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School Garden Support & Training

For over 30 years, SFC's Grow Local has helped Central Texans start and sustain school gardens by connecting parents, teachers, and community members with the training and resources they need in order to establish, use, sustain, and advocate for school gardens.

School gardens offer children (and adults!) opportunities to grow food and discover how delicious and fun eating fresh fruits and vegetables can be. Research shows that in addition to increasing children's openness to, preference for, and intake of healthy foods, school garden participation improves academic performance, social behavior, and appreciation for the environment.

GET GOING!

Trainings and Resources

  • School Garden Leadership Training. Offered twice a year in the fall and spring, these trainings empower school staff, parents, and community members to plan, start, and sustain a school garden. CE credit available through AISD for teachers. (see SFC’s Classes page)
  • School Garden Classroom Training. Offered in late fall, this peer-facilitated, hands-on training provides guidance on how to use the school garden for classroom learning. Local school garden leaders share lessons and best practices. CE credit available through AISD for teachers. (see SFC’s Classes page)
  • SFC’s Grow Local School Garden Start-up Guide and School Garden Activity Guide (available for purchase) provide guidance on how to establish and maintain a school garden and also provide gardening, food systems, and cooking activities for youth.

Support

  • We offer consultation on organizing, planning, building, and using school gardens. Please call or email us using the contact information below.
  • Enroll your school garden in the Spread the Harvest program and receive free seeds, transplants, compost, and fertilizer.
  • If you are an AISD school interested in starting or expanding a garden, submit an AISD Application for Schoolyard Improvement Projects to projectrequest@austinisd.org. An AISD work order requesting review of the application is also required.
  • If you are an AISD school and would like to serve, donate, or sell your school garden harvest, consult AISD's Harvest Guide for guidelines. Download and submit AISD's Garden to Cafe Program Approval Form, and download the Harvest Receipt Form form to track your harvest.
  • Join the Central Texas School Garden Network, an online forum, to receive and share information about grants, resources, and classes.
  • Download the Funding Opportunities PDF on our Grow Local page and apply for a grant. We are happy to review your application.
  • Do you work at school serving a predominately low-income community? Bring a Community Introduction to Food Gardening class to your school. The class will teach school staff, parents, and community members how to grow food successfully and help your school garden thrive.
  • Need school garden volunteers? Let us know, and we will share your volunteer needs and requests with our community of SFC volunteers.

KEEP LEARNING!

  • Advance your gardening skills by attending SFC's gardening classes.
  • Inspire youth to grow food! Schedule a field trip to SFC's Teaching Garden during the school year. Visit the Teaching Garden page for details.

Contact

Bianca Bidiuc Peterson, Grow Local School Garden Manager

p: 512-220-1097

bianca@sustainablefoodcenter.org