California Farm to School Conference

The California Farm to School Conference, presented by Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and the CA Farm to School Network, will be held May 4 to 6, 2015 at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA. The conference will offer a series of workshops, panels and discussions that will be of significant educational and networking value to attendees who will represent all facets of the farm to school movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, and food program administrators.  Click here for more information and to register.




Upcoming Lifelab workshops

Next Generation Science in the Garden (Grades K-5)View workshop photos New Offering!
February 19th, 2015 – 9am-3pm
Let’s head outside and put earth and life back into Earth and Life Science! Using activities from the award-winning Life Lab Science curriculum, participants in this workshop learn to use a garden as a meaningful context in which their students can engage in Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices to examine Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross-Cutting Concepts. Where better to explore ecological interdependence, growth and development of organisms, structure and function, adaptation, and more than in an outdoor garden classroom? 1 semester of graduate education credit available. Please register by 2/5/15. $150, Learn more!

The Growing Classroom: 2-Day Intensive on Garden Based Learning (Grades 2-6)
March 12th-13th, 2015 – 9am-3:30pm
Learn to use a garden to breathe life into standards-based lessons, promote ecological literacy, encourage healthy eating, and support students’ social development. Using Life Lab’s Growing Classroom activity guide for grades 2-6, participants in this hands-on workshop experience tried-and-true garden-based lessons linked to Common Core Language Arts and Math and Next Generation Science Standards; practice basic gardening techniques; and develop management strategies for a school garden program. Graduate education units available. Please register by 2/26/15. $300, Learn more and view agenda


Willow Magic in the Garden

Sherry Gibson of Wild Woodswoman Creations offers free site consultations to any north Bay Area school to discuss possibilities for installations of living willow structures, and also any sort of nonliving Willow infrastructure – fences, gates, trellises, arbors, Faery huts, living willow chairs and benches, and anything else imaginable. Sherry can work with you and your students to create some magic in your garden.
Living Willow now through end of March, nonliving Willow anytime of the year.
Contact Sherry for more information or to schedule a school consultation.

Outdoor Classroom Management Webinar Jan.15th at 1pm

Life Lab and edWeb’s Growing School Gardens Community Present

Outdoor Classroom Management Webinar

Thursday, January 15, 2015, 1pm PST

Whitney Cohen, Life Lab’s Education Director, will use stories, photos, and discussion to share tried-and-true tips for managing large groups of students in an outdoor environment. Topics will include:

  • Tone setting, comfort, and routines
  • Fostering student buy-in
  • Encouraging productive teamwork and cooperative learning
  • Establishing group norms
  • Determining when to be consistent with the indoor rules and when to establish new behavior expectations
Learn More and Register
View Lifelab’s archived webinars- all our archived webinars.Life Lab’s tips for managing an effective outdoor classroom.

Join edWeb’s Growing School Gardens online community co-hosted by Life Lab, The Edible SchoolYard Project, and the National Farm to School Network.

Save the Dates: Upcoming edWeb Webinars

Building a Youth Beekeeping Program
Wednesday, March 4 at 1 p.m. PST
Presented by Jennica Skoug, Goodman Youth Farm Manager at Community GroundWorksRaising Funds for Your School Garden
Tuesday, May 19. 1 p.m. PST
Presented by John Fisher, Life Lab’s Director of Partnerships and Programs


School Garden Grants

Captain Planet Foundation Grants, Due January 31, 2015

Captain Planet Foundation will accept small grant requests for amounts between $500 – $2,500. All proposed activities must be project-based, projects must be performed by youth; and projects must have real environmental outcomes.

Lowes Toolbox for Education Award, Due February 13, 2015

Lowe’s will donate up to $5 million to public schools and public school parent teacher groups – at as many as 1,000 different public schools per school year. Click here to see if you are eligible!

The Pollination Project Grants, Rolling Applications

The Pollination Project is a nonprofit organization that provides $1,000 seed grants to individual change makers. The Project has granted numerous awards to various small agriculture related operations who want to bring change into a community. The Project has received repeated media reports on how the organization is impacting small agricultural practices. New grants are awarded daily and there is no deadline for when to apply.

Salad Bars to Schools, Rolling Applications

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is a comprehensive grassroots public health effort to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state and national level to support salad bars in schools. Our vision is to significantly increase salad bars in schools across the country until every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative of the Food Family Farming Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Produce Association Foundation, andWhole Foods Market to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The goal of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program is to fund and award 6000 salad bars over the next three years. Seed Grants, Rolling Applications

Are you working to start a community action project or program with your friends? Do you need money to put your ideas into action? A $500 Do Something Seed Grant is given out every week to help young people just like YOU! These grants can be used towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started, or to jump-start your program and realize your ideas for the first time. These grants can also be used towards projects that are already developed and sustainable, towards the next steps of your project and organization to help you as you look to expand your project and grow your impact.


Make your year-end contribution to School Garden Network!

This time of year we are particularly grateful for all the people that are supporting efforts to connect students with fresh local food and garden-based education. We hope that you will consider contributing to our work through a year-end donation. A generous donor has offered to match any other donation made to SGN up to $1000 between now and December 31, 2014. Please consider matching this grant or contribute any amount that you find comfortable. Again, we appreciate your support and wish you a wonderful holiday season! Click here to donate.

SGN Receives Grant from the Rose Foundation

SGN recently received a generous $3,000 grant from the Rose Foundation, Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund to support our garden-based education programs.  The mission of the Rose Foundation is “to support grassroots initiatives to inspire community action to protect the environment, consumers and public health”.  This funding will go a long way to help us carry out our own mission of supporting and promoting sustainable garden and nutrition-based learning programs in Sonoma County schools. We thank them for their support!

School Gardens Featured in New Issue of Made Local Magazine!

Made Local Magazine features school gardens and the work of the School Garden Network in its Nov-Dec 2014 issue.  The article, Learning to Eat, highlights the benefits of school gardens and the challenges of sustaining these programs.  SGN Board members, Julia Valentine and Laurel Anderson, are interviewed and the successful garden programs at Wright Charter School and Salmon Creek School are featured.  You can read the article (page 13) online by clicking here.

Lowes Toolbox for Education grant-$5,000

Lowe’s will donate up to $5 million to public schools and public school parent teacher groups – at as many as 1,000 different public schools per school year. Click here to see if you are eligible!

Raise up to $5,000 for your school in minutes

It’s almost that easy when you take advantage of Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program. Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) knows how hard you work for your kids and your community and we’re dedicated to helping your parent-teacher group achieve even more for your school. Apply for our Toolbox for Education Grant now and build on your already impressive parent group success with Lowe’s.

Now in its 9th year of helping build better schools and communities, the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program has provided over $35 million to more than 8,000 schools across the country.

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The Spring 2015 cycle is now open. The deadline for submitting applications for this grant cycle is February 13, 2015 11:59pm EST. If 1500 applications are received, Lowe’s reserves the right to close the cycle. If that happens, the ‘Apply Now’ button will no longer appear on the website.

Free Seeds from the Petaluma Seed Bank

 Free seeds are available to school gardens.
Contact Vicky at with your request for free seeds. Please include the school’s tax id number with the request.

Eileen Wallace

School Garden Displays/Educational and Fun Day Coordinator

The National Heirloom Exposition

199 Petaluma Blvd. North
Petaluma, CA 94952