Edible School Garden Grants and Donations
Looking for some extra money to finance your schoolyard garden project? Try to unearth a grant to pay for your expenses.
Begin your search at KidsGardening.org or the National Gardening Association. Both maintain a database of current grants available for schoolyard garden projects.
There is also your local farm bureau. A county farm bureau may provide seed donations for projects. As a Master Gardener Volunteer, I was lucky enough to receive seeds and a small cash grant from the Broward Farm Bureau to fund schoolyard garden projects on several occasions.
Some seed companies donate seeds to school garden projects. Generally, seed companies will donate seeds from the previous planting season that did not sell. While most of these seeds will germinate without a problem, you don’t have a choice of what seeds you get. If you are open to trying some new things, this is a good option to pursue.
Listed below are some seed and garden supply companies. Some have seed donation programs.
ARBICO Organics Garden Supply 800-827-2847
High Mowing Organic Seeds 802-472-6174
Home Harvest Garden Supply 517-332-2663
Irish Eyes Garden Seeds 509-933-7150
Johnny’s Selected Seeds 877-564-6697
Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply 888-784-1722
Seed Savers Exchange 563-382-5990
Seeds of Change 888-762-7333
Seeds Trust 928-6498-3315
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 540-894-9480
Territorial Seed Company 541-942-9547
The Cook’s Garden 800-457-9703
Tomato Growers Supply Company 888-478-7333 or 888-768-3476
Totally Tomatoes 800-345-5977
Vermont Bean Seed Company 800-349-1071
Victory Seeds™ 503-829-3126
Don’t overlook local nurseries and local big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes when you are searching for garden donations. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you receive.
Also, and most importantly, while parent and community volunteers are helpful to the success of a garden project, my experience shows that the most crucial team member is a school staffer to oversea the garden. If the school administration supports the project, there will need to be someone there to regularly water and check the plants, especially over long weekends and holiday breaks.
I’ve seen many gardens struggle and be left behind because the volunteer moved on and there was no one left to maintain the project. If all parties have a vested interest in the project’s success, your garden will thrive.