School Garden 101

School Garden 101: garden with hoophouse

School Garden 101 is a course for school staff (teachers, aides, cooks, health coordinators, etc.) who wish to create a school garden and tie it to classrooms and the cafeteria. In five sessions, participants learn basic gardening skills, think through and document a school garden plan, and initiate their school garden. Each session focuses on a gardening subject (composting, soil health, growing seedlings, garden planning, insects/ diseases) and provides time and tools for school teams to plan and network with others.

School Garden 101 participants studyingThis website was created to share the School Garden 101 curriculum with Extension employees and other community members who wish to engage school staff in learning how to start a school garden. It is also a resource for schools with established gardens. It contains sample course promotional materials, a course syllabus, detailed outlines for each of the five sessions, teacher planning tools and discussion questions, homework assignments, links to fact sheets providing essential gardening information, links to school gardening activities and curricula, sample course evaluation forms, and a sample certificate of completion.

School Garden 101 was developed as an evening course by Marjorie Peronto (University of Maine Cooperative Extension) and Sue DeBlieck (Healthy Acadia). Since 2010, the course has been held in Ellsworth, Machias, Bucksport, and Waldoboro, Maine, reaching 72 teachers and cooks from 39 schools.

School Garden 101 participants planting seedsFor more information about the course, please contact Marjorie Peronto at or 1.800.287.1479 (in Maine) or 207.667.8212.

Course Materials (5 Sessions)

Session #1 — School Composting

Session #2 — Soil and School Garden Goals

Session #3 — Seedlings and Lay Groundwork for a School Garden

Session #4 — Garden Planning and Summer Care

Session #5 — Beyond