Whether learning is a central goal of your garden or not, providing opportunities for gardeners to build their skills and knowledge in the garden will ultimately make for a more engaged garden community. Start by asking yourself: What knowledge and skills are available within my group of gardeners? Whatever knowledge you can’t find in your own garden community, you’re likely to find it in your broader community or at other nearby gardens. Additionally, there are a wealth of garden learning resources in the library and on the web – we’ve included some of our favorites below.
Also, here are some basic tips to get you started: Building Successful Garden Education Programs
And check out the Successful School Garden Video Series, produced by VCGN in 2014 to highlight successful and innovative approaches to community involvement, curriculum integration and engaging youth.
Garden-based Curriculum & Activity Resources
Vermont Garden-based Curriculum Resources
- Food Connects: http://foodconnects.org
- Green Mountain Farm to School: http://www.greenmountainfarmtoschool.org
Resources: GMFTS Summer Activity Guide & other resources
- Kids Gardening: http://www.kidsgardening.org/
- Vermont Harvest of the Month: http://www.vermontharvestofthemonth.org
- Shelburne Farms: http://www.shelburnefarms.org
- Vital Communities – Upper Valley Farm to School Network: http://vitalcommunities.org/valleyfoodfarm/uvfts/
Harvest Lessons: http://vitalcommunities.org/valleyfoodfarm/uvfts/harvestlessons/
- Vermont Farm to School Network: http://vermontfarmtoschool.org
- Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day): http://vtfeed.org/feed-resource-library
including Vermont Farm to School Food, Farm, and Nutrition Curriculum Units (standards-based)
Other Websites with Garden-based Curriculum Resources & Publications
- Community GroundWorks, Got Veggies?, Got Dirt? & Seed to Table: http://www.troygardens.org/resources/publications/curricula
- Cornell University Garden Based Learning: http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/get-activities
- Garden Mosaics: http://communitygardennews.org/gardenmosaics
- Life Lab, School Garden Resources: http://www.lifelab.org/for-educators/schoolgardens/
- National Junior Master Gardener Program: http://jmgkids.us
- National Farm to School Network, Resources: http://www.farmtoschool.org/resources
- REAL School Gardens, Resources: http://www.realschoolgardens.org/resources.aspx
- School Garden Wizard, Learn in the Garden: http://www.schoolgardenwizard.org
- The Edible Schoolyard Project: http://edibleschoolyard.org/resources-tools
- The Food Project: http://thefoodproject.org
- USDA Agriculture in the Classroom, Teacher Center: http://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/index.htm
A Sampling of Books on Youth Garden-based Learning
- Coblyn, S. (2001). French Fries and the Food System: A year-round curriculum connecting youth with farming and food. Lincoln, MA: The Food Project.
- Gale, G. (2001). Growing Together: A guide for building inspired, diverse and productive youth communities. Lincoln, MA: The Food Project
- Kiefer , J., Kemple, M., and American Community Gardening Association (1998). Digging Deeper: Integrating Youth Gardens Into Schools & Communities. Montpelier, VT: Food Works, Common Roots Press.
- Larson, Nathan, Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Core Principles of Garden-based Education: http://www.teachinginnaturesclassroom.org
- Life Lab, Curricula & Activity Guides: http://www.lifelab.org/store/curriculum/
- Parrella, Deborah. Project Seasons: Hands-On Activities for Discovering the Wonders of the World. Shelburne Farms, 1995.