SlowFood Curriculum for School Gardens

The Purpose of Slow Food School Garden Curriculum-

The concept of “conviviality” is at the heart of the Slow Food movement: taking pleasure in the

processes of cooking, eating, and sharing meals with others. Education is an important step in

gaining the appreciation for conviviality and the pleasure of sharing good food. Therefore, Slow

Food School garden curriculum must include the following elements:

Slow Food provides a unique contribution to school gardens. Slow Food is an idea,a way of

living and a way of eating.

The curriculum is divided into three parts, Good, Clean and Fair. Together they provide a full

range of activities centered around the garden; from tasting activities, to cooking with garden

produce, to sustainable gardening, to studying food systems, and activities that promote

access to affordable fresh food.

Check out the first part here:Good-Clean-and-Fair-School-Garden-Curriculum-Good-Chapters-1-2-low

These activity guides assume that you already have a school garden, or an outdoor space.

If you need help starting a garden, check out the Slow Food USA’s School Garden Guide at

Sign up now for 2016 National Heirloom Exposition

2016 National Heirloom Exposition

September 6th 7th and 8th


Hi school gardeners!

We realize it is very hard to cast your mind ahead to September in the busyness of May but is is time to sign up for your school garden display at the National Heirloom Exposition!  There are a few changes next year. We are excited to announce that the School Garden Network has been asked to organize the displays , transportation stipends and the silent auction. Kids activities will happen all three days of the event so you can arrange for field trips on any of the days.

Also, new this year the school garden displays and some activities will be in Finley Hall.

Let us know if you would like to volunteer at the Expo next year at the SGN booth or with Kids Activities. Contact Elizabeth Westerfield – to volunteer or if you have any questions.

Register to exhibit here: The National Heirloom Exposition 2016_1

Deadline for exhibitor forms is June 15th!!

Register for transportation stipend here : 2016 School Bus Transportation. Funds limited!! First come first serve.

Free Lettuce and Tomato Starts at Ceres Garden

Hi Gardeners!

There are currently free Lettuce starts at Ceres Garden behind the OReilly Media offices on 116 north.

On Monday a load of cherry tomatoes will arrive!



School Gardens Spring Benefit Dinner

Celebrate the fresh flavors of spring with a hands-on cooking party and dinner featuring just-picked produce from school gardens and local farms. Chef Anne Cornell from Relish will teach techniques for brining, smoking and roasting a variety of delicious ingredients. Our seasonal menu will be paired with limited release and library wines from Kosta Browne. And special guest, Kaelyn Ramsey, will join us to share how your support of school gardens brings a bounty of benefits to the children of our community.

DATE:    Saturday, May 7

TIME:     4:00 – 7:00pm

PLACE:  Relish Culinary  14 Matheson Street Healdsburg, CA

$125 per person (50% tax-deductible)

Enjoy preparing and sharing a fresh, wonderful feast:

  • Crostini with Fresh Ricotta, Preserved Lemon, Green Garlic & Fava Beans
  • Grilled Asparagus with Poached Farm Egg, Crispy Shallots & Valley Ford Estero Gold
  • Earl Grey Tea-Brined Pork Loin
  • Fresh Spring Vegetables from School Gardens with Morel Butter
  • Smoked Baby Potatoes with Chive Crème Fraiche
  • A Delicious Dessert!

Your support helps us to sustain school garden learning programs in Sonoma County. Please join us!

Purchase tickets here.  Seating is limited so dont delay. We look forward to seeing you!

Job Opening for School Garden Network Project Manager

The School Garden Network (SGN) is dedicated to promoting and supporting sustainable garden and nutrition-based learning programs in K-12 schools throughout Sonoma County. School gardens offer a unique, hands-on learning environment where children learn about nutrition, create life-long healthy habits, learn how to grow food, and connect with nature.

The School Garden Network is looking for an experienced, energetic and enthusiastic School Garden Project Manager (SGPM) to provide technical gardening support to select school gardens. SGPM will support schools in designing gardens which maximize potential for hands on nutrition education. SGPM will support garden coordinators in developing a robust and sustainable program.  SGPM will plan and implement farm field trips for participating schools.


  • Conduct regular site visits and provide ongoing mentoring to five selected school gardens annually
  • Provide technical assistance with specialty crop planning
  • Communicate and coordinate with garden coordinators, SGN Nutrition Educator and North Bay Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ (CAFF) “Harvest of the Month” staff.
  • Support schools in long-term garden program planning, including building sustainable financial support and an educational program linked to CA educational standards.
  • Plan and implement 10 farm field trips linked to CAFF’s Harvest of the Month program annually
  • Help design and administer pre- and post surveys to aid in program evaluation
  • Provide documentation on program planning and report weekly to program supervisor
  • Provide written quarterly program reports to program supervisor
  • Attend SGN Board meeting twice per year to report on program
  • Attend occasional SGN fundraisers and meetings

 Desired Qualifications:

  • Commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the mission of School Garden Network
  • Experience with school garden programs
  • Basic gardening background in growing and harvesting seasonal, local vegetable/fruit crops
  • Experience with irrigation design and installation
  • Experience with educational program development linked to CA educational standards
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organized self-starter with ability to work independently

This is a two-year, part-time, contractual position for 430 hours annually at $30/hour plus gas mileage.

