National School Garden Program

in partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill

Monthly Webinars

The National School Garden Program hosts monthly leader calls/webinars to provide our Slow Food chapters and school garden volunteers further support and technical assistance. Our webinars are free and open to the public. Here is a list of both upcoming and past calls, including the ability to download powerpoints and the recorded webinars.

Upcoming webinars:


Archived webinars:

October 2016 Webinar - Common Threads presents Common Bytes: Innovative Online Nutrition Education

Common Threads Cooking for Life Logo

Since 2003, Common Threads, a national nonprofit and Slow Food USA Slow Gardens Program partner, has been on the front lines of the childhood obesity fight by providing hands-on cooking and nutrition education programs to children, families and teachers in underserved communities in eight major cities. As part of National School Lunch Week beginning on Oct. 16, Common Threads will make its curriculum available nationwide through an innovative online learning tool called Common Bytes. Common Bytes is a new website that equips families and educators across the country to bring nutrition education into existing learning environments for preK-8th grade students. Common Bytes presents a fun, easy way for children to learn about nutrition and healthy behavior by exploring healthy recipes for making their dinners both nutritious and delicious through interactive game and resources.

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation here:

Slow Gardens October 2016 Webinar: Common Bytes (Presentation)

September 2016 Webinar - FarmRaiser: Reinventing the School Fundraiser

FarmRaiser Logo 2

FarmRaiser is healthy fundraising company that connects local farms and food artisans to schools and organizations raising money for important causes. Students sell healthy, local products instead of the usual suspects (junk food, wrapping paper, pizza kits, etc.) and advocate for the importance of supporting local food systems. A great way to raise money for your cause, teach kids about the importance of healthy, local food, and strengthen your local economy. In this month's webinar, FarmRaiser staff will join us and present on how schools can start their own healthy fundraising campaigns.

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August 2016 Webinar - Donating School Garden Produce to Those in Need

Produce for Pantries

As the peak of harvest season approaches, there are many ways to utilize your school (home or community!) garden produce. We believe donating to food pantries, soup kitchens, and meals-on-wheels programs is a great option that connects students and gardeners to their community and educates around issues of hunger.

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation here:

August 2016 Slow Gardens Webinar: Donating Your School Garden Produce - PowerPoint Presentation

Come hear guest presenters:

We will be discussing a range of topics including:

  • How to identify community groups to accept produce donations
  • Food safety in harvesting and donating produce
  • The logistics of a donation

June 2016 Webinar - Garden to Cafeteria: Successes, Challenges and Models from Across the U.S.

Garden to Cafeteria Lunchroom Signage

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get your school garden produce into the lunchroom? This month, we will be discussing the concept of Garden to Cafeteria (GTC), which serves as an incredible educational opportunity for students and can greatly contribute to changing a school food culture. However, successfully implementing a GTC program will require some planning around food safety protocols, proper training, and partnership development. Slow Food USA will describe our successes working with the county health department and food service to develop a robust GTC program in Denver, and we'll unveil our plans to create a Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit using a Whole Kids Foundation Healthy Kids Innovation Grant.

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May 2016 Webinar: School Garden Education for Children Experiencing Behavioral and Mental Health Challenges

May 2016 Webinar

School Gardens for students with behavioral and mental health challenges provide interesting opportunities to develop positive and empowering life skills. The Creeks School Garden in Portland, Oregon integrates practical education theory and methods into tangible, thoughtful teaching exercises that results in dynamic behavioral changes. The Creeks School Garden team will describe: the learning characteristics of these special children, their school settings, the importance of community partnerships, and specific activities that help these students gain confidence and develop productive collaborative relationships.

