Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
"Raised garden beds:
The boxes themselves were built by a group of Home Depot volunteers on June 8th from 9:00-1:00 with some help from our students.
The dimension of the boxes are 3’ W x 8’ L x 2’H. They are located on the east side of the chain link fence within our school playground.
We do not have a green house outside but our grade three teacher has an indoor greenhouse where she planted seeds and grew flowers and tomatoes within her classroom and then transplanted into the garden.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
"We planted a combination of perennials and annuals in the flower beds. Some hardy, mature perennials were contributed by school staff and other plants, both annuals and perennials were purchased with the grant money.
For the vegetable garden we planted a combination of root vegetables such as carrots and radishes as well as legumes such as beans and peas. We also planted corn, raspberries and strawberries.
The flowers filled in beautifully. The raspberries didn't produce fruit but the strawberries did.
The corn grew tall and sturdy and produced ears of corn. The root vegetables didn't do as well. We weren't able to harvest the carrots, they were much too small."
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
"We wanted to expand our outdoor learning opportunities. We wanted the students in our school to have a hands on way to learn about the basic needs of plants, the interdependence of plants and animals within a mini ecosystem, the role of decomposers in breaking down organic materials and how these processes impact on the quality of the plants and soil, as well as engage in meaningful discussions about the importance of good nutrition.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
"Our grade 2 and 3 classes engaged in the development of the gardens, researching the best flowers to plant and experimenting with different types of seeds.
This year we expect more classes to participate."
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
The resource teacher along with small groups of students planted everything and then they watered the garden daily until the summer. During the summer, the daycare took over and managed the garden from day to day. The school staff took over again in the fall.
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 daycare harvested most of the edible food over the summer and enjoyed it during snack at the daycare. We were hoping to make a vegetable soup in the fall with our carrots and corn but the carrots weren't successful. We will attempt it again this year.
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 our parent council who already manages some flower beds around the front of the school who are very excited about our raised garden beds. We expect that we will be able to access funds to plant flowers and vegetables in the coming years.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
We would like to continue planting a combination of flowers and vegetables and using the garden beds as a hands-on learning tool across many grade levels.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
It's been a fantastic project for our school and we are looking forward to exploring all of the ways to enhance student learning through this endeavor.
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