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St. Catharines, Ontario

Size of school

900 students
Grade levels

Students participating

50 students
Grant received

School Garden


About our Garden

Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?

The Nutrients for Life Garden Grant allowed our school to purchase 2 Aerogarden Hydroponics systems.

What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?

For our first round of planting, we grew a variety of herbs in our hydroponic systems. This included: basil, parsley, dill, mint and thyme. The two varieties of basil grew the fastest and tallest. Students recognized that due to their fast growing nature and large root systems, they may have outcompeted the other herbs for nutrients and light and may have stunted the growth of our other herbs.

Why did your school decide to add a school garden?

Our school decided to purchase indoor hydroponic systems to lengthen our growing opportunities in our school. Having an outdoor vegetable garden at school is difficult to maintain in the summer when there are no students at school, so we wanted to be able to grow vegetables year round so that we could more actively learn about the growing process. It is also very helpful and engaging to have the hydroponic systems in the classroom where we can see the progress daily.

What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?

The hydroponic systems were initially set-up by the Eco Team. They are now actively monitored by the Grade 10 science classes. The Grade 9 and 10 science curriculum has many opportunities to link teaching to the hydroponic systems.

Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?

The hydroponic gardens are easily managed and maintained by the Gr. 10 science classes. Due to the nature of the hydroponic systems, we plan to harvest our last vegetables before the summer break so that they will not need to be maintained during the summer. Then we will start new seeds again in the Fall for year round 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?

The harvest from our garden is shared with the Culinary classes. Any extra is offered to school staff and/or the school community.

Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?

At this point we do not have other funding or any other volunteers.

What are your future plans for the school garden?

We hope to continue to use the hydroponic systems year after year to teach and learn about the process of growing vegetables/herbs indoors year-round.