Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
Our gardens and projects were inside, and one large pot was outside in front of the school. We created a Gardening Club.
Two classrooms created classrooms year-round and grew plants and flowers from seed, incorporating the learning across the curriculum. The classrooms were outfitted with grow lights and trays for seedlings and eventually pots. The students loved creating and nurturing their plants! Students regularly took home their projects and taught their parents too.
We also decided to have a worm compost in one grade 3 and 4 classroom in order to make good soil regularly. This was important with all the planting that students did.
Outside the classrooms, there were plants on the first and second floors. Some were on tables by windows and larger trees were situated at the end of hallways in the commons area. Two tree plants were set to grow in the library. The Gardening Club was in charge of nurturing and maintaining these plants.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
Students grew peppers, peas and tomatoes. Some of the plants got spider mites
With our grow tower - we grew spices and herbs. The grow tower was put in the Nutrition Room (where breakfast and lunch are made and served daily).
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
We wanted to add life and green to our school. We also had been thinking a lot about Garden learning and how to stimulate this concept with our students.
We were lucky to have two avid gardeners on staff who had much experience and enthusiasm.
We wanted the Grow Tower to teach students about gardening and sustainability.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
Kindergarten, grade 3 and 4, our Library volunteers and our Garden Club.
The subjects taught were Science, Math and Language Arts within writing and reading. Students also drew pictures depicting their plant change and growth.
Our Nutrition coordinator also learned to maintain the grow tower.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
Angela Storry, our Kindergarten teacher. The grow tower is maintained by our Community Coordinator, Carmen McCrae.
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?
Classrooms celebrated and students too their plants home! Our grow tower spices, chives and herbs were used daily in soups and casseroles.
Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?
Not yet. We did draw up plans and meet with our facilities superintendent for a possible outside garden in the future.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
We are continuing with use of the classroom gardens, the school plants and the grow tower.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Make sure to involved your School Community Council, as they were very supportive in our endeavours.
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