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Project Overview

for those who have absolutely no idea what's going on

We are the ROBOWhizards, team 4 in the First Lego League. FLL is a middle school robotics competition. The tournament theme this year is "Climate Connections". We created a project that addressed two of the ways in which our area, the suburbs of Philadelphia, contributes to the current problems regarding changes in climate. One of these is the transportation of food. The majority of our food comes from far away - across the country and even overseas. Shipping food over long distances releases tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The other involves current farming practices. Current conventional farming methods using chemical fertilizers, monocrops and feedlots wreak havoc on the climate by creating huge amounts of greenhouse gas, while the organic farming methods actually sequesters carbon and becomes part of the solution (see studies by the Rodale Institute).

We chose to address these problems by encouraging people to become committed to getting local and organic food: visiting farmer's markets, joining Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), and growing their own vegetables. These are just a few of the possibilities. We created our own garden boxes that met some of the particular difficulties of our locality, particularly the problem presented by so much asphalt and concrete (we got some ideas from The New Agrarian Center). At the same time we are promoting the use of the Square foot gardening methods that reduce the need for space to efficiently produce and encourage participation from family and community members. (see Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew).

Finally, we were inspired by an article in the New York Times called Farmer in Chief by Michael Pollan to start a postcard campaign to the President and the Governor. We are asking them to consider a request to create gardens in their own yards as an example for other people to follow.

Our brochure includes a copy of the post cards for you to print and use. They are a part of the manual we have produced to provide you with information and instructions to build your own Sustainable, Regenerative, Organic, Square Foot, Asphalt, Victory Garden!

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