Food & Us

A look at community-supported agriculture, this lesson encourages students to take action in local gardens.


This high school lesson plan focuses on the importance of community-supported agriculture and, more specifically, the impact it has on refugee communities.


  • Students will gain a better understanding of the value of gardening locally and globally.
  • Students will be encouraged to get involved in local community gardens.



  1. Split the class into 2 groups.
  2. Have the first group read It Takes a Community to Raise a Garden and have the second group read Food Sovereignty. Both groups will read "More than just a garden"
  3. As a glass, explore the pictures on the Idaho Office for Refugees webpage of Somali, Russian, and other refugees working in gardens and selling their produce.
  4. Have the first group fill in for the rest of the class the information about how the community-supported gardens work and the value for the refugees and for the community. (Make sure students understand the term CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - and make references to local CSA's, if any, and how they work)
  5. Ask students who read Food Sovereignty to define that term. Be sure students understand why food scarcity is a problem for families in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Ask questions such as:
  • In what ways are we in the same boat as the families in Mexico, buying cheap, processed foods instead of locally produced and healthier foods?
  • What are the advantages and constraints for the consumer to buying as much food locally as possible?
  • How do CSA's fit in the local economy?

To wrap up, ask the students: "So what?" Create a list of possible individual and group actions which might include such options as talking to local refugees about food crops they grew in their home countries, visiting a local CSA or inviting a CSA manager or member to talk, and even starting a school garden.

Framework and Standards

Enduring understandings

  • The benefits of community-supported agriculture extend far beyond crop production.

Essential questions

  • What are some of the benefits of CSA's?


  • NSS-EC.9-12.4
  • NSS-EC.9-12.9

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