Victoria, Newfoundland and Labrador
Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
We have 8 raised beds for growing vegetables. We have an indoor growing system with lights. We begin our seeds in the classroom with our "indoor greenhouse" and then we transplant our plants to the raised beds. We have also purchased an outdoor greenhouse for the spring, as an extension to our learning. The $500 grant helped us purchase seeds and soil. The funds also helped with our harvest celebration.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
We grew the following:
purple peacock pole beans
pumpkin - this one we had difficulty growing
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
We wanted to integrate a school garden into our curriculum. We have grown plants at home for years and wanted to get the kids interested as well.
We have an outdoor classroom and the plants make the garden aesthetically pleasing plus it teaches students about growing food, about healthy food choices, and about agriculture in Newfoundland.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
Grades K-3 were involved and we taught Health, Science, Math, Social Studies, and Language outcomes. We also keep a journal of our experiences growing plants.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
The teachers and students manage the garden day to day. We also had community volunteers assist over the summer break.
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?
Our initial trial/harvest was small. We had class draws for students to take home vegetables to their family and we plan to use some of the vegetables in a recipe for kids to try in school too.
Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?
We had a lot of community involvement. Parents/community members assisted with the planting as well as assisting with maintaining the garden over the summer.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
This year we will erect our greenhouse and use that for some of the plants that are susceptible to cold weather. We will be looking to plant many of the same things in our garden again.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Make sure you have school support and volunteers. Also it is important to research what types of plants work best in a particular area/climate. Don't be afraid to seek help and ask questions. There are lots of people around that are willing and eager to share their knowledge.
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