Indiana School Garden of the Year Program
Presented by Market District

Open to any Indiana K to 12 school. Applicants must have had a school garden open during the 2015-2016 school year and be able to provide documentation through model-release photos of its uses and existence.

Gardens must be in established indoor or outdoor settings utilizing experiential, garden-based learning. Indoor, rooftop, greenhouse, raised beds, aquaponic, hydroponic and container gardens are considered acceptable for application to the contest as well.


Overall Best Indiana School of the Year
Overall best fulfillment of the submission criteria.

Best Nutritional Recipe
All recipes must be unique and created by the school. Recipes must include photos of the food and contain at least (2) school garden ingredients.

Best Educational Use of Garden
The best educational use of the garden should include a community component. It can be a school farmer’s market, providing garden produce to community food programs, or using the produce to make artisan products sellable to the public. Be creative and show us how your garden teaches the students about the food movement.

Best Rookie Garden (2 years and under).

Additional criteria for eligibility

  • Schools must be able to demonstrate the successful growing and harvest of at least 5 different produce items during the 2015-16 school year.
  • Produce from the garden must be used within the cafeteria, or in another on-site cooking/dining/tasting venue, at least 4 times during the school year.
  • Garden must be in an established indoor or outdoor location on the school grounds. Raised beds, container, vertical and wall gardens are all eligible.
  • Garden volunteers/staffing must be able to present a plan for on-going maintenance of the garden. Expenditures and current funding information will be required.
  • Entry form will need the signature of the garden’s adult advisor/coordinator (parent or teacher) as well as the supporting signature from a school administrator (principal or vice-principal).

Application deadline March 1, 2016. Winners will be announced in early June 2016.


Entries will be judged by a committee comprised of representatives from the Indiana Farm to School Network, the Indiana Locally Grown Program, an Indiana Farmer, a Purdue University Master Gardener Representative and an Edible Indy Representative.


The winning garden will be the subject of a story in the Fall 2016 issue of Edible Indy. The school will also receive a grant to be used for the purchase of equipment, materials, fencing, etc. The best of winners receive short sidebars to story and additional grants.

The “Overall Winning Garden” will receive a $1500 prize at an award ceremony hosted at the garden sometime in mid-May. Additional awards will be given to schools that represent notable practices in Nutrition Education, Environmental Education and Community Outreach. New this year is a “Best Rookie Garden” award for consideration of newly established gardens under two years old.

2016 Bonus award: Circle City Rain Barrel
One random school entry will be randomly drawn to win a Circle City Rain Barrel, of Indianapolis, for their school.

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