1st Annual Green Fair at Beachwood Elementary on Thurs. July 28 at 12pm


Bears Care Garden and the Beachwood Elementary PTO is hosting the first annual Green Fair at Beachwood Elementary School on Thursday July 28th from 12pm to 3pm in the Ferry Lanes Parking Lot.

The school grounds will be transformed into an environment of sustainability displays, entertainment and craft fair vendors with a variety of professional stalls. To add to the excitement, educational offerings and classes will be scheduled in our busy Garden Space and Outdoor Classroom Area.

The Green Fair Garden Festival is not to be missed!

Every year the Green Fair will highlight the progress and many features of Bears Care Garden so visitors can experience the Garden at the height of the growing season. Please support and spread the word about the Green Fair.

Thank you! Hope to see you all there.

Volunteers Needed to Water Bears Care Garden This Summer

Attention Beachwood Families! Would you like to help out the garden club and volunteer to water Bears Care Garden this summer? You can make a difference by signing up for 1 shift or many shifts! Watering the garden is EASY!

volunteers needed

6 Steps to Watering Bears Care Garden

Step 1Sign up! Visit this site and check the calendar. Let us know which day you can spare an hour or so to come water the garden.

Step 2 – Show up! The garden needs to be watered once a day when it doesn’t rain. Please come on the day you sign up for.

Step 3 – Locate the beige garden hose and orange handled wrench inside the garden fence (see picture), connect the hose to the spigot on the outside wall of the school on the corner closest to the garden. Just outside door #8. Use the orange wrench to turn the water on above where the hose connects.

watering the garden
where to connect the hose
Step 4 – Spray every garden bed slowly with the “shower” setting on the hose sprayer. Make sure each garden is good and soaked. We want that water to get way down into ALL those roots! Plants that produce food need lots of water.

Step 5 – Don’t forget to water the plants outside the brick beds – The fig tree, the kiwi and the raspberries in the corner. Those milk crate planters need water too!

Step 6 – When you are done, turn off the water, disconnect the hose and please coil it neatly by the garden entrance. Leave the wrench there too.

Great job! You are done!

Please come help build the garden paver walkway this weekend


The garden committee will be working at the Bears Care Garden this Saturday & Sunday, May 21st & 22nd from 8 am to 6pm (ish). We will be working on the paver walkways – preparing the paths and installing those engraved brick pavers. Please come and help if you are able. Even just an hour or two would be greatly appreciated.

Though we are aware of the current forecast which predicts a 90% chance of rain on Saturday, we will try to work through it as long as it’s not raining too hard. Naturally, if it’s persistent rain we will likely postpone at that time.

Thank you! Hope to see you there!

Garden Committee Meeting Today at 3pm & Garden Club Tomorrow at 8am


Bears care garden committee is scheduled for May 10th at 3 pm.
Topics will be:

  • Transplanting seedlings;
  • Bears Care Garden Appreciation Day (preview invites and programs);
  • “Green Fair” which is scheduled for Thursday July 28th from 12-3;
  • and upcoming expenses.

This week 8AM Garden Club will continue to meet in the garden space before school starts.

We are seeking a referral for a local sprinkler company to give us an additional estimate for the Bears Care Garden. Please share your experiences with local companies with us.

The Bears Care Garden Receive the “Principals Innovation Challenge” Award

headerOur garden is growing, and so are the funds to make it an amazing outdoor classroom and community project. This week we received the good news that we are the recipients of the “Principals Innovation Challenge”. We are grateful to the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation for their generosity as we “grow” our initiative of fit bodies and fit minds by incorporating healthful eating!

Many thanks to all the Beachwood Bears for contributing to the Earth Day contest. (see flyer below) All funds generated from this initiative will go toward materials, supplies, and tools for our garden and outdoor classroom.

Mrs. Kelly Josberger
Beachwood Elementary School


1st Garden Club Meeting Project – Milk Crate Planters for Spring Greens

The Bears Care Garden Club began regular weekly meetings this morning and will continue to meet every Wednesday morning at 8am in the garden space before school starts.


This morning, Garden Coordinator, Theresa L., came prepared with some milk crates for the students to upcycle into garden planters for spring greens. Theresa and the students lined the planters with straw and some newspaper and then filled the crates with compost. The crates were stacked, creating 2 small pyramids on either side of the center aisle, between the outdoor classroom benches.


Students planted lettuce, swiss chard and other greens in the planters – they finished up just in time, right before the school bell rang!

