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Getting Started With School Gardens

School Garden Planning Guides from McKinley Elementary in Salem, OR:
Overview; Yearly Calendar; Garden Planner; Volunteer Job Descriptions
California School Garden Network's GETTING STARTED GUIDES 
How to Start a School Garden by Rick Sherman  -SPECIAL THANKS to Linn County Master Gardener's
Slow Food USA's Garden Guide  A guide to help plan a garden the right way from the start.
Free 30 day trial version of the Territorial Seed Company, Vegetable Garden Planner, includes tutorial videos.
Youth Farm Stand Handbook -NEW, updated in 2017! by Slow Food USA and Denver Urban Gardens.  Turn-key, everything you need to operate a student-ran farm stand.
Building a Mini-Hoop House Video     A simple and inexpensive way to produce wonderful produce in our climate by extending our cold growing season.
Season Extension Devices Video: cloche's, cold frames and tunnels. Created by Gateway Greening
USDA Policy Memo: School Garden Q&A's
Portland-Area School Garden Assessment by Growing Gardens.  An exhaustive study of school gardens in Portland, and a great snapshot of the state of school gardens in general! 
Summer school gardening;  In Oregon, we have a wonderful growing season.. when school isn't in session.  Here's a solution to get the most out of your school garden when school's out for the summer.
Academic research for support of school gardens:  Look at this page by Slow Food USA, which lists links to studies relating to school gardens in academic success, consumption, obesity prevention, food justice, social/emotional behavior and best practices in structuring school gardens.
National gardening association / Kid's gardening
Do you need solutions for maintaining a school garden in the summer?  This is a very nice guide, courtesy of Growing Gardens.


Special thanks to Wisconsin School Garden Network for making the following water resources available
Rain Barrel & Food Safety: a QUICK must read study from Rutgers University.
Project WET  
Water Education for Teachers - sets the standard when it comes to water education. Project WET provides water education resources, including a Curriculum and Activity Guide for educators around the world. Posters, kids' activity booklets, and other resources are also available via their Water Education Portal.
Water Education and Conservation Brief 
Water is an essential component of any garden. Attention to its use in a school garden offers opportunities for stewardship, education and fun. This brief provides an overview of how water conservation and education can be integrated into school gardens. It includes types of irrigation systems for your garden, strategies for water conservation, water education activities for the classroom and the garden, ideas for making water fun, and links to relevant resources.
Rain Garden Manual: This guide to designing, installing, and maintaining backyard rain gardens is the perfect scale for many school gardens. Rain gardens help conserve water by allowing water collect and slowly soak into the ground nearby, instead of running off into storm drains or parking lots. Once set up, they are relatively easy to maintain and provide a wonderful learning station, in addition to adding beauty and interest to your garden
Drip Irrigation Education & Supplies: Drip irrigation is an effective way to provide much-needed moisture right where plants need it most - at the roots. It also helps save on water loss from evaporation, and is a unique way to teach about water conservation. Although up front costs can be larger than other watering techniques, equipment can be used year after year. DripWorks is a great company for drip irrigation beginners. They offer excellent educational resources, including this drip irrigation planning guide. They also offer a 10% discount to schools for most orders over $50. (Speak with a customer service representative to access the discount.)
Educating Young People About Water Curricula Database: This online database provides assistance for developing a community-based, youth water education program. These resources target youth and link educators to key community members to build partnerships to meet common water education goals. Users are encouraged to forge links with community partners and identify community or school-ground natural settings where students can practices and reinforces skills taught in the classroom.

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