MAC School Garden Resources
Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) seeks to support the creation and sustenance of school gardens throughout the Commonwealth, and to create links between these gardens and Massachusetts agriculture.
MAC has supported school garden efforts across the state for nearly 20 years. Since 1994, MAC has awarded mini-grants to school projects that have included garden-based education, nutrition and healthy local foods. Since 1996, we have conducted professional development trainings for educators through workshops and conferences focusing on a variety of agricultural topics, many with links to garden-based education. Written materials have supported gardening at the school, including teacher resources on soils , composting, and growing specific fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Our new school garden initiative is a focused way in which we are gearing our materials for school gardens, and generating new materials to support the particular needs of teachers and others gardening for the school year in the northern state of Massachusetts! We have also launched a new garden support program called our “Teachers Gardens” program.
Our materials for Massachusetts school gardeners include:
---- A directory of school gardens throughout the state
---- A directory of educational resources to support the school garden
---- A directory of nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers and farms that sell products for the school garden
---- Thirteen Detailed manuals for topics from building the beds and soils to seed, transplanting, mulching and cover crops.
---- 20 garden-based lessons for grades 1 through 4 with State framework connections
* Seasonal conferences with school gardening focused workshops in each session.
Seasonal hands-on workshop days for educators in the garden
---- Past Newsletters with many helpful resources for school gardeners
---- Mini grants that are available to fund agriculture education projects
Each year, MAC mentors a number of teachers in their initial school garden start up, or with assistance in sustaining their gardening efforts. Each teacher must apply and be accepted for our “Teachers Gardens” program.
Participants in this program receive two years of garden mentoring directly from us as well as other benefits. Detailed information about this program can be found on our Teachers Gardens page.
These resources were supported by a 2012 Specialty Crops Grant from the USDA through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.