Join us next week, Wednesday morning at 8am, to see what’s growing and help care for the Bears Care Garden!


This weekend’s fence progress, first spring planting and bench construction


Thank you bears care garden committee! Sunday, April 10th was a productive day in garden!

The children began by weeding the beds and together, we planted the first crops in the garden space. We placed a thin layer of newspaper just below the soil surface to keep the weeds down while the seeds sprout. Poking small planting holes through the paper, the children planted peas along the edge of the garden bed. Once the plants are tall enough, the pea vines will cling to the chain link fence around the garden edge.

JOIN US! Garden Club Meetings Start This Wednesday, April 13th at 8am, Before School Starts, in the Garden


The cinderblocks have little planting spaces inside them. We used these spaces along the edges of the garden beds to start planting marigolds to help control pests. Marigolds repel some insects that would cause damage to crops and is also used to deter bunnies from chomping on young plants. These small planting spaces were also used to start herbs around the edges of the gardens, including: scallions, oregano, parsley, cilantro and chives.


Parent volunteers began constructing benches for the outdoor classroom.

Additional fencing was generously donated by Carl’s Fencing in Toms River, NJ and our garden committee made terrific progress putting it up. All that’s left to finish the fence is to install the gate!


Also, take a look at the new banner created to promote the Bears Care Garden at local events! Please visit our gallery to view more pictures from this garden work day.

New Spring Fundraiser & Garden Club to Meet Wednesday Mornings


Download this flyer as a pdf

Bears Care Garden Button Pins and Peppermint Smencil Sale – This Friday, April 8th

Only $1 each.
All proceeds will support the garden project.

New Spring Fundraiser

1. Purchase Springtime Coloring Pages…
2. Decorate and turn them in…
3. Then Race with other classes to win a prize!

Coloring pages cost $1 each, so buy as many as you like. The sale begins on April 15th and ends April 20th. The class who raises the most money wins and will be announced on Earth Day!

Garden Club Meetings Begin Next Wednesday

The garden club will begin having regular meetings on Wednesday mornings at 8am beginning next Wednesday, April 13th.

Garden Notes…

Outdoor planting will begin soon. Garden gloves are recommended for students. If you would like your child to wear gloves, please send them in to school with their name on them. Also, please save newspaper (newsprint – not shiny, colorful ads) to be used as weed control in garden.

Thank you for your support!

Meeting Minutes from March 8 School Garden Committee Meeting

Beachwood Elementary Vegetable Garden Committee – Media Center at Beachwood Elementary

Planting-SeedsMarch 8th 2016

Attendance: Amanda C., Andrew C., Michelle E., Heather C., Gloria M., Jenn L., Sue M., T. Lindemann, A. Nylander, L. O’Donnell, A., M. LaRoche, J. Citta, K. Mayer, M. Castor, D. Cameron, A. Huhn, B. Betz, D. Staffieri, S. Krean, D. Calabrese, L. Mabie, S. Wiest, K. Muir, K. Josberger, R. Lunn & H. Steadman

Old Business

  • 1. Lunch time selling mint Smencils & bears care garden pins set for Fri March 11 & Fri April 8th (lunch 11-12:45) – Success! Raised $277.00
    • show students information board detailing what’s to come
  • 2. Work date for fence and benches
    • Date is planned for Sunday March 13th. – Very productive. Kids were helpful
    • Still need to finish fence and plan to also make benches Sunday 4/10/16
    • Engraved bricks may arrive by then we can review order also…
  • 3. Spring fundraiser: cut out symbols; students purchase & decorate them… Hang like chains in cafeteria… Classroom that purchases the most wins a prize(ideas welcome)
    • We plan to announce the winner on Earth day Friday April 22.
    • Please let me know if you’d like to help on subcommittee for this. Help will be
      • i. Begin sale on April 15th. Need subcommittee to sell Fri April 15th; Monday April 18th and Wednesday April 20th (SALE ENDS WED) from 11:00-12:45
      • ii. Need volunteers to hang papers in cafeteria Thursday April 21… needed to prepare symbols, sell symbols, and then hang them up… Subcommittee will be led by Jessica Bonelli (please contact us if interested in helping this subcommittee)

