School Gardens

Food is one of life's basic needs. School gardens are being used across Alberta at all grade levels to help young people understand and appreciate the industry that grows, processes, and delivers safe, abundant food to Albertans every day. The gardening process also encourages students to make healthy food choices. Below you will find resources to help Alberta teachers plan and fund a school garden. If you have a gardening resource or program that you would like to add to our list, contact us at ag.education@gov.ab.ca.

Resources

  • A Guide to Growing School Gardens in Alberta is a reference document for teachers wanting to start a school garden. It has curricular links, lesson ideas, planning tools and timing charts to support teachers of all grade levels as they implement gardening in their classroom.
  • Earth Boxes are a great way to get started with gardening in the classroom. The kits contain everything you need to start your own garden. They can also be ordered through Boreal.
  • Farm to Cafeteria Canada's School Food Map has a "living map of activities underway to get more healthy local foods in the minds and on the plates of students." Teachers can find out what other schools are doing to grow vegetables for their schools and can add their school to the list.
  • Building Your Own Home Garden is a helpful online gardening resource.
  • The Guide to Gardening at Home is a resource recommended to us by a student here in Alberta. It has some great tips for beginning gardeners.
  • Got Dirt is a garden tool kit, provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, for implementing school gardens.
  • Got Veggies from the Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program, is filled with practical and very effective suggestions for connecting children with gardening and nutrition.
  • Wonderville is a cutting-edge, online destination where kids can explore science. Operated by Mindfuel (formerly Science Alberta Foundation), they offer resources for all grade levels that support the Science curriculum, including careers and technology in Science. Their Living Things section of the site has 79 resources with 19 devoted specifically to plants.

Programs

  • Little Green Thumbs. The Little Green Thumbs program, coordinated by Ag for Life in Alberta, offers teachers the materials and training they need to grow vegetables in their classroom.
  • Nutrients for Life is a science-based program that provides teachers with funding, resources and support to start a learning garden in their school.

Funding

There are many organizations that provide funding for school and community gardens. The garden funding sources list is a starting point for teachers but all information should be confirmed with each funding organization.