Welcome to the website for the Tampa Bay School Gardening Network.
The purpose of this website is to increase awareness of how organic vegetable gardening
can facilitate learning in local schools and in the greater Tampa Bay community.
We at the Tampa Bay School Gardening Research Group believe that with encouragement
and support, more teachers, administrators, parents, and students may become interested
in organic, sustainable gardening as a way of learning a variety of subjects, growing
healthful foods, advancing food security for families, and promoting environmental
consciousness. This website and the wide range of books, articles, website, videos
and other resources described here will help teachers find ways of meeting state-wide
educational standards through gardening activities appropriate for each grade-level.
You will come to see that gardening is an excellent way to promote critical thinking
about environmental policies, agricultural strategies, and consumer trends that
threaten the Earth’s ecosystems. In addition, students who garden are more likely
to acquire an appreciation for the varieties of fruits and vegetables they grow
than students who do not. As children take their new interests and knowledge home
to their families, they can potentially help to inspire whole communities to move
toward the goals of environmental sustainability and more healthful eating. Within
this website, you will find ideas for getting started in school gardening, sources
of funding for garden programs, information about growing specific plants in Florida,
links to calendars listing gardening workshops and events, and a discussion page
where you can share your questions and answers on specific topics. In addition,
there is a “School Garden Showcase” page where one local school at a time will be
asked to share stories and pictures from its own gardening program. Our hope is
that teachers in particular will be able to learn from one another and that this
will make school gardening easier and more rewarding for everyone.