Growing Up OrganicGrowing Up Organic logo

Growing Up Organic is a garden- and farm-based educational program for children and youth, delivered by the Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa-St. Lawrence- Outaouais chapter (COG OSO) in the City of Ottawa.

GUO partners with schools to support the establishment of school garden programs as the basis for experiential education at all grade levels. They provide educators with the essential tools to start these initiatives with confidence and ongoing support. Their garden-based workshops delivered on-site at school gardens and made available online, provide teachers with building blocks and a model for integrating hands-on food literacy into their pedagogy.

GUO is focused on empowerment: through their strategic focus on education, they hope to foster a generation of children and youth with greater food literacy, life-long healthy eating habits, increased food skills and an understanding of environmental health issues.

 To get growing, contact Growing Up Organic by sending an email to

For more information, visit:

Growing Futures

Growing Futures is a program of the Parkdale Food Centre that works with youth to activate them about community issues and inspire them to harness their power as leaders of change. We want to cultivate a strong sense of belonging to a healthy community, applying a definition of “healthy” that considers much more than just eating well and exercising.

Our Goals: Inspire students to understand the interconnected problems of poverty, health and food insecurity in their neighbourhood.

Engage students in understanding problems by inviting them to bring forth their own ideas and opinions…and to have fun doing so!

Equip students to be “Solutionaries” in their communities by providing entry points for action.

Language: English

Grades/Ages: Workshops can be facilitated for students k-12

Curriculum Links: Links to Health & Physical Education and Social Studies

Format: In-person (at your school, or at Parkdale Food Centre) or virtual
Conversation-based with interactive, hands-on activities

Timing: 1.5 hours per workshop

Cost: $100/class visit

Please contact us if alternative payment is needed

For more information

Email Karin at or 613-722-8019 EXT 106

Ottawa Farm School

On-Farm, In-Forest Learning

Just Food logoPlan a trip for your classroom to the Just Food Community Farm.

Programs are customized to age, interest and time availability, and can be adapted for pre-kindergarten through to university/college students.

Just Food offers experiential learning through curriculum-linked food and farm activities. Operating out of the Just Food Community Farm site, activities are tied to a wide range of sustainable and organic practices and topics that can include:
Vegetable and poultry production, Greenhouse growing, Bees, Food forests, Seed saving, Building Soil, Local Food Economies, Sustainability, and more.

Our Goals:
Activate students within a hands-on, sustainable innovative farm setting.
Inspire students to be active in diverse ways within a sustainable, food system.
Build local food resilience and responsibility through food literacy and sparking innovation.

Languages: English and French

Grades/Ages: All grade levels including Adult High School

Curriculum Links: Customized programming to meet your objectives.
(Can also include on-site multiple visits. Note – large program room with A/V available for use as during visit as well, for combination indoor and outdoor programs).

Spring and Fall programs available: May-June, Sept-Oct
Summer programs: July-August (includes field trips, and some placement and employment opportunities for youth dealing with complex issues)

Price: Customized. Ask us to discuss – we strive to make it accessible to all.

 For more information, email

Root in Nature
Mind, Body & SoilRoot In Nature

Engaging with plants can improve mental well-being, increase physical activity, and reduce experiences of social isolation. Mindfulness, self-regulation and resiliency have become vital skills as we navigate the pandemic and stress of continual changes.
Therapeutic Horticulture is the purposeful use of plants and plant-related activities to promote health and wellness for an individual or group. It benefits youth in many ways, including cognitive development, psychological growth, social skill learning and in pre-vocational work skills development.

Session Outlines & Goals:

This series of four one-hour sessions provides practical knowledge for kickstarting a garden while promoting mental and emotional wellbeing:
1. Kitchen Gardening: How can you regrow food from things you already have in your fridge? We explore saving seeds, assessing the self and the environment & building a safe space.
2. Seed Starting and Choosing Plants: Seed starting demo, assessing the space, goal setting & emotional naming.
3. Plants and People: Plant care and people care – how is what you need and what plants need similar? We explore communication & listening skills.
4. Transition and Change: We transplant our seedlings while reviewing coping mechanisms for handling change.

Language: English

Grades/Ages: Ideal for grades 5 – 9 but can be adapted for any grade level

Curriculum Links: Cross-Curricular and Integrated Learning: Social-Emotional Learning Skills, Collaboration, Communication, Environmental Education

Format: In-person or virtual sessions

Timing: Four one-hour sessions, ideally one week apart with a one-week gap between sessions 3 & 4 (so seedlings are ready to transplant)


Virtual series – Four sessions including materials (up to 25 people) – $425
In-person series – Four sessions including materials
$525 – up to 10 participants
$675 – 10+ (two Horticultural Therapy Practitioners)

Please contact us if a subsidy is needed.

For more information email Alexis at or visit

Ottawa Public Health ProgramsCity of Ottawa logo

After-school programs – I ♥ to Cook and Play, I ♥ to Garden

Ottawa Public Health’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Guidelines along with the I Love to Cook and Play and I Love to Garden programs can help support after-school program staff and volunteers in being positive role models and promoting healthy living to children and youth. These programs are for children and youth aged six to twelve.

I ♥ to Cook and Play supports program leaders to teach children how to prepare simple, healthy, low-cost meals and snacks and to emphasize the importance of daily physical activity.

I ♥ to Garden provides program leaders with activities and recipes to teach children how plants grow, basic gardening skills and how to prepare healthy seasonal meals and snacks using produce that can be grown in Ottawa.

Learn more :

Partner Resources

Bright BitesBright Bites logo

BrightBites is a platform developed by Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH). It helps you facilitate lessons and programs with the ability to earn fun, easy badges! You can participate as an entire school, or just a single class or student group. It includes the Sip Smart!™ Ontario classroom educational program which teaches children about making healthy drink choices. Learn more:

Paint Your Plate with Vegetables and Fruit ToolkitODPH logo

The Paint Your Plate toolkit is a resource developed by ODPH for childcare providers, targeting preschool and Grades 1-2 children. It aims to make it easier for young children to enjoy vegetables and fruit every day. Check out the sample policies, seasonal menus, and fun activities, as well as factsheets, posters, and tips for sharing the Paint Your Plate message with families. Learn more:

For more Healthy Eating curriculum support and resources, please visit:

Cultivating CooksCultivating Cooks logo

Cultivating Cooks is a classroom-based gardening and cooking program that connects students with local chefs, community gardeners and other local food producers. The overall goal is to get kids enthusiastic about “all things green”- understanding how they too can become “green garden stewards” both at school and at home. Teachers are actively involved in the process and have an opportunity to partake alongside the students; learning about healthy food systems and sustainable food practices by engaging in hands-on activities.

For more information, visit