New Business

  • 1. Sprinklers: hopefully we have news to share
    • We met with sprinkler guy and he will be getting back to us with an estimate.
  • 2. Seed selection:
    • Parent volunteers are available to help plant seeds inside the classroom.
    • Plan to start next set of seeds 1st week of April (right after Spring Break)
    • Follow up on Eggplant seeds: variables from class to class
  • 3. Events to plan:
    • look into making rain barrel
    • Summer Event – Green Festival; Zumba will be present (looking into who ran the class for Beachwood) perhaps we can do this ‘class’ as a fundraiser and also make some $ for the bears care garden…
    • since meeting I have been working on planning this event. Have positive response from Save the Barnegat bay, Friends of IBSP, and Jake’s Branch Park… Working on planning a date.
      • 1. Would also like to reach out to have DARE represented
      • 2. Beachwood police to discuss bicycle safety
      • 3. Someone from recycling perhaps
      • 4. Mayors wellness campaign
      • 5. Someone about seed saving
      • 6. Nutritionist
      • 7. Possible sell tables to vendors (esp. green/organic vendors or craft
      • 8. repurpose or eco conscious crafts) make $

      Also looking to form a subcommittee of helpers with this event…

  • 4. Ideas what to do with extra seeds: we will have a lot!!!!
    • Is there a club we can link up with to make seed paper for fundraiser/ mother’s day etc…. Ideas?

Open to public

  • 1. New Fundraising idea approved to plan paint party. We can do for parents or parents and students. Also need to decide if we want to have at school (FALL 2016) and therefore no alcohol or out at a location either to buy food and drinks or BYOB (in this case no student participation)
    • Also need volunteers to help with this subcommittee (participants Theresa Lindemann & Amanda Cimino)
  • 2. We will be starting an am club for any student and parents who want to arrive to garden space before school. This club will meet 2x a week to weed even before we plant outdoors… most likely in April or May… Led by a parent Sue Marang with the support of the entire committee
  • 3. Fall plan for outdoor movie night!!! Will add to PTO calendar…

Adjourn meeting

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a LUCKY time to plant Peas in the garden.


It’s St. Patrick’s Day and pea planting time is upon us. It’s a springtime ritual, is said to be a tradition that will brink Good Luck and is one of the most satisfying vegetables to plant with kids. The pods are not only fun to find and open, tender sweet peas are an ideal snack for a warm day in the garden.

The soil should be somewhere around 50 degrees, damp but not too wet. Where to plant your peas depends on the sun, you’ll want to get at least 4 hours of direct sunlight, but 6 hours would be better. Peas are a cold weather crop and they do well when the days are still chilly. Once they’ve germinated and grown a couple of inches, you can keep the soil cool and the pods dry and clean by mulching with straw or shredded leaves. The good news is that peas, along with other legumes, don’t need excessively rich soil. They feed themselves by pulling nitrogen from the air and storing it in nodules that grow on their roots. If you leave those roots in the ground after the plants die, they will improve the soil for the next crop you plant there.

Just scratch out a shallow furrow and plant the seed (pea) about 1 1/2″ deep and 1″ apart. You can push the pea into the soil until your finger is covered up to your middle knuckle, that’s about right. You should start seeing their little sprouts poke out in 6 to 14 days. Don’t worry if they are planted close together, they grow better in when planted thickly.

Sometimes, peas from a seed packet are pink instead of green. These have been coated with inoculant, a bacteria that helps the plant receive proper nutrition. If your peas are green, for the highest yield, you can buy a packet of a specially formulated inoculant. This is PURELY optional, though it is especially helpful if you’re planting in a brand new garden spot. Simply coat the seeds by gently shaking in a jar or bag with the inoculant or sprinkle some of the powder into the planting furrow. Just make sure the powder has contact with your seed.

Peas, both vining and bush types, need support. Staking helps to keep them safer from insects and mildew and keeps them cleaner too. When pea season is over, you can use your trellis for cucumbers.



There are lots of different kinds of peas to grow: shelling peas, sugar snaps and snow peas. Sugar snaps are easy and obviously don’t require the time spent shelling because you eat the pods. Even so, shelling time is worth the effort for the taste of shelling peas so save some room to experiment and plant both to see which variety you like best. You can extend your pea season by planting some seeds now and then some more in a week or two.

Once the peas are ready to be picked, find some tasty recipes to prepare, if any of them make it from the garden to the dinner table. We found this one to share…


English Peas and Buttermilk Potatoes

4 red potatoes
1 cup shelled English peas
1/4 cup buttermilk
1-2 T butter
Lots of salt and pepper

I cut up the potatoes and nuked them for about 5 minutes. I boiled the peas in salted water until al dente. Drain everything and pop it back into the pot to dry out a bit. Add the buttermilk and butter and start mashing. Easy PEAsy!