Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

School Gardens

School fruit and vegetable gardens in Florida have been increasing in popularity. With the growing emphasis on hands-on learning and active participation, more schools have added gardens to their school to serve as tools for outdoor science and environmental education.

Other subjects can also be taught through class gardens, such as math, language arts, science and nutrition. Gardens can increase children's respect for nature and aid in physical, mental and moral development.

Numerous studies have been conducted to look at some of the benefits of school gardens. For information on these studies, visit Cornell University’s Garden-Based Learning website. 

Using School Garden Produce in Schools

Using school garden produce in school meals to conduct taste testings and cooking demonstrations is an allowable practice; however, individual school districts may have their own rules and regulations. The resources below provide information about school gardens and food safety.

Garden Resources

  • The Edible Schoolyard: This site includes a journal with lesson ideas for an edible garden and a store with resources on lesson planning for gardening and kitchen classrooms.
  • Fresh for Florida Kids Teaching Garden: The garden, one block from the Capitol in Tallahassee, is a popular field-trip destination for student groups.
  • Garden ABCs: The School Garden Share Site: Updated with monthly success stories of children’s gardens across the United States, this site provides a wealth of links on schoolyard gardening and resources on fundraising, expert advice and related organizations. Visit this site for inspiration and financial support for garden projects.
  • Gardening for Grades, developed by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, is appropriate for grades K-8 and includes how-to information for teachers to educate students about using school gardens. In addition, it correlates garden-based education activities to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in specific academic content areas including: science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, health, physical education, art and music. Visit the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom website to request an online or hard copy.
  • Grow to Learn Gardening Guide [ Adobe PDF Document ] (UF/IFAS): A manual for teachers and other school garden champions to help you start, maintain and sustain a school garden.
  • National Garden Association’s Kids Gardening: A comprehensive resource with articles and links for lesson ideas, how-to’s, fundraising and connections to educators and families interested in gardening with children all over the United States.
  • School Garden Guide [ Adobe PDF Document 2.02 MB ] (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services): A guide to starting and sustaining a school garden in Florida.
  • UF/IFAS Extension: Contact Master Gardeners in your district for help with your school garden.

Garden Grants

Find grants by visiting the Food, Nutrition and Wellness Grants page or Florida Ag in the Classroom Inc.