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

Whether you’re looking for a sweet eating apple or a tart baking variety, you’ll find what you need in Western North Carolina. Don’t miss the opportunity to try our region’s claim to fame. Eat a local apple in your school cafeteria today!

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.

NEW "I Tried Local..." Toolkit

We are excited to introduce our new immersive farm to school resource, “I Tried Local…” A Toolkit for Engaging Kids with Local Food and Farms. It is designed for use in early care and education (ECE) through second grade, and gives educators tools to connect kids with how food is grown and the farmers in their communities who grow it. “I Tried Local…” Training will be held March 20, 2024 from 3:30 - 4:45pm! Learn more here!

Growing Minds 2023-24 Farm to School Funding Available Now!!

Applications are due March 31, 2024 and recipients will be selected by April 15, 2024.

Our vision is that children learn about and have positive experiences with local food and farms in the classroom, cafeteria, and community. To help make this happen, we offer mini-grants to support farm to school projects in early childhood education (ECE) centers and K-12 schools. Up to $500 of funding can be used for the following activities: School gardens, Farm field trips and farmer visits to schools / classrooms, Local food purchasing and preparation (for meals, snacks, taste tests, and/or classroom cooking), and Children's literature! Learn more and apply here!

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