School Gardens: Lets Get Them Growing

There are so many schools these days growing some kind of grub, or making plans for a garden in the future. It’s so wonderful to see parents, teachers and students alike get all excited over a school yard garden space and the benefits to learning, health and happiness are significant.

This post will gather all the school garden resources I know of. Please send it along to your favorite parent, teenager, principle, teacher or community health worker to help spread the word, the funding and the resources. If you have any knowledge to add please leave us a comment.

Support for School Gardens in Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture has a School Garden Project, which includes a small funding program (up to $500) for new school gardens and a School Garden Resource Guide.

Garden Funding

In addition to the Department of Agriculture’s school garden funding there are a few other funding sources. These include:

Evergreen: School Ground Greening Project

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Wellness Funds: You can apply through your local Community Health Board

Local Food Fund: They are not currently open for applications but check back in the summer 2012.Inglis Street Elementary School's new garden.

In addition to applying for grants you can talk to your principal to brainstorm funding options and also bring the idea to your community at large. Some local businesses may be interested in sponsoring your project.

Learning More

The internet has endless amounts of information on school gardens, so much so that sometimes it’s helpful to have a curated list. Here is ours.

This school garden grows some serious food!Local Information:

Edible Schoolyard: Video produced by Slow Food Nova Scotia telling the story of a very successful school garden program and Arthur Hines Elementary in Hants County. This dvd is available at a public library near you.

SPEC’s School Garden Start-up Guide: Another school garden resource guide, put out by a group in B.C. Has a great list of tools, some helpful advice and a month-by-month break down of what to think about when.

School Food Gardens- Challenges, Barriers and How to Overcome Them. A great short article on what to do about summer maintenance, vandalism, and engagement.

Sample Garden Budget: To give you an idea of start-up costs.

School Resource List: An extensive list of local and international resources in case you haven’t found what you are looking for here.

You can also get in touch with a school near you that already has a garden. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at this school garden list to see if someone down the road might have some advice to offer.

Look to your community for knowledge you posses collectively. Farmers are experts at growing grub here in Nova Scotia. Get in touch with an Atlantic Master Gardener, whose role is to offer their gardening know-how to the general public as part of the program. You can email the President to ask for a volunteer to teach you and your school more about growing food.

Saving Tomato Seeds For Next Year. Here are 3 amazing web resources from projects in the USA:

California School Garden Network

Kids Gardening

The Edible Schoolyard

Rubber boots to share.

Well that’s what I have, I hope it is helpful. Of course you are always welcome to give us a call here at the Urban Garden Project (902.442.1077) and we’ll do our best to help you out and point you in the right direction.

Written by: Garity Chapman

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