Local Food in Schools
Local Food In Schools

Growing Minds connects farmers, distributors, and school food leaders to ensure students have access to healthy local food.

Farm to Preschool
Farm to Preschool

Early childhood is a critical stage of child development. Learn how the Farm to Preschool movement is connecting young children to local food and farms to support health and wellness.

School Gardens
School Gardens

We provide resources and support for pre-K-12 school gardens in the Southern Appalachian region, including lesson plans, training, seeds,
and mini-grants.

F2S Spotlights

Read about the people implementing farm to school in our region, from teachers and nutrition professionals, to dietetic interns and farmers.

Day by Day
Growing Minds
Day by Day

From gardening to goats, our farm to school-themed Day by Day resource lists can be used by families learning at home, or by educators in the classroom. Find read alouds, recipes, simple activities, and more.

Lesson Plans

Browse our collection of garden, food and farm, and recipe lesson plans for preschool, K-5, and more. All Growing Minds lesson plans include connections to age-appropriate children’s literature and are aligned with Common Core State Standards, NC Essential Standards, or NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

Seasonal Resources

The yellows and greens of squash announce that summer has arrived. Available in many shapes, sizes, and colors, summer squash can be eaten rind, seeds and all! Look for popular yellow crookneck squash, familiar zucchini squash, and the more unusual pattypan squash at farmers markets throughout the month.

Meet Your Farmer

A video series by Growing Minds

Meet some of the people who grow your food! Our Meet Your Farmer and Junior Farm Tour videos provide students and families with virtual tours of family farms in Western North Carolina.

WNC Farm to School Jumpstart Grants Still Available!

We are excited to announce that since January, Growing Minds has awarded 36 Jumpstart Grants in 17 WNC counties, including the Qualla Boundary!
Farm to School Jumpstart grants up to $1,000 are available for schools and organizations to engage children in the following farm to school experiences:

  • Tasting or cooking local food
  • Incorporating local food into meals or snacks
  • Farm field trips or farmer visits to classrooms/organizations
  • Growing edible gardens


Applications are due the 15th of each month through July 2022. Applications will be reviewed and awarded by the last day of each month.

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