We just put in a garden at our home (sideyard); we went the raised bed route to improve our soil. We chose to use cinder blocks, but there are other materials that can be used for the beds as well. We then tilled up the earth, added in mushroom compost and leaves we saved from last fall. Then we purchased additional soil that was organically mixed for veggie gardens.
There are many organizations that offer grants for gardens and education, so if funding is needed for materials (spades, shovels, hoe, fertilizer, soil, seeds/plants, etc.), check them out.
You may want to start small; we had a 6x10 ft. garden in a community garden last summer and were able to have several tomato, jalapeno and bell pepper plants. Pick a location that gets 8-10 hours of sun each day.
For the actual veggies, pick some that will grow well in your zone without a lot of work -- if this is a first time for some of the kids to garden, success may light a passion in them to continue learning about gardening.
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