<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/west-end-ib-world-school" title="View articles by West End IB World School">West End IB World School</a>
2011 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award Winner

Students at West End IB World School started down the garden path in 2008 with the introduction of a rain garden. Benefitting 431 students through integrated lessons across the curriculum, the garden grew in 2010 to include native plants. The addition of a vegetable garden in 2011 will allow West End IB World School to complete its outdoor classroom, serve freshly harvested vegetables in the school cafeteria and donate the surplus to local food banks.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/waterford-alternative-high-school" title="View articles by Waterford Alternative High School">Waterford Alternative High School</a>
2011 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award Winner

Impacted by the economic downturn due to the automotive industry reorganization, Detroit-area Waterford School District has experienced a growing need for food assistance. This start-up garden will be located at the Waterford Alternative High School and will benefit 219 students. Working side-by-side with school and administrative staff, along with members of the Waterford Senior Center, students will maintain and harvest the garden, providing vegetables to the Open Door Outreach Center and Forgotten Harvest food banks for families in need.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/robles-elementary-school" title="View articles by Robles Elementary School">Robles Elementary School</a>
2011 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award Winner

For many students at Robles Elementary School, discovering food growing on a plant is a new experience. To help students at this urban, high-poverty school learn about new foods and understand the value of healthy eating, this school located near Tampa, Fla. participates in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program to provide 630 students with an assortment of fresh produce weekly. In partnership with Southwest Florida Water Management, Robles Elementary School will use its new garden as a tool for teaching science and conservation.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/kid-power-inc" title="View articles by Kid Power, Inc.">Kid Power, Inc.</a>
2011 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award Winner

Washington D.C.’s Kid Power is expanding its VeggieTime program with the addition of a vegetable garden at Harriet Tubman Elementary School to better support its students in underserved communities. This well developed environmental science and nutrition program allows youth to participate in the local farmers markets, service learning projects, cooking classes, field trips and guest lectures.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/inver-grove-heights-parks-and-recreation" title="View articles by Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation">Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation</a>
2011 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award Winner

The Salem Hills Community Garden Plots, managed by the Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation and Salem Elementary School, provide 140 community youth with a service learning opportunity to engage in gardening and the environment. Established in May 2010, several plots are designated multi-generational gardens where grandparents, parents and grandchildren garden together, sharing the tradition of gardening. Youth gardeners are taught by Dakota County Master Gardeners and donate 20 percent of harvested food to local food banks.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/michael-burch" title="View articles by Michael Burch">Michael Burch</a>
Home Gardener

Mike Burch shares his unique perspective of living a healthier lifestyle through gardening.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/jon-hopkins" title="View articles by Jon Hopkins">Jon Hopkins</a>
Philly Earth Director

Jon Hopkins is a Permaculture and Sustainable Design Consultant with over 12 years of experience working on projects ranging from small-scale farms to suburban homes and urban gardens. In all of his design, consulting and educational projects Jon seeks to restore ecological balance to landscapes while simultaneously increasing a landscape’s resilience to energy shock or disruption. Jon is passionate about environmental sustainability and is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and skills with youth and urban communities.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/nora-painten" title="View articles by Nora Painten">Nora Painten</a>
Student Farm Project

Nora Painten is a farmer and food lover. She has worked the land professionally for over 4 years and has been working with kids in Brownsville, Brooklyn for the past year. It is her dream to transform every inch of sunny, idle land in the city into food-bearing and community-brightening space. Nora loves fat-cloved garlic, deep green kale, tomatoes with folds and lumps, waxy tomatillos, lantern-shaped hot peppers, and eggs with buoyant orange yolks. She wants to build a space where everyone can partake in these simple joys.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/tiffany-heater" title="View articles by Tiffany Heater">Tiffany Heater</a>
Account Manager | Burpee Home Gardens

Tiffany Heater, account manager for Burpee, was born and raised gardening with her parents in Howell, N.J. She lives in Highland Park, N.J. with her husband and little girl, where they tend to a 600-square-foot garden that grows much of their own food. Tiffany loves to cook, as well as jar anything that's in season to enjoy during the winter.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/jen-haugen" title="View articles by Jen Haugen">Jen Haugen</a>
Gardening Dietician, Austin Hy-Vee

At Austin Hy-Vee, Jen Haugen works passionately promoting nutrition education through media work and kids’ garden and cooking programs. Jen created the Sprouts – Get Out and Grow Program in 2011 after a career dream to create a garden to educate families and children on the connection of fresh food to good health. It is now being implemented at other Hy-Vee’s across the Midwest due to its success. Contact her at and visit her blog

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/scott-mozingo" title="View articles by Scott Mozingo">Scott Mozingo</a>
Product Manager, Burpee Home Gardens

As product manager, Scott has the sweet job of selecting each of the varieties in the Burpee Home Gardens catalog. What does he look for? Trialed garden performance, unique flower colors, and tasty flavors. He's ready with an answer to your gardening questions, and he offers a sneak peek at what's new in the garden shop!

