Do you have a green thumb—or ever wondered if you did? Whether you’re a master gardener or you’ve never grown a thing in your life, April means it’s time to celebrate all the great things about getting our hands dirty and playing in the mud—it’s National Garden Month!
The National Gardening Association is on a mission to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through educational gardening programs. We highly recommend checking out both websites for more information on how to cultivate your own green thumb, along with a bounty of educational materials for schools and educators.
In honor of National Garden Month, we wanted to share some of our favorite school gardening blogs, photos, and stories – we hope you enjoy!
Back in 2014 we were fortunate enough to attend the Farm-to-Cafeteria Conference in Austin, Texas, and their 2015 conference is this week. Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for conference updates, plus year-round news and information on farm-to-school efforts around the country.
The Alaska Grown program is one near and dear to staff writer Christina, who spent several years living in Fairbanks, Alaska where she saw the program in action first-hand. You can read up on Alaska farm-to-school barley recipes and Alaska Grown’s relationship with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension to learn more about how Alaskans are rising to the challenges of a short growing season and unforgiving infrastructure (to name just two) and bringing fresh, locally-sourced foods to Alaska’s school children.
USDA Farm-to-School Grant Program
Training grant letters of intent are due on April 30, 2015, for FY2016 grant applications for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. Other types of grants include support service grants, implementation grants, and planning grants. Find information on all farm-to-school grant opportunities, and a wealth of resources including statistics, contacts, toolkits, and more, on the USDA Farm-to-School Grant page of the Food and Nutrition Service.
Recipe for Success
Don’t miss our 2014 series on the Houston-based organization Recipe for Success Foundation. School garden and chef-to-school programs are helping hundreds of Houston schoolchildren expand their knowledge and exposure to freshly grown food.