To Apply: Send your resume, a cover letter, and a list of three professional references (preferably two of whom are current/former supervisors) to  References should include their names, title, organization, professional relationship to you, email and phone number.  Application deadline is 5:00 pm, April 15, 2016.


Living Schoolyards Presentation in Petaluma


Hi all,

I highly recommend Sharon Dank’s presentation on living schoolyards from around the world.

You can RSVP below!!’




April 20, 2016 | 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Valley Vista School | 730 North Webster | Petaluma, CA


California is celebrating its second statewide “Living Schoolyard

Month” this May—shining a spotlight on school grounds as places to

bring curriculum to life with hands-on lessons and connect children

with nature on a daily basis. Living schoolyards also improve students’

health, provide creative play options, engage communities, and repair

urban ecological systems at the same time.

Please join us for an inspiring slideshow about the ways in which

innovative school districts around the world are using their land to

create engaging, educational spaces for children while also improving

the local environment. After the presentation we will have a lively

discussion—with participation from the audience—to explore how to

create living schoolyards across Petaluma that dovetail with existing

educational programs and regional ecological planning efforts.


Sharon Danks is CEO of Green Schoolyards America, based in

Berkeley, CA, and the author of the book Asphalt to Ecosystems. Over

the last fifteen years, her professional work and passion have focused

on transforming school grounds into vibrant public spaces that reflect

and enhance local ecology, engage the community, and nurture

children as they learn and play. Her current work focuses on scaling

up the green schoolyard movement and integrating school ground

design with green urban infrastructure planning.


This event is offered free of charge. Please RSVP using this link:

Questions? Contact Principal Catina Haugen at 707-778-4762

For more information about Living Schoolyard Month,

and to download the free Activity Guide for schools shown

above, please visit


Happy Spring Gardeners!

Reminder that there is a whole filing cabinet stuffed with free seeds for school gardens at the Share Exchange Annex in Santa Rosa.

You need to get a key for the Annex(shared office space) from the Share Exchange Marketplace which is now located across the street.

If you are coming from out of the area maybe you want to grab some extra seeds for your regional cohorts to save on energy( personal and environmental!!)

Let me know if you have any questions about seeds or school gardens in general.

I am here to support your success!!


Laurel Anderson

707 508-9710


Establishing “Healthy Roots” at Healdsburg Junior High and Cali Calmécac Language Academy

Students at Healdsburg Junior High School and Cali Calmécac Language Academy have been growing “Healthy Roots” this year ~  growing and then preparing recipes with seasonal vegetables from their school gardens. From the fall harvest of tomatoes, salad greens, summer squash, peppers, beans and cucumbers, students created their favorite salad recipes, practicing safe food preparation skills including cleaning, chopping and slicing.  They learned how easy it is to make Italian salad dressing and came up with ingredients to personalize the recipe. Using My Plate concepts, students learned the importance of eating a variety of fresh foods every day and easy ways to make healthy food choices.  In our second lesson, we prepared a Winter Citrus Salad, with dark greens, radishes, olives and mandarins. The different flavors exposed students to new styles of salad. We correlated the colors of the vegetables and fruits to their nutrients (phytochemicals/antioxidents/vitamins) to understand that eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is a recipe for health and fights many diseases. Students also learned tips on how to choose the freshest, ripest, and nutrient-dense vegetables.  Feedback from these lessons was very positive and many students left class wanting to make these recipes at home. Most recently, we compared whole foods to processed foods, preparing and tasting raw and steamed broccoli harvested from the school garden and tasting packaged broccoli soup. We compared the nutrition facts of several examples of foods, both fresh as they occur in nature and packaged, asking the students which provided the greatest health benefits and had the best flavor. The steamed broccoli was voted the favorite by the majority of students. This lesson raised awareness of what is in the foods we eat,  giving students information to make healthy choices and leading them to think more about whole fresh foods as tasty alternatives to the packaged foods marketed to them.


Job Opening for SGN Healthy Roots Nutrition Educator

The School Garden Network is looking for an experienced, energetic and enthusiastic garden Nutrition Educator with the passion and experience to provide fun and inspiring hands-on nutrition education and cooking classes to elementary school students at school garden sites. This is a two-year, part-time, contractual position for 180 hours annually.  Click here for more information and a complete job description. Applications are due by March 28, 2016.

SGN Garden Grants Application Now Available! Applications Due April 5th!

The School Garden Network of Sonoma County (SGN) is offering garden grants of $5,000 each to five schools for the 2016-2017 school year. The primary goal of the grant is to support instructional school gardens in Sonoma County by providing funds for a Garden Education Coordinator, curriculum or garden infrastructure. The grant package includes three Healthy Roots nutrition education and cooking classes for up to ten classes at each school, on-site mentoring, and other benefits. To encourage sustainability, schools must have an existing garden program and demonstrate other sources of funding or in-kind donations. Priority will be given to low-income schools with more than 60% of students participating in the free and reduced lunch program. The application deadline is April 5th. Click here for the application.