Administration is key for giving approval for implementing the garden. Administration can schedule time for teacher workshops, help with fundraising, gain community and parental support, involve volunteers in the planning process and fulfill other leadership responsibilities.
Teachers should be involved in a number of activities to include: incorporating the school garden into their lessons, coordinating activities, planting crops, seeking resources, recruiting volunteers and spreading information about garden activities to the community and school.
To benefit from school gardening, students should be involved in all stages of the process. By including students from the beginning, they gain ownership of the garden and an understanding of where their food comes from.
SCHOOL NURSE AND HEALTH EDUCATORS
Having the school nurse and health educators involved with the garden will help connect the school garden to the health and well-being of your students. They can assist with finding health related connections such as food safety, nutrition, physical activity and hygiene in the garden. The nurse can be available in case of potential bug bites or scratches that can happen while working in the garden.
FOOD SERVICE STAFF
The food service staff will help to make the best use of produce by preparing taste tests in the classroom or incorporating produce in the cafeteria. In addition, staff members can provide leftovers from the cafeteria for composting and provide guidance on food safety concerns.
LIBRARIAN AND MEDIA SPECIALISTS
School librarians and media specialists can aid in finding resources related to school gardening for students, teachers and parents.
Maintaining the garden proves to be a challenging task for many teachers and garden committee members. Maintenance/custodial staff can help maintain the garden during academic breaks and assist with storage. They can provide information about chemicals used on school grounds near the garden for the safety of those individuals participating in the garden or eating produce from the garden. Including maintenance/custodial staff will also prevent them from unknowingly harming any garden progress that has been made.
FAMILY MEMBERS/PTO/SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL
Involve parents in the school garden committee because they can provide resources, supplies, funds and volunteer their time to assist in the coordination and maintenance of the garden. Some parents may have gardening experience and can assist in planting, harvesting and general upkeep.
ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS:
LOCAL FARMERS, COMMUNITY MEMBERS/LEADERS, MASTER GARDENERS, CLEMSON EXTENSION AGENTS, SUPERINTENDENTS
Additional community members to consider for the school garden committee can be a great resource for those who might not have much gardening experience. Local farmers can provide their knowledge and experience to help with the garden. Community members and leaders can help identify and collect resources that are necessary for the school garden to last many years. They can also act as a liaison for local community events and government, provide assistance with garden maintenance during the summer and school year and provide gardening knowledge and supplies.If you are new to gardening, a master gardener in your area can provide helpful advice and resources for your garden.