Val Caron, Ontario
Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
We attempted both a raised garden and in the ground as well as a potato bag.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
We attempted to grow squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini, and eggplant.
We also have 2 apple trees.
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
As coordinator of the garden club, I asked the students if this was something they might want to try and of course they were so excited to grow and feast on a garden grown by themselves.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
7-12, we discussed our options and we thought might be the best to grow and where, we did research on what we needed to get started. When we are gardening I am always talking about the plants and teaching about the different varies, etc.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
Mrs. Campbell, Educational Assistant who has a passion for gardening!!
What do you do with the harvest from your garden? Do you have a harvest celebration? Do you use it in the cafeteria, or culinary classes? Do you donate some of the produce?
Unfortunately our first attempt was not very successful which in itself is a learning opportunity. We did harvest potatoes and the students enjoyed some yummy roasted garlic potato wedges.
Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?
We are always actively looking for funds, 6 years ago we won the Ugliest School Contest, run by our city, and got approx. $15,000 for schoolyard improvement. I am also involved with members of our local horticultural society and am always looking for not only funding but support.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
We plan to create a raised garden bed and try to grow more root vegetables and continue to improve our courtyard area. We have plans to plant more apple trees, attempt growing grapes, we have a huge list of things we want to do, years of work ahead.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
The students that join my garden club are so enthusiastic and excited to part of keeping our school clean and a beautiful part of our community. They take so much pride in their work hopefully I teach them things that they will take with them into adulthood.
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