Local Gardening Resources

Check out these resources for getting in touch with garden experts in your area, navigating the logistics of growing a garden, or connecting to much-needed people power:

Master Gardeners, U of I Extension

Partners at University of Illinois Extension offices are a boon for any farm to school, or garden program! The Master Gardeners program has supported many school gardens in Illinois and provide opportunities for support in all of Illinois' 102 counties. You can find a complete county contact list for the Master Gardener programs here.

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA)

For Chicago sites, AUA has resources for operating gardens within city codes and using compost. They also lead volunteer field days to help sites maintain or build their gardens.

IL Harvest of the Month Taste Test Toolkit

Illinois Farm to School Network has created a Taste Test Toolkit for Illinois based feeding and garden sites. The Taste Test Toolkit is a part of the Illinois Harvest of the Month program, a free program encouraging child feeding and garden sites to feature and and explore a monthly garden, or local food item.

Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit, Whole Kids Foundation

Slow Food USA, in partnership with Whole Kids Foundation, has developed a toolkit to help school district food services safely bring school garden produce onto the lunch line!

Garden Skills, Big Green

If you want to support a garden program but need to brush up on your gardening skills, check out this resource page.

Gardeneers, Chicago

Gardeneers works with Chicago’s South- and Westside schools and communities to contribute positively to the larger food system. We do this by supporting youth in our school garden and farm programs to build their own knowledge, skills, and habits to become leaders who care for themselves, their environment, and their communities.

SGSO (School Garden Support Organization)

The SGSO Network is an open peer-to-peer learning network with the goal of growing, sustaining and elevating a movement of equitable garden-based education. This is a free service!

Summer in the School Garden

This is a resource designed to help school garden coordinators effectively maintain their school gardens during the summer.