Garden Assistant Position at Old Adobe Charter

Old Adobe Elementary
Garden Assistant for Old Adobe Edible Garden

The Garden Assistant is a position that offers critical support to teachers and students to ensure that our school can maximize the educational potential of the garden. The Garden Assistant works with staff to plan lessons, gather materials, maintain the garden, and support instruction linked to the garden. The Garden Assistant will deliver weekly lessons in-class and out in the garden to all elementary students —combining environmental science education and nutrition education with hands-on experiences in the school garden (planting, tending, harvesting, and cooking).

The Garden Assistant also acts as a resource for teachers as they plan their own cross-curricular lessons in the outdoor classroom, and models skills that teachers need to feel comfortable using the garden to teach science standards.

The Assistant:

  • Facilitates garden science classes, incorporating both environmental science and nutrition education as they relate to the garden.
  • Assists and helps in planning, with the classroom teacher, the students’ hands-on experiences in the garden (planting, tending, harvesting and cooking).
  • Builds involvement in and commitment to the school garden within the school community, including teachers, administrators, students, parents and community volunteers.
  • Builds capacity within the school by working with classroom teachers, and developing teacher skills in outdoor classroom management techniques and in gardening.
  • Maintains the garden, coordinating volunteers and working with the community and the school district.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Facilitate garden lessons and garden maintenance, working 6 hours per day
  • Manage the school garden, plan and prepare for garden work activities, manage planting schedule, ensure availability of tools and other necessary materials
  • Maintain open garden time schedule for teachers
  • Attend occasional school wide staff meetings
  • Coordinate community garden events to bring students, families, teachers and community members together
  • Maintain school garden social media presence working with the school media person
  • Supports preparation and set-up of seasonal weekly/bi-weekly school “farmer’s market”
  • Help maintain outdoor kitchen and helps plan events with staff, students and/or parents

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Knowledge of and/or interest in the following: environmental science, health and nutrition, food systems, food access, nutrition, botany, resource conservation, cooking, and social justice
  • Familiarity and/or interest in the following : Permaculture, 4-season food production, California Native Plants and Ecology, Plant Propagation, Organic Pest Management, Orchard Management, and the Bio-intensive Method
  • At least 2-3 years of facilitation or teaching experience with youth aged 5-12
  • Ability to work with diverse populations including youth and adults
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including public speaking skills
  • Ability to work independently and be flexible

How to apply:

Please send a email, with School Garden Assistant Educator in the subject line, to the following email addresses.

Beth Stoep – garden coordinator, (707-765-4301)

Jeff Williamson – principal, (707-765-4301)

The position is now open. We anticipate filling the position in early August.

Waterwise School Garden MiniGrant

School Garden Network and Harmony Farm Supply are dedicated to supporting water conservation in school gardens! In a new collaboration we are pleased to announce a new mini-grant-“WATER-WISE SCHOOL GARDENS”.

Eligible SGN member schools will receive a free irrigation design, installation support and up to $400 in funding for a drip irrigation system!!  Irrigation systems will include battery operated timers, electric anti-siphon valves and a shut off valve to isolate the system.

Irrigation systems to be installed by volunteers and teen members of our SchoolGardenCorp!

In order to qualify, schools must be an SGN member school by completing the Membership Form. Once your school has completed the membership process SGN will send your school an account application for Harmony Farm Supply.

School gardens may apply for a –“WATER-WISE SCHOOL GARDENS” mini grant once these two steps are completed. School gardens will be required to provide principal and maintenance signature on the WATERWISE mini- grant application and supply a detailed map for design. Details in the application.

Download a Waterwise School Garden application here:   WATER_application

Questions?  Contact Lauren at

Join SGN on July 16th at Bacigalupi Winery for a lovely summer evening of Food, Wine and Fun!

The Bacigalupi Family Winery is in its 5th year producing its Annual Designate Tasting Event and this year have generously chosen the School Garden Network as the nonprofit recipient of event proceeds!

The event will include a very special and limited tasting featuring wines produced exclusively from Bacigalupi Vineyards. All wineries are hand selected and excel in producing wines that express the true terroir of their vineyards. Enjoy a varietal food pairing featuring local favorite Stark & Co. Catering and live music. Commemorative logo glass included.​

School Garden Network will be there with a well curated silent auction and information about new ways to join our organization in helping to establish and maintain school gardens throughout Sonoma County.

Participating wineries include:
Gary Farrell, Cast Wines, Dutcher Crossing, Edge Hill, Eleven Eleven, Flannagan, Matrix, Venge Vineyards, Modus Operandi, TVine Cellars, Jaclynn Renee Wines, Kobler Estate Winery, Montagu Wines, Williams Selyem, Climats du couchant and more!

Event details
Date and Time: Saturday July 16th from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Bacigalupi Vineyards Tasting Room
4353 Westside Road Healdsburg, CA 95448
Email questions to


Milkweed and Purple Needle Grass for School Gardens

Hi all!

I purchased 2 flats of native Slender leaved milkweed grown by the students at Grace HighSchool. Plant at least 6  milkweed with Tithonia, a favorite nectar plant of Monarchs and you are sure to attract monarchs to your garden. Create and register your site as  a Monarch Way station!

Marlena garden coordinator at Grace also donated 2  flats of Purple Needle grass, Stipa pulchra, California’s state grass. This is a bunch grass that can handle poor shallow soils and clay. Best planted with other perennials and wildflowers.

Contact me before June 11th  if you would like to purchase milkweed or pick up some free grasses!




Sabrina Howell, owner of Santa Rosa’s newest nursery, Wild Toad Nursery, is holding a workshop on providing water for wildlife just in time for those summer garden projects. Owner and presenter Sabrina Howell is a Certified California Naturalist, author, horticulturalist and has worked as Garden Teacher and presenter with the US Fish & Wildlife.

“Everyone is drawn to water,” says Howell. “There is something magical about the sight and sound of water. It’s not complicated to have a water feature. It just takes a little know-how and I have that to share.” Howell has been ponding for more than fifteen years and has plenty of learning experiences to draw from. “If you are interested in attracting wildlife, a water feature is the way to go. Water is one of the quickly disappearing, basic elements that wildlife need. A homeowner can make a big difference with even a small water feature. It’s really fun!”

The workshop will answer all your questions about mosquito and algae control, water usage and unanticipated questions that an experienced ponder has to share. The workshop will cover water features that do not use much water and compliment different garden styles, explain how to build various types of water features and how to avoid common mistakes.

The class will be held at Wild Toad Nursery, which shares space with West County Oasis Bamboo Garden. Wild Toad Nursery specializes in plants for ponds, plants for pollinators and plants for people. A personalized tour of the Bamboo Garden after the workshop is optional. Advanced registration is $30, $35 at the door.

For registration and additional information check the website, call 707-529-5261 or email

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.