School Garden Market Program
A School Garden Market is a student-run farm stand located on school property and managed by staff of that school. SGMs offer schools an exciting opportunity to engage community members in the school garden, create a healthy food access point and fundraise to support food education and garden programming! Each School Garden Market is unique and based on the needs and resources of a school’s community and youth.
DC Greens launched the School Garden Market program in 2013 in 5 schools. Since then, the program has expanded to many more schools and evolved over the years. As we’ve grown, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with a number of different individual farmers and food hubs in our region. Currently, we’ve narrowed down to three: The Common Market, Community Foodworks, and Dreaming Out Loud. Each of these food hubs are unique and able to accommodate the different needs of school garden markets across the city.
Here’s How It Works
Schools partner with one of three local nonprofit food hubs: The Common Market, Community Foodworks, and Dreaming Out Loud, all of which purchase directly from farmers in the mid-Atlantic region to provide fresh from the ground local produce at wholesale prices. This makes it financially possible for schools around the city to run profitable School Garden Markets using a combination of school garden produce and items purchased from these organizations. There is a wide variety of produce available each week including staples such as kale, collards, onions, potatoes, herbs, beets, mushrooms, and seasonal items such as squash, apples, spring onions, peppers, peaches, pears, and berries. Many of these food hubs also offer locally made, value-added products such as salsa, jams, yogurt and more!
The Fall season typically runs mid September through early December, while the Spring season typically runs mid April through early June. Check out our Spring 2019 Season Overview.
DC Greens’ Resources
DC Greens developed this School Garden Market Handbook that is your best starting place if you want to bring a school garden market at your school! The handbook will walk you through all the facets of starting up and running a school garden market.
Starting a Market
After you have read through the handbook, take a look at the different food hub options below to assess which would be a good fit for your School Garden Market. Each food hub has a unique mission and offerings and delivers directly to schools. Reach out to the food hub directly (via the contacts below) to learn more about partnering.
—Largest selection from all over the Mid-Atlantic including value-added products
—$200 order minimum (TCM is good for schools that are also ordering for their school meal programs!)
—Be sure to check out TCM’s beautifully designed educational and marketing resources, including seasonality charts, fresh produce highlights and farmer profiles!
—No order minimum
—Prioritizes local, family farms within 200 miles of Washington, DC. Their produce is as fresh as it gets - harvested within 48 hours before it’s delivered to you!
—Deliveries are Thursday afternoons between 1 and 3PM for Ward 7&8 schools and Tuesday afternoons between 1 and 3PM for all other Wards.
—$40 order minimum, free delivery
—Over 60% of DOL’s farmers and food makers are people of color and 70% women, also has value-add products
—Order deadline is Friday at Noon and delivery days are Wednesdays and Fridays
—Farm to School Education: All year round, DOL engages the community in farm tours, cooking classes, and family friendly events. Take advantage of their amazing educational offerings!