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Community Resource: Gardening Initiatives

Gardening is a great activity for people of all ages. It promotes physical activity as well as healthy eating. We offer several resources for planning gardening activities in a variety of settings.

Got Dirt  publication cover showing dirt and a spade with the title: Got Dirt?

Got Dirt? Garden Toolkit, P-40112

Never gardened? This toolkit is designed to provide simple, step-by-step plans for starting a garden. It also offers tips from garden experts and success stories from around Wisconsin. Available in English and Spanish.

Got Veggies? P-00228

The goal of this garden-based nutrition education curriculum is to get children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. This toolkit features seven full lesson plans that align with Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Nutrition, Health, Science, and other related subjects. Available in English and Spanish.

Got Veggies? Early Care and Education Edition (PDF)

This edition of the toolkit adapts lessons and activities to meet best practices in the early care and education setting. The themes and activities align with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. They offer concepts and tools just right for children ages 5 and under.

A child holding a plant kneeling by a raised garden box

Cultivating Childhood Wellness through Gardening

This online training video was developed by the Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity program and Rooted (formerly Community GroundWorks). It was made in partnership with University of Wisconsin–Extension, Life Lab, Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Network, University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and University of Wisconsin–Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

This training has been approved for continuing education hours for child care providers. It offers 1.5 hours of Wisconsin Registry credit (see final training video for details).

Chapter 1 - Introduction—An overview and rationale for school gardens (13:13).

Chapter 2 - Planning and Establishing Your Youth Garden—Insight and practical steps needed to plan and build a garden from the ground up (11:48).

Chapter 3 - Growing Food with Kids—How to grow food in your garden, from choosing and starting seeds, to transplanting and watering, to managing pests, and harvesting your bounty (13:05).

Chapter 4 - Growing Gardens in the Early Care and Education Setting—Things to consider when growing gardens in early care and education settings (13:27).

Chapter 5 - The Color Harvest: A Comparative Tasting Lesson—Uses nutrition to help students expand their palates (9:59).

Chapter 6 - Roots Lesson Plans— describes a lesson plan that gives children a chance to explore plant growth through root (6:45).

Chapter 7 - Garden-Based Activities—Activities to let students use garden space to its fullest. Activities range from digging to wheelbarrow races, and from plant braiding to games like “Name that Veggie” (12:52).

Chapter 8: Culinary Arts in the Garden—Describes supplies and recipes that use fresh garden produce (6:44).

Learn about other Food System Initiatives

Last revised June 13, 2023