Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
We have an indoor garden that consists of 8 shelves, 3 Towergardens, and open windowsills. Our outdoor garden is an in ground plot in the community garden next to our school. And our two Native Garden beds at the front of the school. We have terraces at the back of our school we have been reclaiming by removing weeds and shrubs.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
In our indoor garden we grow lettuce, swiss char, arugula, basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, peppers, tomatoes, chives, nasturtiums, beans, and ceremonial Tobacco. We have attempted cucumbers but it didn't work...yet! In our outdoor Native garden we have established our sage and yarrow.
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
It started with a windowsill, watching our students' excitement to see plants grow and then try new and fresh produce made us want to do more!
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
Do to the COVID 19 pandemic we had to limit what classes are in the garden and interacting is small spaces. Currently our grade 8s and a grade one class are working our garden spaces this year. With the garden we are to incorporate science, social, math, ELA, health, and art.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
Do to COVID 19 this job has fallen onto our teachers, in previous years our Garden Committee would be able to participate more and it would be run by students with teacher support. Over the summer our indoor garden is shut down, plants are transplanted to outside or sent home with students. Our community garden is maintained by our community and summer workers hired by the school division. Our front beds are maintained by our school division summer workers and by teachers popping by time to time to keep an eye on things.
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?
In pervious years we would include our produce into our school lunches, feed our garden committee, or have salad parties for different classrooms. Students would have the opportunity to use our produce in recipes at school or take it home to share with families.
Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?
Do to COVID 19 all partnerships had to be put on hold. However, without the help from our community we would never have gotten the shelving and lights we use now in our indoor garden!
What are your future plans for the school garden?
Our future plan is to get our garden running up to it's full glory again and have students from across the school accessing our spaces. We also plan to establish more plants into our Native Garden and eventually plant berry bushes in our back terraces.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Start small and don't be afraid to reach out to others for help!
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