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/george-ball-jr" title="View articles by George Ball Jr.">George Ball Jr.</a>
President of W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

George Ball Jr. is the President of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., the most trusted name in home vegetable gardening. Burpee produces the highest possible quality products with conscientious service, and an enormous quantity of seed selections. Burpee's creative innovation can be seen in the latest catalogue and will be seen for years to come.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/joe-lampl" title="View articles by Joe Lamp’l">Joe Lamp’l</a>
Executive Producer and Host | Growing a Greener World

Joe Lamp’l, founder of The joe gardener® Company, now brings his expertise to viewers through his own show on public television, "Growing a Greener World". A gardening and sustainability communicator through all forms of media and sought-after speaker, Joe shares his knowledge in books, on his blog Compost Confidential, his syndicated column “The Gardener Within”, appearances on the "Today Show", "Good Morning America", "The Victory Garden" and as host of two previous television shows, "Fresh from the Garden" on the DIYNetwork and
"GardenSmart" on PBS. His new show, "Growing a Greener World", is all about the people, places and organizations doing good things for the planet with an emphasis on gardening.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/theresa-loe" title="View articles by Theresa Loe">Theresa Loe</a>
Associate Producer | Growing A Greener World

Theresa Loe is the Associate Producer of Growing A Greener World TV and the resident canning expert, blogging about preserving tips and techniques. Theresa is also the owner of Living Homegrown Fresh, a website dedicated to living locally and sustainably through gardening and canning. She specializes in small space gardening, urban homesteading, educational school gardens and is trained as a Master Food Preserver. Theresa gardens on less than 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles and is able to raise chickens, grow enough food to feed her family of four and preserve the harvest. She has shared this gardening knowledge as a columnist, book author, radio correspondent, video host and video/TV producer.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/chef-nathan-lyon" title="View articles by Chef Nathan Lyon">Chef Nathan Lyon</a>
Chef | Television Host

Chef Nathan Lyon is known across the country for his simple, innovative cuisine featuring fresh, local ingredients. Each week, Chef Lyon shows "Growing a Greener World" viewers how to prepare great meals with home grown vegetables and locally purchased produce, and also offers tips on how to stretch your menu, and your dollar. Among the final four on the second season of "The Next Food Network Star", Lyon is the chef and host of "A Lyon in the Kitchen" (Discovery Health and Fit TV) and has appeared as a guest chef / expert on "Home Made Simple" (TLC) and "Real Simple Real Life" (TLC). A stained glass artist and a trained EMT, Nathan holds a BS in Health Science from James Madison University as well as a Culinary Arts Degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Blending grassroots and gourmet, Nathan believes great meals make great neighbors.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/marci-gilbert" title="View articles by Marci Gilbert">Marci Gilbert</a>
Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger

Marci lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and puppy, Lily. She writes a daily healthy living blog and enjoys trying new recipes, experimenting with ingredients and techniques, and especially likes to bake. Marci has never been a gardener and knows nothing about keeping plants alive, but looks forward to figuring it out through the hot Texas summer. You can also view Marci’s personal blog at or follow her on Twitter® @marcigilbert.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/susan-whetzel" title="View articles by Susan Whetzel">Susan Whetzel</a>
Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger | Recipe Developer

Susan is the food and mommy blogger behind the award-winning site She's Becoming DoughMessTic, where she chronicles her life in the kitchen and beyond. Behind her Virginia home, she and husband Jon have a small garden of raised beds, a grape arbor and thriving berry bushes, despite being novice gardeners. Follow along as she waters and waits, picks and prunes, and hopefully preserves everything her garden grows! Keep up with all the juicy details (and desserts!) at and on Twitter® @doughmesstic.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/chad-schomber" title="View articles by Chad Schomber">Chad Schomber</a>
Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger | Copywriter | Message Architect

Chad lives in Black Earth, Wisconsin and is excited to start his first garden. Since he loves hockey and coaches his son's hockey team, his garden will resemble a hockey rink. No word on if there will be a Zamboni. When he's not mentoring young minds, Chad's ranting and rambling about advertising and the creative process on his blog: You can also follow him on Twitter® @chadschomber.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/erin-etheridge" title="View articles by Erin Etheridge">Erin Etheridge</a>
Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger

Erin Etheridge discovered her interest in gardening when she moved from Chicago to North Carolina, joined a CSA and realized she had no idea how to grow anything. So far, her greatest gardening achievement is getting over the smell of organic fish emulsion fertilizer. After losing her very first container garden of tomatoes to last year's late blight, she hopes to move beyond the grief and successfully grow some vegetables this season. Erin writes about being a mom, a grad student in publishing and the wife of a police officer at You can also follow her on Twitter® @fiercebeagle.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/shawna-lee-coronado" title="View articles by Shawna Lee Coronado">Shawna Lee Coronado</a>
Author and CEO of The Casual Gardener and MAD 4 World Enterprises

