Garden-Based Education in Tillamook County
Food Roots has been developing school gardens and garden-based learning programs in Tillamook County since 2006, and now serves over 1,000 students. We provide garden-based curricula that give students hands-on lessons in science while promoting family and community engagement with local producers.
Each of the schools we partner with has a garden on site where students not only learn to grow vegetables, but to practice important skills that include:
Making, comparing, & communicating observations.
Asking questions and figuring out how to find the answers.
Taking content from the classroom and exploring it through hands-on investigations and experiments.
Working individually and with others to better understand the world around us.
Smiling, laughing, wondering, getting hands dirty.
Farmer and Family Engagement
Our Farm to School program shortens the distance between eaters and growers by offering students and their families the opportunity to eat local food and meet local farmers, fishers, and other food producers. We regularly host schoolwide Tasting Tables for students to sample local food: we’ve tried everything from salad greens to purple-fleshed potatoes to raw beets to collard green rapini, and we’ve seen student preference for this produce rise over time.
To connect students to where this produce comes from, we take field trips to local farms like Nehalem River Ranch, Alder Creek Farm, and Wilson View Dairy. We also bring farmers to the classroom, including Moon River Farm, Corvus Landing Farm, Zweifel Farms Eggs, and Leuthold Dairy.
We collaborate with schools to host district-wide Farm to School nights and other family-centered engagement activities where families can taste local food together and meet with Tillamook County farmers. We invite families to spend time in their school gardens to learn more about the benefits of gardening for social and emotional wellbeing.