Gardening is a whole-child activity. Children use their bodies to dig, water, and sort seeds. Their minds are engaged as they learn about the natural world. They feel the wonder and pride of caring for and growing their own food. They learn and practice healthy eating habits as they try the produce they harvest.

Gardening Documentation

In your REACH Farm to ECE application, you will upload documentation of meeting the gardening best practice along with having local foods on the menu, conducting taste tests and cooking activities and including Farm to ECE in the facility’s written policy.

REACH Application DocumentationGo NAPSACC Best Practice
Up to four photos* of the garden* space(s) that show: it has enough planted to offer at least a taste to preschooler classrooms AND children participate in the garden through activities such as planting, watering, harvesting, observing, etc.The program has a garden* that helps children learn how food grows and produces enough fruits and/or vegetables to be part of preschoolers’ meals or snacks.

*Photos will be used only for review purposes unless the facility gives REACH permission to share them.

*A garden can be planted in the ground or in containers like window boxes or pots. A garden can include vines growing on fences or arbors, or fruit trees planted in the outdoor learning environment.

Tips for your gardening documentation:

  • Between one and four photos will be accepted but no more.
  • Photos are from the past 12 months.
  • Reviewers should be able to tell from the photo(s) that there is enough growing in the garden to give preschool (3-5 year old) classrooms at least a taste.
  • Reviewers should be able to tell from the photo(s) that children participate in gardening activities.


This photo shows that there is ample garden space and children participate in the garden. This single photo meets the gardening documentation requirements for the Farm to ECE application.

This photo shows children participating in the harvest of grapes, so we see child participation. The applicant also provided an additional photo that show more of the garden to meet the adequate space requirement.

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