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.
Trainings on the School Garden Food Safety Guidelines are periodically being scheduled throughout the state. The next scheduled training will be held in:
- Prescott, AZ on Friday, February 21 (1015 Fair St, Prescott, AZ 86305)
- Phoenix Area - Summer 2014
If you would like a training in your area, begin by reaching out to schools and community organizations, and get a commitment from at least 20 individuals to attend the training. Once you have these numbers, please contact us to begin discussing training dates. We also ask that you arrange for an appropriate training location. Once these details are determined, then we will advertize the training. We must have at least 30 people register in order for us to commit to using limited travel funds.
Trainings consist of the following workshops
- School Garden Food Safety (3 hrs): trains on the guidelines to follow in order to have garden produce served in the school cafeteria.
- Standards Based Lessons (2 hrs): trains 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): trains 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
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.