School and Garden Resources:
- Groundwork Center is a non-profit in Traverse City that works to “protect the environment, strengthen the economy, and build the community.” Over the last decade, Groundwork has been providing support for Farm to School in the northwest Michigan region. Contact Food and Farming Director Meghan McDermott by email or at (231) 941-6584.
- Michigan State University-Extension works to provide Michigan residents with resources and information they need to build their communities. Through their Lawn and Garden page, there are many resources available for Michigan gardens. Contact the Grand Traverse Extension Educator Sarah Eichberger by email or at 231-922-4836.
- Taste the Local Difference, Michigan’s local food marketing agency out of Traverse City, “helps food businesses and the communities they serve benefit from the economic value of local food, while ensuring that fresh, healthy, local food is available to all consumers.” TLD’s website hosts several resources to help you find local food information, local farmers and food suppliers, farms interested in Farm to School activities, and an institutional sales directory.
- Food Gardens North is a blog, developed out of northwest Michigan, for people to learn about foods, gardens, and school garden projects in this region.
- SEEDS a northern Michigan non-profit, frames their work into building community locally, energy & environmental analysis, and ecological engineering & design. SEEDS offers after-school enrichment programs, such as garden and culinary clubs, for schools in Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, and Kalkaska County.
- The Directory of Chef and Nutrition Educator Visits lists northwest Michigan chefs, nutrition educators, and more on this document.
- Outdoor Classroom Management, a presentation from Michigan State University-Extension, covering many ideas on how to host a successful and organized outdoor class for students.
Community Garden Resources:
- The Traverse City Department of City Planning zoning ordinance allows community gardens in all zoning categories, residents can also get city permission to launch community gardens on city land.
- A great resource for community planners and local leaders, the American Planning Association Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food Planning.
Regional Community Garden Contacts and Related Resources:
- Grow Benzie is a non-profit out of Benzonia that runs a greenhouse, food market, and is a “vibrant community center.” Grow Benzie offers a farmer’s market, community gardens, sewing studio, hoop houses, a community center, and an incubator kitchen. Grow Benzie is a great spot for field trips during the growing season!
- Manistee Community Kitchen is a nonprofit organization working to end hunger and obesity in Manistee County, using a kitchen and cooking education as a tool.
- The Grand Traverse MSU-Extension out of Traverse City can be reached at 231-922-4620 or by email.
- The Wexford County MSU-Extension out of Cadillac can be reached at 231-779-9480 or by email.
- The MSU-Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) Michigan Farm to School shares “ideas, tools, and resources to support a range of efforts to serve local foods in school and early childcare and education food programs.”
- The Michigan Good Food is a policy initiative out of MSU-CRFS centered around the Michigan Good Food Charter. The initiative aims to promote policy changes that will advance “good food” in Michigan. Good food is healthy, green, fair, and affordable.
- National Farm to School Network supports the work of local Farm to School programs all over the country by providing free training sessions, technical assistance, informational services, networking opportunities, support for policy making, media and marketing activities.
- Vermont Food Education Every Day (FEED) founded in 2000, Vermont FEED has worked with more than one-third of schools in Vermont to create robust and viable Farm to School programs.
- The Edible Schoolyard Project (ESYP) “builds the capacity of edible education programs with tools and training” and their goal is to create and share an edible education curriculum for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The ESYP offers a variety of garden resources and curriculum.
- Farm to School: USDA Food and Nutrition Service is a national resource for schools and teachers doing farm to school, this site is full of statistics, grant information, and tool-kits. One of the most valuable resources is the USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit.