School Gardens are a great way to learn and to connect school and community
Here’s how to get started:
- Gather a group. Invite motivated and dedicated students, parents, school staff, Master Gardeners and other community members to participate.
- Make a plan. Determine what is needed – people, tools, funds, seeds etc. Establish goals for the garden and how to secure resources.
- Determine a site. Seek a flat, well drained and sunny (at least six hours a day) area. Will the garden/s will be in the ground or in raised beds? Is there access to water?
- Plant. Develop a schedule for what will be planted, who will maintain the garden, and how the harvest will be used.
- Learn and celebrate the garden. Develop activities to have fun and learn from the garden. Celebrate the harvest and the accomplishments of all involved.
- Evaluate. Learn from challenges and successes and begin plans for next years gardening.
- The American Community Garden Association has tools to help start a garden and a national community garden registry to add details about your garden or search for others.
- American Heart Association Teaching Gardens – creates a learning laboratory and provides materials for planting day (garden beds, soil, seeds, etc.) aimed at elementary students who learn how to plant, nurture, harvest and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits.
- Life Lab Guide to Starting a School Garden
- Guilford County School Garden Network Garden Planning Checklist
- National Food Service Managment Institute Food Safety Tips for School Gardens
- National Gardening Association – teacher links, lesson and activity ideas, how-to guides, classroom projects and listing of funding opportunities.
- Garden planner from Gardener’s Supply Co. pre-planned and design your own gardens
- Garden instruction videos from Gateway Greening
- Seed Saver’s Herman’s Gardens seed donation program lots of heirloom seeds for cost of shipping
- See Funding Ideas for opportunities to fund your garden project