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Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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School Garden

The search for good food led Chef Alice Waters to France, and then back home to Berkeley, California, where she started Chez Panisse restaurant and the Edible Schoolyard. For Alice, a delicious meal does not start in the kitchen, but in the fields with good soil and caring farmers.
Thanks for Readers to Eaters for donating this book to our lending library. 

For our February 2021 Farm to School Educator Spotlight, we’re featuring the work of Jordan Diamond, the FEAST Program and Garden Coordinator at Vance Elementary School in Asheville. Jordan received a Growing Minds mini-grant last fall, which she used to purchase equipment to help transition her lessons to the virtual learning environment. In the interview below, she shares some of the creative ways she’s been keeping her students engaged in farm to school learning throughout the pandemic. Be sure to check out the links to her video series! 
How long has your school had a garden? What do you grow? How do you incorporate the garden […]

At an elementary school in Santa Fe, the bell rings for recess and kids fly out the door to check what’s happening in their garden. As the seasons turn, everyone has a part to play in making the garden flourish. From choosing and planting seeds in the spring to releasing butterflies in the summer to harvesting in the fall to protecting the beds for the winter. Even the wiggling worms have a job to do in the compost pile! On special afternoons and weekends, neighborhood folks gather to help out and savor the bounty (fresh toppings for homemade pizza, anyone?). […]

New city. New school. Michael is feeling all alone—until he discovers the school garden! There’s so many ways to learn, and so much work to do. Taste a leaf? Mmm, nice and tangy hot. Dig for bugs? “Roly-poly!” he yells. But the garden is much more than activities outdoors: making school garden stone soup, writing Found Poems and solving garden riddles, getting involved in community projects such as Harvest Day, food bank donations, and spring plant sales. Each season creates a new way to learn, explore, discover and make friends.
Each page in this book highlights a garden activity that Michael […]

Miss Davis’ 2012 1st grade class designs a school garden! They plant flowers and vegetables that grow all summer long with the help of teachers and community members, and are then harvested by students during the fall months.

“With vision, commitment, and some good hard work, educators and families around the globe are ripping up pavement, sowing seeds, and growing garden classrooms because they believe children need to be engaged by hands-on learning in a context that matters to them. In Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Principles of Garden-Based Education, Nathan Larson shares a philosophy of teaching in the garden. Rooted in years of experience and supported by research, he presents fifteen guiding principles of garden-based education. These principles and best practices are illustrated through engaging stories from the field.” Download a free e-book or order a paperback copy here.