Kip Rondy basks in the winter bounty of fresh greenhouse grown greens at Green Edge Gardens.

Green and Growing Through the Winter

Student Activity based on “Green and Growing Through the Winter” from the February/March 2011Our Ohio magazine.


Academic Content Standard
(English Language Arts: Grade 3): This Student Activity helps students “determine the meaning of unknown words using context clues, dictionaries, technology and textual features such as sidebars” as well as using reading applications associated with informational text. Students will read “questions and identify answers, and identify and list the important central ideas and supporting details.”

(Note: Key terms in bold used from the Ohio Academic Content Standards, K-12 English Language Arts, December, 2001.)

Discussion points

  1. Why is it so interesting that this farmer grows food during the winter months?
  2. What is the typical growing season in Ohio?
  3. How do these farmers grow food during the winter? What growing techniques do they use?
  4. What other word could be used for “innovative” in this paragraph?
  5. Why is it important to sell a product year-round for a farmer?  What is the benefit of being able to do this?
  6. Define the word “unique.”  Did you use context clues or a dictionary for the definition?
  7. What is a community supported agriculture organization? According to the article, how does this work?
  8. Green Inside tells the reader about the next section of the magazine article.  What do you think the next section will discuss?
  9. What are the three new or creative things that Mr. Rondy uses to grow plants in the winter?
  10. Farmers in Athens County, Ohio typically grow corn, wheat, soybeans and hay on their farms.  What does Mr. Rondy grow on his farm?
  11. What would a “controlled environment grow room” look like?
  12. Look up the word “hollow” in a dictionary. Which definition is the right one for the way the word is used in this paragraph?
  13. According to the article, explain whether the following items are good or bad for the winter farm:  snow, row covers, aphids, fungus, cold.
  14. Predict what the next section of the article will discuss with the heading “An economic edge.”
  15. When the farmer says that “it’s all about cash flow,” explain what she means.  How do you know this is the meaning?
  16. Who works on this winter farm?
  17. What might a customer receive in his/her basket of farm products in the winter?
  18. The article says that Becky writes a newsletter as a “value-added” feature. Explain what “value-added” means in this context.

Hands on at Home or School

  1. Would you read this article to be informed, to follow directions or to be entertained? Explain.
  2. What extra information can be found on this article’s sidebar?
  3. Do the pictures and captions give you more information for this article?  How?
  4. The central idea for the last section of the article is that the farmers make money by selling their product during the winter.  What are the supporting details in these paragraphs?
  5. Identify fact or opinion:  “‘massaged’ kale – a clever preparation for softening hardy greens without cooking.”
  6. Go to the farm’s website.
  7. What do they grow?
  8. Who are they?  Click here to meet the folks who own and run the farm.
  9. Click on Athens Hills CSA.  What do you get when you become a member of this CSA?
  10. Vocabulary: Choose three words from this article that are not familiar.  Using context clues or a dictionary, define the words.
  11. What words could be used instead of the word in the article without changing the meaning of the sentence?


  • Using a map of Ohio located at the Ohio Department of Transportation, or your own map.


  1. Athens County, Ohio
  2. Find other CSA’s locations on an Ohio map
  3. Waynesville
  4. Wilmington
  5. Springfield
  6. Massillon
  7. Bucyrus
  8. Centerville

This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.