School gardens are increasingly being used as hands-on tools to help students learn many core educational concepts. Not only do school gardens help produce educated students, but they also produce an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The School Garden Food Safety Program was developed to meet the needs of schools that wanted the produce from its garden to be served in the school's cafeteria.
The University of Arizona collaborated with The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to develop guidelines for school gardens (School Garden Food Safety Guidelines). These guidelines follow GHP/GAP (good handling practices and good agricultural practices), which minimize microbial food safety hazards for fresh fruits and vegetables. Schools who follow the School Garden Food Safety Guidelines and schedule an inspection by ADHS will receive a certification. This certification will allow the school garden to be an approved source from which the school cafeteria can receive produce; meaning, the produce from the school garden can be served in the school cafeteria.
The last live School Garden Food Safety training was held in September 2014. Grant funds for live trainings have been expended.
Grant funds have been secured for online trainings. These online trainings are in production. Click this link if you would like to be notified when these online trainings become available.
Trainings consisted of the following workshops
- School Garden Food Safety (3 hrs): trained on the guidelines to follow in order to have garden produce served in the school cafeteria.
- Standards Based Lessons (2 hrs): trained on lessons that have been aligned to common core standards which bring gardening and agriculture concepts into school classroom while still teaching core subjects
- Gardening 101 (1 hr): trained on the basics of how to start and maintain a successful garden
School Garden Food Safety Workshop
- University of Arizona
Arizona Department of Health Services
- Harvested Rainwater Attestation
- Harvested Rainwater SOP Example
- School Prepared Plant-derived Composting Attestation
- School Prepared Plant-derived Composting SOP Example
- School Prepared Manure and Plant-derived Composting Attestation
- School Prepared Manure and Plant-derived Composting SOP Example
- Soil Sampling Protocol for Lead Testing
- Request for Site Visit for School Gardens
- School Garden Corrective Action Plan
- School Garden Harvest Log
- ADHS Guidelines for School Gardens
Standards Based Lessons
- Flagstaff Training
- Maricopa County
- University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
- Food Safety Plan
The Arizona Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Consultation and Training has funded all or a portion of this Project, using Specialty Crop Block Grant funds provided by the USDA,
Agricultural Marketing Service.