GROWINGGARDEN’s Latest Dig (Youth Grow Edition)

We are very excited to announce that the Portland Schools Foundation, Eat.Think.Grow Coalition has completed their survey of the edible school gardens in the Portland Public School District.  The map will be available on the Eat.Think.Grow website very soon.  There are currently 40 edible school gardens in Portland, and that number is continuing to grow each year.   We still have a long way to go, but Portland should be very proud! Thank you to Linda Colwell and everyone else involved for all of your amazing work!

A couple school food updates:

  • A recent survey commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its Food and Community Program has found that nearly two-thirds of parents of school age children describe local school food as “poor” or “fair” and “nearly 70 percent of Americans said pizza should be served in school just once a week or pulled from menus entirely; more than 60 percent said chicken nuggets and hamburgers should be limited to once a week or removed.” Visit the W.K. Kellogg Foundation site to read more about the survey.
  • In another recent study conducted by Cornell, researchers found that the placement of the salad bar in school spaces can lead to increased veggie consumption by students. We know first hand, through our experiences in after school garden clubs, that most of our students are excited about having the opportunity to try new and familiar veggies, but found that this study also opens up an interesting discussion of how physical school spaces, including school gardens, could be capable of impacting student experiences and behavior (including health).

And a quick reminder about the Portland Farm and Garden Educator Network (PFGEN).  PFGEN aims to connect educators, youth, families, and community members working in sustainable food and agriculture education.  The group meets approximately every 6 weeks at different farm/garden education sites around Portland, and provides an opportunity for educators and community members to network and share experiences and resources.  To learn more contact Youth Grow Manager, Caitlin Blethen at


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