A vibrant garden on the grounds of a school can flourish when volunteers and community members join teachers and students to design, plan, tend, and harvest the bounty, bringing fresh organic produce to school meals. Schools can apply for school food garden grants from Whole Foods, Annie’s Homegrown, Western Growers Foundation, and National Gardening Association. With a grant from Whole Foods, Gardening Squared (gardening2.com) installed certified sustainable redwood raised beds at Redwood Middle School, pictured here, where the V-shaped garden bed is for Vikings, the school’s mascot. When kids learn to grow and prepare their own food, they learn life skills, gain confidence and self sufficiency, and experience the natural world. Picking produce from the garden, preparing a meal, and eating the feast awakens in kids a sense of connection to all life. In California, crops can be grown year around, but the majority of the garden chores continue through the summer when schools are closed. Schools across the county have solved this problem by having garden parties several times a month where kids, parents, and grandparents gather. After the workday of garden chores, there is music, cooking, feasts, and fun for all. School gardens need a dedicated Garden Caretaker and a staff of loyal volunteers, like from the local college, to keep the garden growing. Throughout the year on special afternoons and weekends, the garden is the place where the school community gathers with students, parents, grandparents, friends, and volunteers to compost, plant, weed, and water and then celebrate with food and music in the abundant garden.