Getting Started

Let's Get Your Garden Off the Ground!

Getting Started

Slow Food USA School Garden Guide     This comprehensive free guide covers school gardens from the design stage, to volunteer recruitment, fundraising, curriculum, marketing, evaluation, and more. If you are only going to consult one guide, this is it!

Steps to a School Garden     This resource, provided by the Collective School Garden Network, outlines the steps to a school garden, beginning with the question of why, and ending with strategies for assessment and promotion. Download  the full resource guide here.

Create and Sustain a Program (Kids Gardening)     Just as the title says, this resource covers the essentials of building a garden from the ground up, and goes a step beyond by providing in-depth information on sustaining programs through grants and local supports.

Designing a School Garden (Kids Gardening)     This is the go-to place for tips on strategic, creative, and inclusive design!

School Garden Wizard     The wizard provides a step by step guide for crafting a school garden proposal, details planning for design and maintenance, and includes great beginning curriculum ideas.

Oregon School Garden Resource Guide 2017     Like the name says, this is an Oregon specific guide to school gardens. Consult this if you are looking to learn face to face through conferences and workshops, or are simply curious to know more about what Oregon is doing in Farm to School.

Oregon Farm to School and School Gardens    Head here to find out how the Oregon Department of Education can support your school garden efforts.

Engaging University Interns In School Gardens   This internship toolkit for school districts, school garden support, and universities was developed by the UC Davis Student Farm, Life Lab at UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley.

Got Dirt? and Hay Tierra?      This school garden resource is put out by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and is available in English and Spanish.

Comenzar y Mantener un Huerto Escolar     Se presentan algunos pasos a seguir para comenzar con un proyecto de huerto escolar.

Gardening How-To's

Oregon Food Bank Seed to Supper    This beginning gardening resource is available in English and Spanish. You can download it directly from the Oregon Food Bank, or you can enroll in a free 6-week Seed to Supper course.

Yard and Garden (Metro)   In addition to covering gardening basics, this Oregon based resource (Portland Metro Area) provides tips for dealing with garden pests, selecting native plants for pollinators and other wildlife, and includes opportunities for learning in person.

Gardening Basics (Kids Gardening)   This everything but the kitchen sink resource covers planting trees, saving seeds, preserving the harvest, gardening indoors, summer and winter care, and much, much more.

Trainings and Workshops

Growing Gardens    Located in Portland, Growing Gardens leverages their expertise in home and school gardens in offering a school garden coordinator training and running a professional learning community for garden educators. Trainings are not free, however their online curriculum resources are.  The workshop schedule can be found here.

Growing School Gardens    This online community offers regular webinars designed to support educators in maximizing the impact of their garden programs.

School Garden Project of Lane County     Based in Eugene, the School Garden Project offers educators a variety of professional development opportunities.

Soil Health for School Gardens     Washington County’s Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District provides downloadable workshop materials on sustainable farming, school gardens, and general best practices for soil health. Contact Chantel Huff to set up a workshop or training.

City Sprouts    Specializing in public school gardens, City Sprouts offers a webinar archive that thoroughly addresses best practices and strategies for using the school garden to teach any subject.

Corvallis Environmental Center    The Corvallis Environmental Center is home to the Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE). This 1-acre production garden is an excellent model for pairing community education with food access initiatives–the food produced here is donated to local food banks and soup kitchens. But wait! There’s more! Check out the workshop and event schedule here.

Recommended Reading

Maritime Northwest Garden Guide    This guide outlines which plants can be planted and harvested each month, and covers seasonal tips and tricks for a productive garden. Useful throughout Oregon, recommendations are based on the growing season from Vancouver, B.C. to Roseburg Oregon, and from the foot of the Cascades to the coast.

Sustainable Food Center’s Grow Local School Garden Start-up Guide   Austin, Texas’s Sustainable Food Center, a leader in food education and access, provides educators across the U.S. with an in-depth and detailed guide to starting and sustaining a school garden.

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers    This resource, published by Oregon’s own Timber Press, provides parents, teachers, and school administrators with the basics of how to build and maintain school gardens and associated educational programs.