How-To Guides
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2009-2010 California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Resource Guide

$5 for teachers outside California; free online

Best Farm Crops by County Powered by FindtheBest
Find crops by state, county, harvest, production and yield, then compare them side-by-side. This website is easy to use, extremely helpful in finding and sorting information, and updated regularly with the USDA's primary source reports. Also availabe on the USDA Agriculture in the Classroom site

Best Practices for Middle School Gardens
The California Department of Education and the UC Davis Children’s Garden Program visited school garden programs at junior high and middle schools and highlighted unique contributions of each program to provide ideas that can adapted to your school setting.

California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom Resources for Every Season CD
This resource is just what you need for your classroom! The CD installs on your computer and contains all of CFAITC's current materials. Submit request form at link above.

Checklist for Starting a School Garden
Prepared by Dorothy Mullen for the New Jersey Farm to School Network
This helpful checklist addresses stakeholders, garden purpose, location, size, design, funding, soil preparation, horticultural needs, curriculum needs, the types of gardens, safety rules, community outreach and involvement, events and common challenges.

Classroom Seed Planting Instructions
Woodland Elem. West, Gages Lake, Ill.

Common Ground Garden Program Los Angeles County Cooperative Extension
Articles in English and SPANISH covering everything from composting to vegetable gardening in containers.

Community Garden Start-Up Guide
University of California Coop. Extension, LA County

Compost Happens
By Jean Persely for NGA with Cynthia Domenghini, NGA Staff
Jean shares ideas to get kids interested in composting and discusses a successful district-wide composting initiative.

Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program
Providing educators with inspiring, research-based gardening resources and professional development to support engaging, empowering, and relevant learning experiences for children, youth, adults, and communities.

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) Trainer Materials
California School Garden Network
These resources are available for free to anyone working to support others in creating and sustaining school gardens. At the CSYSG Trainer Page you will find the following:
-A download of all CSYSG Workshop Handouts, Trainer Outlines , and Supplementary Trainer Materials. (A zipped file of multiple documents) -PDF file of all CSYSG Workshop Handouts (One download of all the handouts) -Workshop PowerPoints ---School Garden Design ---Why School Gardens - Introduction to CSYSG -Gardens for Learning Guide Book -CSYSG Online Training Resources -Selected CSYSG Materials in Spanish -Freebies, fliers, and handouts to promote school gardens

Creating Deerfield High School's Outdoor Classroom
 Deerfield, Ill.
A school-produced video that follows the development of an outdoor classroom in the school's courtyard.

Creating Gardens With Youth
Here is a concise outline of steps for starting an educational garden, created by University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators.

The Early Childhood Environmental Education Rating Scale
A new evaluative tool for early childhood educators from the North American Association for Environmental Education provides a framework to show educators how their programs align with established guidelines for high-quality environmental education programs for young children. The scale is useful in sparking discussion on program goals, considering a program’s strengths and areas of needed improvement, and charting a future direction.

Garden Activity Timeline by Month  
Woodland Elem. West, Gages Lake, Ill.

Garden Games
By Sarah Pounders and Barbara Richardson, National Gardening Association
Don't know what to do with children in the garden? Make learning fun with these engaging activities.

Garden Learning Videos Life Lab Science Program
Web-based videos on school garden how-to and garden-based nutrition

Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms
er for EcoLiteracy

Good Plant Choices for School / Youth Gardens
Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago

Grant Application Advice: Native Plant Gardens for Schools and Urban Areas
Betsey Landis © 2009.  Landis shares how to avoid basic pitfalls of the grant application process, especially grants with very specialized requirements for funding.  Great advice for any garden project seeking funding.

Green Your School Guide
This guide from Earth Day Network offers lesson plans and student action plans on nearly every aspect of greening a school.  The pages dedicated to recreationfood and Environmental Jeopardy are particularly informative.

Growing Seeds to Enjoying the Harvest  
Renee's Garden offers numerous articles covering various topics in an easy-to-find format.  Be sure to bookmark this resource!

Guide to Setting Up Your Own Edible Rooftop Garden
Alternatives and the Rooftop Gardens Project, Montreal

How to Create Classroom Grow-Light Systems
Master Gardeners in Mathews, Va., share how they construct one-tier grow-light systems for seed starting in fourth-grade classrooms.

Grow-Light Frame Plans
Instructions for building a low-cost grow-light frame from Cornell University 

Home Composting Guide  
by Renee's Garden
If you can only do one thing to improve your garden this year, build a compost pile. No matter your soil type, your climatic zone, or your choice of crops, composting will enhance your garden soil, resulting in stronger plants and healthier produce. Organic gardeners have long regarded compost as the cornerstone of garden soil fertility. Compost builds healthy soil, producing robust plants that are more resistant to pests and disease.

How To Start A School Garden: A Practical AND Philosophical Guide
by the Civic Knowledge Project, the community connections branch of the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago: Cecilia Donnelly, Coordinator
This report was commissioned to help Chicago Public Schools add school gardens to their curriculums. Humanities education is critical to human growth and development on a communal and personal level, and the humanities and the environment are inextricably connected. This guide is uniquely tailored to the needs of public schools in Chicago.

