Earth Day is coming up, and what better way to celebrate being green than developing a green thumb? Bring Farm-to-Table cuisine a whole lot closer to home by starting a family garden. Whether you’re looking to teach your kids to “live off the land” or just want a few fresh strawberries for tonight’s shortcake, these 5 organizations will help your little gardener get started making their very own spring garden.

photo credit: Little Saplings

Little Saplings
Founder Ruth Steinberg’s mission is to help kids develop a love of gardening. With a very personal and hands-on approach, Little Saplings works with parents and kids to dream up ideas for a family garden, but lets the kiddos spearhead the process with Steinberg teaching and overseeing the whole way. Leaving magical hidden areas to inspire tots to revisit the garden and follow-up visits to monitor the plants’ progress, Little Saplings aims to make true garden lovers out of your kids. (And provides plenty of help if you’re more of a city kid yourself!)

Little Saplings
Contact: Ruth Steinberg
Phone: 310-383-4304
Online: littlesaplings.org

Photo credit: Home Grown Edible Landscapesphoto credit: Home Grown Edible Landscapes

Home Grown Edible Landscapes
Home Grown Edible Landscapes aims to make gardening a family affair by running an urban farm in Venice that offers classes specifically designed for parents and kids to learn about gardening together. From composting with worms to growing vegetables used to make homemade dyes, your mini-horticulturalist will learn the ins and outs of gardening. If you already have a garden at home, you can purchase a series of private lessons to help up your gardening mojo.

Home Grown Edible Landscapes
1033 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice
Phone: 310-944-1151
Online: groedibles.com

Photo credit: South Coast Botanic Gardenphoto credit: South Coast Botanic Garden

South Coast Botanic Garden
Visiting this urban oasis will help your pint-sized planters learn not only about plants but also the wildlife that inhabits and sustains growing things. From a monthly kids club with garden specific activities to numerous kids programs that pop up each season, kids have ample opportunities to learn about gardening. This spring and summer little ones can attend the newly created Junior Farmer’s Program and really get their hands dirty.

South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd.
Palos Verdes
Phone: 310-544-1948
Online: southcoastbotanicgarden.org

photo credit: Erika Frazier

The Learning Garden
Started 12 years ago with the intention of creating a medicinal and ayurvedic garden, The Learning Garden (located at Venice High School) has long since incorporated edible plants with the idea that healthy, organic food is medicine. Here your kiddos will find a true teaching garden filled with plants of all types and maintained by locals, students and expert volunteers willing to answer any questions your curious tots may have.

The Learning Garden
13000 Venice Blvd.
Venice
Phone: 310-722-3656
Online: thelearninggarden.org

Photo credit: City Plants Facebook page
photo credit: City Plants facebook page

City Plants
In an effort to “green” LA and create a veritable “urban forest”, City Plants offers residents of Los Angeles shade trees and fruit trees free of charge. You can request up to 7 shade trees through their website or grab the kids and attend one of their tree adoption events where you can pick up a free fruit tree to plant with your little ones.  They’ll fill you in on tips for care and upkeep, too.

City Plants
Online: cityplants.org

Do you have tips on where LA families can get help starting their spring gardens? Let us know in the comments!

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—Erika Frazier