School gardens support student inquiry and connection to the natural world, and gardens engage students in the process of formulating questions. Plus, the use of science curriculum that incorporates school gardens has been demonstrated to result in higher achievement for students than those who are taught science through traditional classroom methods.
There are more than 90 gardens in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) Garden Program! The mission of APS school gardens is to provide networking, training, and resources to school staff who want to garden with students. This site includes an APS Gardening Handbook, Growing The Classroom.
The mission of the Center for Social Sustainable Systems (CESOSS) is to reconnect schools, students, and families with local agricultural traditions that include small farming, gardening, and the importance of acequias in our community. They have piloted school-based farmer’s markets held at local elementary schools, helped to establish and upkeep a school garden at Dolores Gonzales Elementary in Albuquerque, have coordinated events and workshops at local elementary schools, and have worked with teachers to bring lessons to their classes.
The Desert Oasis Teaching Garden is an experiential learning garden on Albuquerque Academy’s campus that demonstrates soil health, regenerative agriculture, water conservation, and climate adaptability here in the desert Southwest. to provide hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities for students in all subjects areas.
The International District Community Garden is open, and hundreds of schoolchildren, volunteers, and families from the Southeast Heights neighborhood in Albuquerque have worked in the garden and taken home fresh vegetables. Project Feed the Hood started a community garden in this area to address the lack of availability of nutritious, local, affordable food.
Southern New Mexico
The nonprofit La Semilla’s Edible Education program uses school gardens as multi-disciplinary outdoor classrooms. Science, math, health, and language arts are taught using the school garden while growing an abundance of healthy food. The garden serves as a living laboratory for hands-on learning. In this program, students engage with every step of the seed-to-table process from preparing the soil to planting seeds to harvesting and eating vegetables, ending in composting food scraps. There is a fee for this program, and a minimum number of teachers must commit.