Low Maintenance Gardening Strategies
Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago

Meet the Beneficials: Natural Enemies of Garden Pests
Download this free poster of common garden predators! From the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program

Native Plant Gardens for Schools and Urban Areas: A Survival Guide
Betsey Landis © 2009.  Describes native plant communities / habitat gardens,  considerations before selection and purchasing native plants or seeds, the architectuture of common native plant habitats, and Southern California sources for plants and information. Terrific insights regardless of your location!

Outdoor Classroom & Garden Design The Garden School
Explores site analysis, purpose, safety, participatory process, connecting to curriculum, recognizing others' efforts, elements of sustainable landscapes and outdoor gardens.  

A Guide for Organizing Your Outdoor Earth Science Event
Sponsored by the American Geological Institute
This guide provides tips on planning an event, organizing educational activities, and reaching out to news media for those who want to organize their own No Child Left Inside Day. Any day can be NCLI Day for young people and educators!

Planning for Healthy Communities Public Health Law & Policy
Model food systems policies for farmers markets and community gardens

Pollinators - How to Grow a Pollinator Garden from Seed
Provided by
The Home Garden Seed Association offers tips and a list of easy-to-grow-from-seed flowers that pollinators love!

Pumpkins & More
University of Illinois Extension. History, nutrition, how to grow, recipes, festivals.

Schoolyard Habitat Program
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Schoolyard Habitat Program helps teachers and students create wildlife habitat at their own schools. Typical projects include: wetlands, meadows, forests and variations based on specific ecoregions. Many projects are planned through multiple phases and change over time as children from various classes build upon the existing work of past students. Fact sheet and project guide available

School Garden Start-Up Guide 
University of California Coop. Extension, LA County

School Garden Viability Assessment Green Teacher Network - Chicago
A survey for anyone started or re-investing in an existing school garden. Easily modified for any region.

School Garden Wizard 
 Chicago Botanic Garden

Seed Buying 101: A Seed Gardener's Glossary
How often do you hear or find yourself wondering what is the difference between an heirloom and an open-pollinated seed variety, an F-1 hybrid and a “GMO? This article from the Home Garden Seed Association can  help you make educated decisions about what is best for your own use.

Seed Saving Video 
 Fall is one of the best times to collect seeds from the garden. Last fall Life Lab roamed the farm collecting flower seeds and left no petals unturned in the following flower seed saving video. See this and other great seed saving resources from Life Lab.

Seed Tape - An Easy Way to Make Your Own
This article from Organic Gardening offers a simple way to ensure proper spacing of small seeds using a readily available item - toilet paper!

Setting up and running a school garden
This online book is by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and includes instructions, food fact sheets, nutrition guidelines and more. 

Soil: To Test or Not to Test?
Excellent perspective on whether or not to make a soil test, by Vince Lazaneo, UCCE Horticulture Advisor and Master Gardener Advisor in San Diego County.

Spanish/English Dictionary of Garden Terms
"A Garden of Words/Un jardín de palabras" is a bilingual gardening dictionary for schools and after-school gardening programs, produced by University of California Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. 30 color-coded pages provide translations of tools, measurements, conversions, phrases, and fruits and vegetable names.

Starting and Maintaining a School Garden
by the National Farm to School Network
A quick seven-step guide to making the most of your school garden initiative.

Starting Your Own Community Garden in Chicago
 Grand Crossing Community Garden Initiative

Successful Container Gardens website
University of Illinois Extension

Summer Garden Maintenance Tips
Life Lab

Three Seed-to-Table Gardens 
Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago

Tips for Working with Children in Gardens DC Schoolyard Greening
Attendees of the Get Out and Garden Teacher Training Workshop share collective wisdom for gardening with children.

USDA: Gardening Together
Tips for parents and children

USDA People's Garden Initiative
Provides gardening and healthy eating tips, plans, pollinator guides and much more.

NEW!  USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map  
This updated map lets you search for hardiness zones by zip code or view detailed state maps.

SPANISH - Vegetable Gardening Basics
A Spanish version of the popular University of Illinois Extension website.  You also may want to view the children's book Nuestra Huerta Generosa.

VIDEO: How to Use an Outdoor Classroom for Hands-On Learning
A great video of how Thomas Gardner Elementary School in Boston uses their outdoor space for hands-on learning.  A great piece to share with school administrators and give you more ideas for engaging students!

Volunteer Job Descriptions  
Woodland Elem. West, Gages Lake, Ill.


USDA Guidelines on Using School Garden Produce in Food Service
Q&A document regarding the operation of a school garden

Garden-to-School Cafeteria Protocol
 Denver Public Schools
A step-by-step guide for the safe growing and harvesting of school garden produce specifically for use in school meals. Developed by Slow Food Denver in conjunction with Denver Public Schools. Use this to jump-start your own garden-to-cafeteria protocol!!

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