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation here:

May 2016 Webinar - School Gardens for Behavioral and Mental Health Challenges Webinar Powerpoint

You can also access additional: School Gardens for Behavioral and Mental Health Challenges Webinar Resources

Read more about the presenters:

  • Suzanne Briggs works with Multnomah Education Service District students with emotional and mental health challenges. She has an extensive background in the local food movement including starting farmers markets, teaching the implementation of SNAP in farmers markets, advocating for state farm to school and school garden legislation, and advising the OSU Center of Small Farms and Community Food Systems.
  • Joni Hamilton Tolon is a School Psychologist and the Principal for Multnomah Education Service District’s Arata Creek and Burlingame Creek schools. For 21 years, Joni has been involved in mental health support programs. Her schools provide a more structured setting so that students with behavioral and/or mental health needs can achieve academic and behavioral success.
  • Schuyler Dinsdale has been farming for 35 years and has a general science education background. He has completed his OSU Master Garden certification. Schuyler teaches sustainable gardening to high school students with emotional and behavior needs. He is currently developing a unique garden curriculum that will specifically address the learning disabilities of his students while using the framework of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

February 2016 Webinar: Support Your School Garden with Chipotle

February 2016 Webinar1

Do you want to raise money for your school garden through a 50% restaurant fundraiser? How about free burritos to feed volunteers at a garden workday? Or are you looking for ways to thank teachers and supporters? Gift cards are great! And educational materials like Grow Kits are perfect to teach kids about starting seeds.

Come hear about the Chipotle Resources for School Gardens available to any school through Slow Food USA's partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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January 2016 Webinar: The Ark of Taste and Biodiversity in School Gardens

January 2016 Webinar Cropped

The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. It's a tool for farmers, ranchers, fishers, chefs, grocers, educators and consumers to seek out and celebrate our country's diverse biological, cultural and culinary heritage. By identifying and championing these foods, we keep them in production and on our plates.

Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program is launching an Ark of Taste Gardens Project. School gardens are an excellent place to bring these foods to a community and this project is a perfect fit for teachers who want to introduce their students to topics like biodiversity, heirloom plants, seed saving, historical roots of cultural foods and unique flavors from the garden.

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This month's webinar has a fantastic line up of speakers, including:

  • Megan Larmer, Director of Strategy and Community Engagement for Slow Food USA, who will give us an overview of The Ark of Taste
  • Cindy Joseph, teacher at Cypress Bay High School in Florida, who will talk about her student nomination project
  • Mim Michelove, Director of Farm Lab for Encinitas Union School District in California, who will share the school farm to cafeteria initiative
  • Andrea Branchini, Writer/Recipe Developer for Slow Food USA, who will explain her Ark of Taste Cookbook Project

You can also access the powerpoint presentation here:

January 2016 - School Garden Webinar: Ark of Taste & Biodiversity (Powerpoint)

November 2015 Webinar: Fundraising

November 2015 Webinar

In the November webinar, we heard more about fundraising from two guest speakers. We were joined by Cindy Scott from Slow Food Prescott/Terroir Seeds who talked about their seed fundraiser for schools, a healthy alternative that's educational for kids and adults alike. In addition, Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz of Slow Food East End/Edible School Gardens shared various fundraising strategies for school gardens from crowdfunding to creative events. We highlight other Slow Food USA fundraising resources including our list of school garden grants, fundraising page, community partners, and Chipotle fundraisers.

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation here:

November 2015 - School Garden Webinar: Fundraising (Powerpoint)

October 2015 Webinar: Denver Farm to School Programming

October 2015 Webinar1

In October, the Slow Food USA National School Garden Program Director, Andrew Nowak, gave a presentation to local leaders in Lincoln, Nebraska to assist with their development of a Farm to School program. Andrew described the evolution and formation of Farm to School programming in Denver, CO, highlighting the relationship with the local Slow Food chapter as well as Denver Public Schools (DPS).

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September 2015 Webinar: Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grants

September 2015 Webinar

This month's webinar featured guest presenters from the Whole Kids Foundation who explained their School Garden Grants, which have an application deadline of October 31, 2015. They also discussed their Salad Bar, Healthy Teachers, and Innovation Grant opportunities. The Slow Food USA National School Garden Program team is excited to offer technical assistance to Slow Food chapters and schools interested in applying!

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation and notes for the September webinar here:

September 2015 School Garden Webinar: Whole Kids Foundation Grants

July 2015 Webinar: Chickens and School Gardens

July 2015 Webinar

In this session, we heard from Farmer Kim Aman of Moss Haven Elementary School in Dallas, TX and how she got a flock of feathered friends on her school campus. She discussed the do's and don'ts that can lead to chicken success: how to navigate the process with a school district, food safety concerns, student participation, community partners, and resources available to schools looking to get chickens as part of their school garden program.

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June 2015 Webinar - The Impact of School Gardens: Current Academic Research

June 2015 Webinar

Have you seen the academic research that shows how school gardens are positively impacting children's lives? Do you need to convince the administration why your school should have a garden? Are you seeking out data-driven studies to earn the support of the school district? School gardens and cooking classes are positively impacting fruit and vegetable consumption, academic success, childhood obesity, emotional health/wellbeing, and food justice, and we have the studies and summaries (PowerPoint slides) to prove it!

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In this webinar, National School Garden Program Director, Andrew Nowak, describes how academic research can make an impact on starting and maintaining your school garden. Slow Food USA encourages the use of our PowerPoint presentations and research summaries in your own presentations to school boards, administrators, and districts.

You can also access the powerpoint presentation for the June webinar here:

Slow Food USA June 2015 Webinar: The Impact of School Gardens: Current Academic Research (Presentation)

*Note: Any original data represented in either graphic or written form can be assumed to be statistically significant

May 2015 Webinar with Special Guest: The Edible Schoolyard Project

May 2015 Webinar Cropped

The Edible Schoolyard Network is an online community for educators and advocates working to transform how children eat and learn. This session will highlight how to use the Network as a tool to map your program, connect with peers around the world, and contribute to an edible education curriculum for grades preK through 12. Led by Hannah Piercey, Community Manager of The Edible Schoolyard Project.

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation for the May webinar here:

Slow Food USA: May School Garden Webinar: The Edible Schoolyard Project

April 2015 Webinar - Grow Your Volunteers: Recruitment & Engagement

April 2015 Webinar

We recognize that volunteers are the heart of school gardens. In this webinar, hear more about how to recruit, train, retain and recognize your volunteers! We provide strategies for where to find new volunteers, tips for creating job descriptions and 1:1 relationship building, training/supporting them with skills, tools and confidence, and providing the necessary communication and expectations for success. Led by Program Director Andrew Nowak and Program Manager Lauren Howe, With a guest presentation by Slow Food USA Board Member, Thom Duncan.

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation for the April webinar here:

Slow Food USA: April 2015 School Garden Webinar: Grow Your Volunteers PowerPoint

March 2015 Webinar: Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program Overview

March 2015 Webinar

This webinar provides an overview of Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program from Program Director, Andrew Nowak, and Program Manager, Lauren Howe. Originally created for our network of Slow Food USA leaders across the country, but helpful for anyone interested in learning more and getting involved in our program!

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You can also access the powerpoint presentation for the March webinar here:

Slow Food USA March 2015 Webinar: National School Garden Program Overview

February 2015 Webinar: Slow Food USA's Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum

February 2015 Webinar Cropped

In this webinar, Director of Education for Slow Food Denver and curriculum developer, Gigia Kolouch walks us through the first volume of Slow Food USA's Good, Clean, and Fair School Garden Curriculum, offering helpful hints and lesson planning tips. The "Good" Volume includes lesson plans and cultural recipes that promote sensory education (e.g. progressive tasting exercises) and kitchen skills and tools (e.g. knives, rolling pins, and mortars and pestles).

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If you would like to access/download the curriculum online, please visit our Resources page.

You can access the Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum Webinar Notes.



contact us

Slow Gardens

Lauren Howe
Program Director
877.SlowFoo(d), ext. 129


Andrew Nowak
Program Director
877.SlowFoo(d), ext. 128