Did you know that school gardens are a huge part of the Farm to School movement? We didn’t realize just how huge until we attended this month’s Farm to School Conference in Columbia (which featured one of Gateway Greening’s member gardens, the Falcon Garden at Halls Ferry Elementary! Go Falcons!). Over and over again, presenters brought up examples of how school gardens factored into their school’s curriculum and cafeteria.
The USDA is accepting submissions for the second-ever Farm to School Census until 11/20/15. The purpose of this census is to determine what percentage of schools in the country participate in Farm to School activities. This includes– you guessed it– school gardening! If you click on the link above, you can search for your school district. If no results come up, that means your district has not yet sent their information to the USDA. Talk to your building’s principal or your district’s food service director about filling out the survey! Your school garden is playing a critical role in your students’ health and well-being, and we want the whole world to know about it.
In addition to the census, the USDA offers Farm to School grants. Getting your district involved in the census now could give you the opportunity to kick your garden or cafeteria up notch in the future with these grant opportunities.