School Gardens: A Place to Learn, Grow, and Succeed.
School gardens are the ultimate outdoor classroom! They provide authentic, real-world, inquiry-based learning that is hands-on, educational, and fun. Best of all, school gardens can be used to integrate any classroom subject while meeting a variety of curriculum standards. Kids are more active and more engaged in a school garden and, as an added benefit, they are exploring and tasting new healthy foods! Research demonstrates that kids love to eat what they help grow, just as they love learning when they are actively involved in the process.
Beyond the education standards, school gardens provide appealing and nutritious vegetables, fruits, and herbs that can be used to supplement the school lunch program and provide the raw materials for classroom activities. There are different models of school gardens all over the world, country, and region. Gardens can serve many purposes and can take many shapes; the only limit is the imagination of you and your students.
This guide presents creative ways to plan, plant, and maintain a garden in Northeast Iowa in a way that aligns planting and harvesting with the school year. We hope that this guide will serve as a helpful and inspiring resource for schools in Northeast Iowa and beyond.
“Growing a School Garden: A Guide for Northeast Iowa Schools” is a collaboration between the Pepperfield Project, Luther College, and the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative (FFI). The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Community Program and is working to transform our food and fitness systems. This resource is meant to provide guidance to schools starting their first garden, as well as practical tips for schools that already have gardens.
Published: April 2013
- Growing a School Garden: Complete Guide (3590 KB PDF Document)Complete guide for growing a school garden
- Growing a School Garden: Curriculum (85 KB PDF Document)Easy, fun ways to bring the garden to your classroom
- Growing a School Garden: Timeline (217 KB PDF Document)Your school's garden: what to do and when to do it
- Growing a School Garden: Breaking New Ground (57 KB PDF Document)How to prepare a new garden space
- Growing a School Garden: Infrastructure (563 KB PDF Document)The ins and outs of building your garden
- Growing a School Garden: Supplies & Equipment (75 KB PDF Document)What every garden needs
- Growing a School Garden: Composting (209 KB PDF Document)Turning "trash" into tasty plant food!
- Growing a School Garden: Planting Schedule (53 KB PDF Document)When to plant which crops
- Growing a School Garden: Planting Day Checklist (55 KB PDF Document)What to do on the big day!
- Growing a School Garden: Planting Guide (1020 KB PDF Document)Helpful information on planting and plant care
- Growing a School Garden: Herb Guide (166 KB PDF Document)A quick look at growing and using your own herbs
- Growing a School Garden: Diseases & Pests (77 KB PDF Document)Keeping your garden healthy: disease control and pest management
- Growing a School Garden: Garden Care Checklist (56 KB PDF Document)Keeping track of garden maintenance
- Growing a School Garden: Extending the Season (242 KB PDF Document)Getting more out of your garden
- Growing a School Garden: Food Safety (323 KB PDF Document)Growing produce that's safe (and yummy!) to eat
- Growing a School Garden: Harvest Log Template (118 KB PDF Document)A sample harvest log for recording your school's produce
- Growing a School Garden: School Gardens 101 (559 KB PDF Document)An additional quick reference guide