Start A School Food Garden

Integrate growing food with your curriculum. Learn how other schools have been successful and how you can start a garden in your school or district.

  • Take Action In the Garden

    School Food Gardens—Challenges, barriers and how to overcome them
    Challenges such as what to do with a school garden during the summer months and how to prevent vandalism are common to most schools. Don't let these situations prevent you from gardening! Find out how schools in BC manage these situations and keep up the enthusiasm for school gardens.
    LifeCycles offers workshops to schools in the Greater Victoria Region to learn about seed planting, harvesting, pollination, and putting the garden to bed for the winter.

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  • Garden Resources

    Check out this toolkit for high schools to grow foods from September to June.
    This resource manual for how to run a school garden includes how-to's, lesson plans and curriculum links. From Project LifeCycles in Victoria ($20).
    From Asparagus to Zucchini, here's West Coast Seeds' guide on how to grow and harvest vegetables from seed.

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  • Community Partners & Associations

    BC’s award winning Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is a non-profit organization that works through its various programs with educators to bring BC’s agriculture to students in BC.
    Evergreen is a leading national funder and facilitator of local, sustainable greening projects in schoolyards, parks and communities across Canada.
    Lifecycles is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to cultivating awareness of and initiating action around food, health and urban sustainability in the Greater Victoria community.

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  • Garden Research

    School Food Gardens—Benefits to Students
    There is growing interest around the world for using gardens as a hands-on learning opportunity that can be integrated into a wide-range of subject areas. Studies of food-producing gardens in schools cite many benefits.
    The GREEN Tool: For Well Integrated School Gardens
    Why do some gardens flourish while others start out with a bang but fizzle over time? Columbia University's Laurie M. Tisch Centre for Food, Education & Policy identified 19 components shared by successful gardens in 21 New York City schools
    Garden Program in Australia Shows Positive Health Behaviour Change
    Both, teachers and parents have noticed positive health behaviour changes in children that have been involved with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program in Australia.

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  • Garden Policies

    Vancouver Board of Education Food Garden Policy
    The Vancouver Board of Education encourages and supports the development of school food gardens. The School Board first adopted a Food Garden Policy and a Garden Process in February 2010. It has since been revised (October 2011) to reflect the lessons learned during the first year of its use. This document includes the full policy statement and outlines a process for schools to follow for establishing food producing gardens, using the garden produce and composting plant waste. Many of the steps will be relevant to other schools working towards establishing their own food-producing gardens.

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  • Garden Success Stories

    School Garden Success Stories
    Starting a school garden or looking for ways to improve your existing one? Check out some of these great success stories. Read about how schools have funded their garden projects, problem solved and increased community involvement using various strategies.
    Community Greenhouse in Invermere
    Groundswell Network Society in Invermere has been operating community gardens since 2000 and recognized that summer gardens weren’t the ideal way to serve schools. Groundswell and David Thompson Secondary School formed a project team in 2006 and collaborated on the idea of creating a Community Greenhouse, extending the growing season, including the broader community and creating a place where students could actively participate in growing, tending and harvesting the plants for use in salads they make in the school cafeteria. Refuse is then used as compost for the greenhouse, completing the cycle.
    Edible School Grounds Workshop Leads to School Garden Network
    Kootenay Lake School District hosted a workshop on Edible School Grounds that brought together over 50 people to explore the successes and challenges of school gardens. Word about their good work is spreading as interest in the network now extends beyond their school district to other Interior schools.

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Making it Happen: Healthy Eating at School
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