This article is a part of our Grow Your Own! School Garden program. If you’re a school garden leader, find more resources just for you on our Educator page!
Harvest your resources for a garden that saves you time and money.
Identifying and gathering the resources already available at your school will save you time and money before designing your garden.
A garden overview is like a fact sheet for your garden and includes all of your information and resources. A resource checklist helps you identify what you have, including potential challenges, and classifies them.
PART I – SAMPLE GARDEN OVERVIEW
Making a basic overview fact sheet is a great place to start.
Alipaz Elementary School Garden Overview
In an effort to explore the possibility of creating a learning garden, we have enlisted the support of staff and community members and researched standards-based curriculum that could be applied in the outdoor classroom.
|Garden Committee||Richard Sanchez (parent)
Giovanni Parker (teacher)
|Key Teachers||Rachel Keller (Lead science teacher)
Doris Engle (2nd grade)
|Possible Curriculum||The Growing Classroom, Grow Your Own! lessons, FOSS Science Kits|
|Potential Program Connections||The outdoor learning laboratory would serve as a space for hands on science experiments. Harvested produce can supplement and provide menu ideas for Home Ec. classes.|
|Location||South side of school by Kindergarten classrooms|
|Maintenance||Families and crew from local hardware store will construct garden over one month period, families will maintain in exchange for produce from the garden.|
|Funding||The committee will request a small started grant of $500 from the PTA and will hold a monthly farmers market to sustain maintenance needs.|
Based on sample garden overview in:
Bucklin-Sporer, Arden. How to Grow a School Garden; a Complete Guide for Teachers and Parents. Portland: Timber Press. 2010.
PART II – RESOURCE CHECKLIST
Identifying your existing resources as well as some immediate obstacles will help you prioritize and plan.
|P = People||$ = Money||M = Materials||A = Activities & Programs|
Alipaz Elementary School Garden Resource Checklist
|Resources (R)||Obstacles (O)|
|$ = local garden club donates $500 a year||P = Teachers are resistant to coming to the garden, see it as extra work|
|A = after-school club maintains the garden||P = fewer parents involved in the garden than previous years|
|A = school has designated classes||P = parent volunteers need training and ideas|
|P = established PTA liaison||A = Lack science curriculum for grades 4-6|
|M = local mushroom farm promised 1 truckload of compost||M = Needs garden beds|
Although many people think money comes first, it is actually the second step. Once you know your resources, you can develop a wish list and budget for remaining things you need.