One4mom4All asks:

How to start a school garden at our elementary school?

We are thinking about starting a school garden, but don't have an expert gardener among our parent group, nor do we have a faculty expert either. Are there any organizations that provide free information and advice to schools and parent groups seeking to create a school garden?

Also, our school doesn't have a rich parent community, and the school doesn't really have budget for this project either. Are there low-cost ways to get a school garden growing?

Provided we overcome those challenges and do get this project up and running...

Do you have any tips to suggest, or checklists and plans that we should review, to ensure the success of our garden? Specific food crops you recommend for elementary school children? Our school is located in California.

Also, if you have related lesson plans or garden learning activities to share, please include links, as we believe this could help get the teachers involved in the garden too.

Thanks for your help!
In Topics: School and Academics, Nature and outdoors, Green living
> 60 days ago

dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, Here is an article from the Tampa Bay School Gardening Network that has a variety of information to help schools start gardens...

Benefits of School Gardening

At the end of that article is a link to the California School Garden Network, which offers LOTS of information that you'll find useful (including a "Getting Started FAQ):

They also link to an online School Garden Wizard you can use to plan for success:

There are also grants your school can apply for:

You can also ask parents to donate seeds, seedlings and plants from their gardens at home (as well as their family's time on weekends to help tend to the garden). Your local home and garden retailers may be interested in donating supplies too -- particularly if you offer a plaque in the garden with their brand on it, and/or mention their donation in your parent newsletter, or otherwise promote their donation to their potential customers.

Here is information that connects the garden to state education standards, as well as lesson plans:

I'm including some additional resources from below, to support you in this project. Good luck, and thanks for asking!

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DrDebbie writes:
Remember that your state Cooperative Extension Office has a variety of information on gardening.  The 4-H program may be a place to start--contact your local county extension office.

North Carolina A&T has a wonderful program on Discovering Agriculture.

I know the California Extension Service has many fine programs and resources that will be helpful. If they have a Master Gardener program, you might be able to get some volunteer help from them.

The Farm Bureau in your state may also have many programs that might be of interest.  

Deborah Gaddis, Ph.D.  Miss. State University Extension Forestry

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grannysgard... writes:
Visit  Be sure and check out our Schoolyard Nature Network link for questions to ask yourself before you start a schoolgarden project.
> 60 days ago

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