While we worry that adults and children don’t spend enough time in nature and know little about the source of their food, we can be hopeful things are changing. The pandemic revealed an increase in interest in where food comes from, and with that, gardening.
Mary Liz Wright and the Illinois Extension School Garden Team expanded the school garden curriculum to an online format in response to this interest. Wright was instrumental in creating the food safety and nutritional lessons.
Created for teachers, administrators, and adult volunteers, this online course allows school educators to learn at their own pace, in real-time, with the team of instructors reviewing assignments and answering questions via email. In addition to the online communication, school garden organizers are encouraged to join team members for live, virtual question and answer sessions periodically.
Subjects covered in the course range from creating community support to the nutritional content of typical Midwest garden produce to selecting a site for the garden.