Best practice: examples, tips and resources

Food Gardens in Schools

Food gardens are an ideal way for children to develop knowledge and practical skills in garden maintenance, environmental monitoring, organic recycling and food production. They also provide the opportunity to promote healthy eating and a sustainable lifestyle. Practical activities in designing, creating, growing and harvesting from food gardens can be linked to a wide range of curriculum areas including science, arts, literacy, and numeracy.

Planning and preparation is the key to a successful food garden. You will need to research which crops are suited to your area, how to correctly manage worm farms and compost bins, and how to maintain soil health. The result will be a productive garden that will actively engage students in outdoor learning for many years to come.


A collection of examples based on previous grant successes are available to help you develop your project idea. Please select from the list of categories below, by clicking on the link for the relevant page.

Tips for getting the most from your Food Gardens project

  • Involve students in the planning and research stage of the project including garden design, suitable crops, and water requirements
  • Consider external training for interested teachers, or getting a horticultural expert in to help with the initial set-up and design phase
  • Seek donations of materials from local businesses to help with the costs of soil, mulch or timber
  • Organise a group of volunteers from the school community who can assist with maintenance, working bees or supporting lessons in the garden
  • Consider the maintenance requirements of worm farms and chicken coops. These can add another dimension to food gardens but you need to make sure someone is responsible for these resources during school holidays

Resources to help you along your way

The Sustainable Schools website contains information on how to plan your school food garden, and a range of teaching resources to help you deliver a school food garden program. This includes help with integrating learning outcomes into the curriculum, practical advice for garden design and maintenance, and a range of online resources.

Below are futher resources that can assist you in planning a successful food garden in your school.

Kitchen gardens

New website with a range of information for teachers and students with syllabus links, learning resources and student activities for school kitchen gardens.

Ready Set Grow

PDF guide produced by Hornsby Shire Council and Northern Sydney Central Coast NSW Health, outlining the kitchen garden in schools program.

World Gardens Project Community web space that provides resources, events, discussion and peer learning on garden based education in schools. It connects school communities from across the world to share and learn sustainable initiatives based on their gardens, food and culture.
Gardening without chemicals Chemical free gardening guide produced by backyard buddies.
Backyard Chickens Living greener website detail on keeping 'backyard' chickens.
Animals in Schools Domestic fowls PDF guide produced by NSW Schools

Easy guide to composting

Garden help, produced by the Office of Environment and Heritage

The marvel of Mulch

Garden help, produced by the Office of Environment and Heritage

Easy guide to worm farming

Garden help, produced by the Office of Environment and Heritage
Page last updated: 25 July 2017