Duncan, D. W., Collins, A., Fuhrman, N. E., Knauft, D. A., & Berle, D. C. (2016). The impacts of a school garden program on urban middle school youth. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(4), 174-185. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2016.04174
School gardens have been an active part of United States schools since 1890, when the first school garden was established in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Since the turn of the 20th century school gardens have greatly expanded to include inner city schools in some of the largest metropolitan areas of the country. Since the early 1990s, school gardens have continued to rise in popularity and have been incorporated into the curriculum for state departments across the US. The purpose of this study was to determine what aspect (planting, maintaining, harvesting, cooking, etc.) of an urban school garden program had the greatest positive outcome (educational, personal, etc.) on urban middle school youth. A quantitative questionnaire was used to measure the outcomes on students (n = 31) who worked in an urban school garden through the enrollment of their agriscience connections course. Data analysis indicated that the cultivation construct had the greatest positive outcome on urban middle school youth; students who had a family garden were more interested in participating in the school garden; and students greatly enjoyed the culinary aspects of school garden programs, with all construct items having at least 60% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement.