the teachers at Crestwood Elementary School (June 2015). For many of the students, this was the first summer camp of any kind they had ever attended.
At the 2nd Annual Green Our Planet School Garden Conference, more than 200 teachers and administrators plus 40 presenters attended
In 2015, Green Our Planet, with the help of numerous schools and sponsors and in partnership with Garden Farms, added 18 new school gardens to the CCSD.
Happy Holidays from the Staff at Green Our Planet!
         From left to right: Diana Garcia, Bonnie Cooper, Erik Truelson, Kelsey Smith, Kim                  MacQuarrie, Karina Mariscal, Ciara Byrne, Sabina Malik, and Andi Kenzer
 
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