Shawna Lee Coronado is a spokesperson, author, newspaper columnist, blogger, and speaker centered on teaching and living a green lifestyle. She has been featured on multiple news television shows such as ABC News and WGN 9 News. Shawna’s critically acclaimed simple living guide, Gardening Nude, inspires readers to help community and get healthy. Shawna’s unique approach includes teaching people how to feed-the-hungry, build community, and live more sustainably with gardening and green living. Learn more about Shawna’s videos, blogs, and eco-adventures at

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/shirley-bovshow" title="View articles by Shirley Bovshow">Shirley Bovshow</a>
Garden Designer | Host of Garden World Report

Los Angeles-based Shirley Bovshow is a nationally recognized garden designer and the producer / host of the weekly, online garden TV entertainment show, Garden World Report. The Garden World Report features the "who's who" of the gardening world as well as passionate gardeners from all over the world as contributors to the show. Hallmarks of Shirley's designs include edible landscapes that integrate edible plants with ornamentals to extend the use of yards for both food production and entertaining, double-duty landscape features, and sustainable gardens. Known as Eden Maker on the web, her style is creative, accessible and fun!

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/megan-mahaffey" title="View articles by Megan Mahaffey">Megan Mahaffey</a>
Guest Blogger 2010

Meet Megan, a wife, a mother of three children ages 6, 7 & 9, and a full-time tax firm manager. “I’m looking to improve our food choices, experience new challenges, and embrace opportunities with my children,” she says. Megan shares snippets of her life at her personal blog,

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/hallie-moore" title="View articles by Hallie Moore">Hallie Moore</a>
Guest Blogger 2010

Hallie, 25, lives in Dallas, Texas, with her fiancé Chase and border collie mix Paisley. The couple are new residents of Dallas, moving from Oklahoma City at the end of last year. Hallie works as an Account Executive for a web design and development firm in Dallas. Hallie loves being outside-going to the park, walking Paisley, riding bikes, and yes gardening. Hallie and Chase are new homeowners and are enjoying working on their new house together and exploring the Dallas Metroplex. Hallie also writes a blog detailing her and Chase's life, their new adventures in Dallas, and their upcoming wedding. You can visit Hallie's daily blog at

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/amanda-green" title="View articles by Amanda Green">Amanda Green</a>
Guest Blogger 2010

Amanda Green is a freelance writer and editor living in New York City. Originally from a small town in Texas, she grew up with green-thumbed parents, homegrown vegetables, and the tallest sunflowers for miles. Central Park has been Amanda’s closest connection to nature for the last few years, but no longer! She (and her neighbors) are excited to see her garden grow on her third-story apartment fire escape. You can learn more about Amanda's daily NYC adventures in life, love, and public transit at

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/greg-matzek" title="View articles by Greg Matzek">Greg Matzek</a>
Guest Blogger 2010

Greg currently lives in Milwaukee, WI and is an area sports radio personality at AM620, WTMJ. “I’ve owned my house for 5 years, but the only thing I’ve grown is crabgrass ... and that stuff doesn't taste good in scrambled eggs,” he says. Greg is excited to try his hand at growing something more useful. He loves sports, landscaping, 78 degrees and three green lights in a row, but does he have a green thumb? We'll find out soon enough. “I’m trying to dispel the myth that a male college athlete, sports nut, and beer drinker, can’t also dig gardening,” he adds. Follow Greg and his first passion, sports, at

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Gary Oppenheimer is the founder of the Campaign, a nationwide effort to educate, encourage and enable gardeners with extra extra produce to easily donate to a local food pantry. gives food pantries the opportunity to be listed in a central nationwide directory so that gardeners can share their fresh produce and, garden-by-garden, help diminish hunger in America.

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President, Garden Writers Association Foundation

Anne Marie Van Nest is an Austin-area garden writer and president of the Garden Writers Association Foundation.

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/burpee-home-gardens" title="View articles by Burpee Home Gardens">Burpee Home Gardens</a>
Edible Gardening Team Members

The Burpee Home Gardens Team is ready to share their knowledge with you!

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<a class="blog-contributor-name" href="/Blog/Contributors/jessie-atchison" title="View articles by Jessie Atchison">Jessie Atchison</a>
Burpee Home Gardens Brand Manager, 2008-2010

Jessie Atchison was the brand manager of Burpee Home Gardens from 2008 to 2010. An avid gardener herself, Jessie started her first vegetable garden at age 8. Since then, through experimentation, practice, practical conversations with fellow gardeners and professional instruction, she has learned how to make gardens sweet, delicious and successful. As a busy 30-something juggling professional life and family, Jessie gardens to escape but also for taste, satisfaction, savings and fun (and, secretly, also to keep up with “the garden lady” down the block). She has tips, tricks and confidence-inspiring advice for vegetable gardeners at all levels. Her motto: Grow as a gardener. It’s okay to fail as long as you learn.

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