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Food Safety & Environmental Services
School Garden Program
The goal of the School Garden Program is to enable fresh produce to be safely served in school cafeterias from their on-site school garden. The Arizona Department of Health Services School Garden Program will help your school garden meet the requirements of approved source as required in the Arizona Food Code.
Request for School Garden Site Visit
To request a site visit the school must submit a Request for School Garden Site Visit application, a Food Safety Plan and a map of the garden to ADHS. Prior to applying, the applicant (Garden Manager/Person in Charge) is encouraged to attend the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (U A CALS) Cooperative Extension training, where they would learn how to create a Food Safety Plan. The applicant may also contact the School Garden Sanitarian to obtain assistance in developing and submitting these required items.
Once these items are received, they will be reviewed by the School Garden Sanitarian. The Sanitarian will then arrange for a site visit. If any deficiencies are noted during the site visit, a Corrective Action Plan will be developed with the applicant and a return visit will be made to verify the corrective actions have taken place. Once a School Garden meets all requirements, the Garden Manager will receive a "School Garden Certificate of Approval" that will be effective for one year. In addition to the initial visit, the garden will be inspected at least once during the harvesting season. One year after the initial approval, a renewal application will be sent to the applicant to document if the garden is still in use and/or if there is a new Garden Manager.
School Garden Program Forms
- Request for School Garden Site Visit
- Food Safety Plan (free and easy to complete)
- Soil Testing Submission Form (Soil testing is not required for soil obtained from a commercial source.)
Harvested Rainwater Information
Harvested rainwater is a school garden program approved process that requires a separate standard operating procedure (SOP) and an attestation. A sample SOP and the required attestation can be found below.
School prepared compost made from either plant material or manure products require a separate SOP and attestation. A sample SOP and attestation can be found below, based on the material that will be composted. All equipment used for composting must be washed and sanitized prior to using on produce.