Farm to School Education
Nutrition or health-related activities and lessons that tie agriculture and local food together make local foods in the cafeteria more meaningful to students.
Read for Health
- Lesson 1: Fruits and Vegetables, “Max Goes to the Farmers’ Market”
- Lesson 5: All Fruits Have Seeds, “A Fruits is a Suitcase for Seeds”
- Lesson 11: Where do Fruits and Vegetables Grow?, “Up, Down, and Around”
- Lesson 13: The Scoop on Soil, “Dirt- The Scoop on Soil”
- Lesson 14: Healthy Gardens, “Eddie’s Garden and How to Make Things Grow”
- Lesson 15: Food From the Earth, “Seed, Soil, Sun”
- Lesson 18: Farm to School, “Before We Eat”
Edible ABC’s is a companion piece to the Read for Health curriculum that is used with children ages 3 to 5 to introduce nutrition and gardening.
- Edible ABCs Lesson Guide
- Good for You Cards
- Newsletter (English, Spanish)
- ABC Picture Cards
- ABC Stickers
Links to Farm to Preschool Gardening Resources:
- Grow It Try It Like It Curriculum is a garden-themed nutrition education kit that targets children ages 3 to 5. It is available for download or order from USDA’s Team Nutrition program.
- Eat Smart Website Gardening Resources and Seasonal Gardening Newsletters
Promote and serve locally grown produce, build connections to local agriculture, and engage participants to gardening activities.
Nutrition Education and Fun Activities
- Use lessons and parent newsletters from the Read for Health to engage participants using books and fun, interactive nutrition and gardening activities. Select from the list below for a theme that fits with your program:
- Engage participants in fun and educational lessons from the Growing Healthy Habits curriculum
- Garden Survivor Game – Through a game and discussion, students will learn and remember the importance of variety to a healthy diet, to a healthy garden, and to good taste!
- Gimme Some Space – Students will set up an experiment that will demonstrate that plants need a certain amount of space to grow as an example of growing conditions that must be planned for in the garden.
- Seed Dissection – Students will dissect a bean to observe the parts of the seed that allow it to germinate, or start growing and learn how seeds store energy that not only help baby plants grow, but are also a good source of energy for us to eat.
- Planting Container Gardens – Students will discuss plant needs and plant a small garden using recycled material materials for containers.
- Expose participants to local agriculture with farmer visits, field trips to farms and farmers markets and by inviting the MAEF trailer to visit your site
- Engage farmers for visits to your summer meals sites, plan visits to farms and farmers markets. Use this checklist to connect with farmers.
- Visit the Maryland’s Best website at to find local farmers and farms
- Visit the Maryland Farmers’ Market Association Website to locate a farmers’ market or local farmer
- Contact Maryland Agriculture Education Foundation (MAEF) to arrange for the MAEF mobile science lab to visit your site for on-site agriculture education and for assistance with setting up a pop-up farmers’ market:
Spread the Word
- Dig In! Posters: