Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms by serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing food, farm, and nutrition education, and supporting local, family farmers. There are over 2,000 farm to school programs nationwide.
Farm to school activities can include featuring fresh, local food in school meals, hands-on cooking and taste testing, edible school gardening, field trips to farms, and standards-based experiential learning in the classroom.
Over the last decade, teachers have been discovering creative ways to teach kids about food and farming, while at the same time meeting standards-based requirements in science, math, social studies, and literature. Here are some of our favorite resources below.
To stay up to date on farm to school happenings around the state, sign up for the Georgia Organics monthly Farm to School e-Bite newsletter. Every month you’ll get an updated list of grants, upcoming events, and articles.
- Farm to School and Educational Garden Programs Guide: Created by Georgia Organics and PLACE, this guide provides tips on how to get started, suggested classroom readings, garden themes, sample kid-friendly recipes, and tips on growing and maintaining a school garden.
- Organize a Farm to School Meeting: Not sure how to get your Farm to School program off the ground? This template provides a list of key stakeholders, helpful tips, and a sample agenda.
- Feeding Our Kids the Right Food… and Inspiring Them to Eat It: This report from the Center for Ecoliteracy documents Farm to School work from the mid nineties in New York City. Read what was done there to get students excited about fresh food and gardening.
- How to Integrate Farm to School into Wellness Policy: Farm to School activities dovetail perfectly into the federally mandated wellness policies that each district needs to write and implement. This sample policy provides helpful suggestions and wording.
- The Effects of School Gardens on Students and Schools: Conceptualization and Consideration for Maximizing Healthy Development: This study aims to determine how sustainable the school gardens are which draws upon the ecological theory to see school gardens as a way to promote healthy lifestyles.
- Video of Educational Classes: The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market partnered with McNair High School for a week of educational classes focused on healthy lifestyles and local economies. They documented their experience in this video.
The following sample lesson plans were created by Atlanta Public School elementary school teachers. All of these teachers participated in the Georgia Organics Farm to School Workshop series.
- Preschool – 2nd Grade Lesson Plans and Resources: The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) provides lesson plans for preschool through 2nd grade levels for classroom and garden instruction as well as ideas, safety and recipes for cooking with young children.
- Seed to Plate: This curriculum is geared towards elementary aged students although any student can learn from it.
- This curriculum was created by Georgia Organics with high school students in mind.
- Extend Your Farm Field Trip into the Classroom: These lesson plans, from DC Greens, are also for high school students.
- This curriculum, from Kentucky Farm to School, is for 9th-12th grade students.
- Recommended Books: Delve deeper into farm to school curriculum with these recommended books.
- Check out these numerous kids gardening books to read to your class.
- Guide to Farm Field Trips for Farmers and Teachers: Developed by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), this helpful guide will make field trips more educational and memorable for everyone.
- Organize a Taste Test: This guide demonstrates how taste tests can be a great way to involve students, teachers, and the community in food service and awareness of healthy food choices. For a more in depth look at Taste Tests, see this guide from Vermont FEED.