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Swan Valley Regional Secondary School

Swan River, Manitoba

Size of school

450 students
Grade levels

9 - 12
Grant received

School Garden Grant ($500) x 2


About our Garden

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

Our garden is in ground and we also have a greenhouse to start some of our plants and then transfer them outside. Unfortunately, this last spring/summer/fall our school yard has undergone some major renovations outside, so it was recommended by our administration to wait until the following summer before establishing our ""new garden"". The money from the grant was spent on equipment that would be needed in the future to maintain the garden.

I apologize for not having pictures to share. With the renovations occurring around our school, it was not possible for us to start our project. For this winter we will focus our learning in our greenhouse and come spring time we will start the work on our outdoor project.

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

Our garden has previously been a flower/shrub/perennial garden. With us now having the opportunity to have a "fresh start" we have been able to come up with some new thoughts and ideas about what might work for our outside gardens. We do have a greenhouse however, that we are very fortunate to be able to grow some vegetables all year. We have a tower garden and we are able to grow strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, spinich, eggplant and cucumbers.

Why did your school decide to add a school garden?

Students have shown a good interest in growing plants in our greenhouse and they have learned a lot about soil chemistry and plant requirements. We decided that we would like to expand this learning and make use of a space outside that needed some "fixing".

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

So far, it has been mainly the Botany class that has participated in the garden, although many students in the Environmental Management program have been involved. After the garden becomes more established, it could be made available to many more classes in the school to enjoy.

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

During the school year, the students will be the ones to manage the garden. Previously, during the summer I have been the main person to manage it over the summer. I will be looking at enlisting a few more staff members to help with it this coming summer.

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?

At this point, we have just established a flower/shrub garden, however our plans are to expand and develop a vegetable garden. There are certainly many opportunities in our school to use the produce in the cafeteria. Some of the fruit and vegetables that we have grown in our greenhouse, we have just shared with the students in the class who have grown them.

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

We have started the process of partnering with our local tourist center. We have students that help out with the work needed for their garden project and we receive some funding from them to help with ours.

What are your future plans for the school garden?

Due to the fact that this is a "newly renovated" garden, we can have a fresh start and complete the necessary research to decide what action to take to develop the garden. We will start by testing the soil, adding the proper nutrients, research to determine what type of plants will grow best, make a plan and follow through with the planting.