You can grow your own food. And we can help!

Belmar Elementary School's Giving Garden

2013 marked the creation of the Giving Garden at Belmar Elementary School.  Grant money from the Monmouth County Health Department allowed the garden plan to go from paper to planting boxes, from ideas to soil. The initial goal was to create an inviting space involving as many students as possible using hands‐on projects and organic practices and to foster nutrition education through the joy of gardening.  As part of their school day students started plants in the classroom, painted a new mural, made stepping stones, learned about composting and beneficial bugs, and planted the seedling and seeds. Volunteers read garden stories aloud, assisted young "farmers” and organized presentations by local master gardeners. Crews made up of school staff, parents, students and community members did some heavy lifting including clearing out the old garden, building new raised beds, and moving a mountain of dirt. The easily shareable harvest of grape tomatoes, beans, herbs, fingerling eggplants, and potatoes were distributed to the community via student run free farm markets. Nearly every student in our k-8 school (approx. 600 students) had a hand in some part of the garden. Food was shared throughout and beyond the student body to townspeople who stopped by our market days. For 2014 we hope to retain the excitement and energy of the first year while deepening the experience thru new tools for seed starting, succession planting and developing our communications via informative signs in the garden that also link to extra resources online by means of QR codes.

Where it's at:

1101 Main Street
Belmar, NJ 07719
United States

Garden type:

school/youth garden

Garden size (in square feet):


Garden beneficiaries:

children and families

Number of people reached:


What this project needs:

fruit bushes
irrigation system

Project leaders:

Rochelle Ritacco
Kristen Hanson

About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

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Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606