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Edible Garden Resources

In addition to the web-based resources below, you can find other resources for edible gardens (including planting time guidelines) in the:

Outdoor Learning Resource Folder (Google Drive)



General Resources

Want to know more about growing food at your school?

Looking for a guide to get started? The following resources can help!


USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zones Map website link

USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zones Map allows you to plug in a zip code and get the hardiness zone for that zipcode. Most of Fairfax County is in hardiness zone 7a, although the southeastern part of the county is in zone 7b.


Fairfax County Master Gardeners website link.

Fairfax County Master Gardeners has a variety of resources and reference materials on gardening.  They also have tables at Fairfax County Farmers Markets throughout the year where you can stop by and get advice and help.


Virginia Cooperative Extension Service website link

Virginia Cooperative Extension Service has a huge resource library with publications specific to Virginia.  A lot of the resources are for farmers, but there are helpful resources for school/home farmers under the “Fruits and Vegetables” section.  You can also find some of their publications in Get2Green’s Edible Garden Resource Folder.


Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab website link

Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab will run soil samples on any soil you submit with a form and Soil Sample box.  There is a small fee ($10 as of autumn 2017) for this test.  Schools should use the form for home lawns and gardens.  Each sample must have its own form and box.  You can get a free Soil Sample kit from the Fairfax County VCE Office or at any Fairfax County Public Library.  Learn more about this program from the Soil and Water Conservation District.


NC State Extension’s Gardening website link

NC State Extension’s Gardening website has links to hundreds of articles, publications, and fact sheets on a wide variety of gardening topics.


Garden Guides website link has resources on different types of gardens, garden design, and the phases of establishing and caring for a garden.


The National Gardening Association’s Learning Library website link

The National Gardening Association’s Learning Library has articles and guides to help you with plant care, food gardening, weeds, pest control, and more.


The entire process of planning, creating, and using an edible garden is a fantastic learning experience. These resources can help you make the most of your garden’s educational potential and about sustainable food systems in general.


The Sustainable Food Eco-Schools Pathway website link

The Sustainable Food Eco-Schools Pathway provides samples and templates for students to conduct and audit and create an action plan to improve the sustainability of food at school.


The Edible Schoolyard Project website link.

The Edible Schoolyard Project has an excellent library of resources that includes lessons, recipes, community outreach, managing volunteers, and research. Their resources are searchable by program type, resource type, subject, grade level, and season. You can join their nationwide network of school gardens to connect with other schools around the country and share best practices.

The Campus Kitchens Project website link

The Campus Kitchens Project has two sets of activities – Sowing Seeds for Healthy Kids: Garden-Based Nutrition Education and Building Blocks for Healthy Kids: Nutrition Education – that each contain six lessons on garden and nutrition topics.

Foodspan website link

FoodSpan is a set of lessons from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. It includes three units (Meet the Food System; Farmers, Factories, and Food Chains; and Consumers and Communities) and a food citizen action project that has students identify a food system problem and design a solution to address it. These lessons are designed for high school students.

Growing Minds Farm to School Lesson Plans website link

Growing Minds Farm to School Lesson Plans will help elementary school students learn about sustainable food. They include lessons for using edible gardens, agricultural systems, eating foods in season, preparing food, and more.

Sustainable Agriculture Lesson Plans website link

Sustainable Agriculture Lesson Plans from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture allow students to explore sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, and feeding the planet. These lessons are geared toward students in grades 9-12.