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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Tower Gardens

Tower gardens are vertical aeroponic growing systems that allow schools to grow fresh produce year-round. Tower gardens help schools overcome barriers faced with traditional outdoor gardens to provide students with the opportunity to experience the benefits of edible school gardens. Tower gardens have been successfully implemented in schools across the Middlesex-London through classrooms, wellness clubs, environmental clubs, and leadership clubs.

Below you will find resources and cross-curriculum connections to support your school on its tower garden journey. For further support with your school’s tower garden, or to learn more about grant opportunities available to support the purchase of a tower garden, connect with your school Public Health Nurse or reach out to the School Health Team at


Edible School Gardens

Edible school gardens provide students with the opportunity to explore food through experiential learning which supports the development of a positive relationship with food while also expanding student’s knowledge of food systems. The produce harvest from edible school gardens can also be used in student nutrition programs.

Gardening provides students with unique learning opportunities outside of traditional academics. Students can feel empowered and develop leadership skills through mastering gardening and achieving success in their gardens. Older students can mentor younger ones, teaching them how to care for and maintain the garden, which promotes empathy and caring in their interactions. Gardening also supports positive mental health by connecting students to nature.



Food brings people together, connecting them to their self-identity, family traditions, cultures, communities, friends, memories, and the wider world. Edible gardens allow students to explore and learn about different food and cultural traditions. Involving students in selecting seeds for these gardens promotes cultural inclusion in the classroom. Discussing traditional cooking at home helps determine which vegetables and herbs the class would like to grow in the garden.

Resources to Support Tower Garden Set-Up and Use

Learn more about how to use tower gardens, including set-up, planting, harvesting, maintenance, and semi-annual cleaning though short videos on Tower Garden’s YouTube Channel.

The Good Food Machine offers online modules about using tower gardens in school and community settings. Each course takes about 20 minutes to complete. The Good Food Machine also has a comprehensive Guide for Teachers & Educators that is great for learning about tower gardens and troubleshooting any challenges you may encounter.

Many gardening grants support the purchase of tower gardens for schools. If you require assistance with a garden grant application, please reach out to us at

Grant Opportunities:

Please note, the Middlesex-London Health Unit does not endorse any of the companies' providing grants.

Curriculum Support Resources

Curriculum Connections


  • Measure growth rates of plants
  • Explore patterns and display results on different types of charts and graphs
  • Explore the logarithmic scale in relation to pH


  • Create a vocabulary wall to record and display garden tower terminology
  • Create recipes using foods grown in the tower garden and have students write a procedure to prepare their recipe. Teach Food First (BC) has a lesson plan with activities for Recipe Exploration.
  • Start a pen pal program (Plant Pals) by connecting with another local classroom with a tower garden and matching students up to write to each other. Plan activities to complete and act as prompts for letters. Classes can grow the same plants, or different. Choosing plants to grow based on food and cultural traditions provides a great opportunity to share traditions across schools, learning from pen pal peers.
  • Keep daily garden journals tracking observations in the garden such as plant changes and classroom activities.
  • Write a poem or other narrative to describe experiences visiting the tower garden and exploring using five senses.
  • Create a garden-themed alphabet book. Select edible plants that begin with each letter of the alphabet and have students write and illustrate their own books.


  • Try a Food is Science lesson plan to incorporate food literacy with Ontario’s Science and Technology Curriculum into tower garden programming.
  • Investigate the functions of different plant structures.
  • Explore the pH scale and discuss the optimal range for fruit and vegetable growth in the tower garden.
  • Plant seeds in the tower garden and in soil at the same time and compare their growth.
  • Pair tower garden introduction with Teach Food First’s (BC) Exploring Where Food Comes from lesson plan and activities.
  • Learn about how food is grown and produced through Virtual Food & Farm Field Trips (Farm & Food Care Ontario).
  • Explore Agriculture Curriculum Linked Resources (Agriculture in the Classroom Canada), including information resources, activities, lesson and unit plans, and more.
  • Register for the Teacher Ambassador Program (AgScape) which is a free program complete with lessons for education professionals to help their students develop agriculture and food literacy skills.



  • Create drawings in daily garden journal to depict observations in the garden such as plant changes.
  • Create paintings or drawings of vegetables and herbs growing in the tower garden.
  • Create a collage using pictures of plants from seed catalogues.
  • Make a time-lapse film of a plant growing using a movie camera with single-frame capability.
  • Create a food product to market, including creating a label (hand drawn or designed graphically on a computer) and create and/or record a video or social media advertisement for the product.

Social Science

  • Trace the path of a fruit or vegetable from the field to the table.
  • Identify activities related to having a garden or farm and identify everyone who contributes to these jobs in your community.
  • Identify the environmental impacts of food waste and identify how food is wasted at each part of the supply chain. Explore Love Food Hate Waste to learn how to reduce avoidable household food waste.
  • Learn about seed saving and heirloom crops. Many local libraries have seed libraries to save seeds in communities.
  • Discuss the importance of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to food supply.

Curriculum connections were adapted with permission from Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit

Date of creation: September 22, 2023
Last modified on: September 22, 2023


1Klemmer, C. D., Waliczek, T. M., & Zajicek, J. M. (2005). Growing Minds: The Effect of a School Gardening Program on the Science Achievement of Elementary Students. HortTechnology, 12(3), 448-452. Retrieved from
2Ohly, H., Gentry, S., Wigglesworth, R., Bethel, A., Lovell, R., & Garside, R. (2016). A systematic review of the health and well-bring impacts of school gardening: synthesis of quantitative and qualitative evidence. BMC Public Health, 16. Retrieved from