Organized by organizations in Maine as well as outside of Maine, we invite you to check out the following organizations who are working to educate and support school children, gardeners and growers of all ages by offering guidance, resources and inspiration.
Partners of the Month
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Organizations Within Maine
Beginning Farmer Resource Network
A coalition of Maine agriculture agencies and organizations working together to connect aspiring, beginning and transitioning farmers to resources for farm business success.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Their mission is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants and nature through horticulture, education and research. Their educational programs inspire learners of all ages to grow, deepen their understanding of botany and ecology, energize their inner artist, or become better gardeners and stewards of their environment.
A Portland based nonprofit that uses sustainable gardens to grow communities as well as offer curriculum and mentoring for school gardens.
Food Corps Maine
A national program with a chapter in Maine whose mission is to combat childhood obesity through school gardens, nutrition education, and healthy food access. FoodCorps recruits young leaders for a year of public service to build school gardens and get fresh, local food into schools, while also giving these members the skills to be our next generation of farmers and public health leaders.
Garden Club Federation of Maine
A statewide organization with local garden clubs. Their Youth Gardening Programs introduce gardening, conservation, protection of wildlife, recognition of plants, trees and shrubs, basic flower arrangements, and the love and appreciation of nature to support future citizens who are knowledgeable about their environment.
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom
Supports educators who teach students about the role of agriculture in the economy and society so that they will become citizens who support wise agricultural policies and local agriculture endeavors through programs, grants and lesson planning resources.
With a mission to conserve Maine’s wildlife and its habitat by engaging people of all ages in conservation, education, and action, Maine Audubon offers school gardeners an online tool to help you find the native plants best suited for your specific sites that not only provide the greatest ecological function and benefit but will also complement your landscape design.
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry: Integrated Pest Management
Takes an active role in promoting and supporting the use of IPM best management practices that emphasize quality production and health while minimizing reliance on pesticides.
Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Services
Supports the increasing number of Maine schools that are sourcing food locally and providing complementary educational activities that teach students about food, farming, and nutrition because this farm to school movement not only ensures school children are receiving healthy meals, it also supports the local economy and rich tradition of agriculture. Home of the Harvest of the Month program.
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Offers student and educator information and lesson plans on topics such as composting and recycling with help from Maine Department of Environmental Protection staff.
Maine Environmental Education Association
Enhances and amplifies the efforts of individuals and organizations building environmental awareness, appreciation, understanding, and action in Maine.
Maine Farm to School Network
Works to build a communication and coordination infrastructure at the school and community level to support farm to school programs throughout Maine.
Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets
The hub and resource for markets, gather and disseminate information, offer consultations and advice, maintain the state’s directory of farmers’ markets, host an annual convention, help markets promote their activities and broaden access to local foods for low-income Mainers.
Maine Nutrition Council
Contributes to the health and well being of Maine citizens through education, research and advocacy.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The oldest and largest state organic organization in the country, MOFGA educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities. The Common Ground Fair is a great place to bring school groups!
The Maine Pomological Society
A nonprofit organization incorporated in 1873 that consists of apple orchards throughout the state dedicated to strengthening the sector as well as the agricultural industry in Maine.
Provides nutrition education services in settings like schools, food pantries, Head Starts, and other child care settings, grocery stores, and regional DHHS offices.
Nature Based Education Consortium
A Maine-based collaborative network of outdoor learning leaders and stakeholders working together on systems-level efforts to ensure that every Maine youth has access to powerful outdoor learning experiences. Check out their Outdoor Learning Quick Reference Guide.
Portland-based permaculture resource dedicated to regenerating land, growing healthy food, and building strong, resilient communities.
Offers a program to plant orchards in schools and provides educational programs that empower people to grow their own food and be healthy environmental stewards.
A Maine-based nonprofit providing grants, crowdfunding opportunities and training to food garden projects across the country and around the world.
Seed to School
Inspires, equips and supports educators in teaching the importance and relevance of seeds and seed saving.
A collaborative project that supports and works in partnership with Maine communities to ensure that all Maine youth have access to powerful, hands-on environmental learning opportunities.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
With offices in every county, they offer training classes including the Master Gardener program, extensive publications and a monthly gardening newsletter. A good place for technical advice!
Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine
Dedicated to conserving and promoting the prosperity and welfare of this State and of the wild blueberry industry by fostering research and extension programs, by supporting the development of promotional opportunities and other activities related to the wild blueberry industry. Contact Extension Wild Blueberry Specialist Dr. Lily Calderwood, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Wild Seed Project
Equips community members, public officials and municipalities, and land-holding individuals and organizations – from farmers to land trusts – with the skills and resources they need to collectively repopulate landscapes with native plants that expand wildlife habitat, support biodiversity, and build climate resilience.
Organizations Outside of Maine
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
Works to grow awareness and understanding of agriculture through education. They create games, lesson plans, activities, and videos about agriculture that are well researched, written by education specialists, and reviewed by subject matter experts so you can be confident in their relevance and accuracy.
American Horticultural Society
Wants children and youth to know about the importance and benefits of gardening. They provide educators with the tools and resources needed for successful children and youth gardening programs including the National Children & Youth Garden Symposium and Growing Good Kids Book Awards.
California School Garden Network
Offers many resources including information on the Steps to Create A School Garden.
Chef Ann Foundation
Dedicated to promoting whole-ingredient, scratch-cooking in schools. This approach enables schools to serve the healthiest, tastiest meals so that kids are well-fed and ready to learn.
The Edible Schoolyard
Provides lessons, recipes and publications from Alice Waters’ famous foundation in Berkeley, California.
A national program whose mission is to combat childhood obesity through school gardens, nutrition education, and healthy food access. FoodCorps recruits young leaders for a year of public service to build school gardens and get fresh, local food into schools, while also giving these members the skills to be our next generation of farmers and public health leaders.
Harvest for Healthy Kids
Helps children develop healthy eating habits by connecting young children with fresh food grown close to home through activity kits that teach science, math and literacy. Each kit is developed and tested by teachers and childcare providers, and includes hands-on activities with different fruits and vegetables, colorful picture cards, newsletters for families and background information for adults. All Harvest for Healthy Kids activities are aligned with early learning standards and have been rigorously evaluated.
Junior Master Gardener
An international youth gardening program of the university cooperative Extension network that engages children in novel, “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment and cultivate the mind.
Kids Gardening Inc
Supports educators and caregivers bringing the life-changing benefits of gardening to kids. Offers grants to school gardens.
California-based non-profit organization and national leader in farm and garden based education since 1979 by providing garden based curriculum, recipes, videos, photos of educational gardens from across the country and more.
National Agriculture in the Classroom
Supports state programs by providing a network that seeks to improve agricultural literacy such as awareness, knowledge, and appreciation among PreK-12 teachers and their students.
Nutrients for Life
A global organization consisting of members and collaborative partners that develops and distributes science based materials to improve plant nutrient literacy, soil health knowledge and promotes fertilizer’s role in sustaining a growing population.
School Garden Support Organization is an open peer-to-peer learning network with the goal of growing, sustaining and elevating a movement of equitable garden based education. They provide professional and leadership development, resources, and platforms to connect for members serving at a school, district, regional, state, or national level.
USDA Food and Nutrition Service
Nutrition education programs such as dietary guidelines, My Plate, Team Nutrition and Snap-Ed.
Whole Kids Foundation
From edible education grants to being a catalyst for school food transformation, they support schools and inspire families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. Given the right opportunities, kids will get excited about fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritious whole foods.