Lutes Mountain, New Brunswick
Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
We have 4 raised beds that were built in the spring of 2018 by students at our local community collage and donated to our school.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
We have only had one season with our garden and we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and pumpkins. We had a very successful year and had an abundance especially of tomatoes and cucumbers. We did not end up with many carrots or pumpkins unfortunately.
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
We knew having a school garden would be an excellent learning opportunity for our students, and our staff. We wanted to use the garden as a deeper learning project for students in our school to participate in. We also hoped to engage members of our community in this project.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
This year, we had students in Grades 3 to 7 participate in the management of the garden, however students of all grade levels were provided with things from the garden to sample. Through this project, we were able to touch on outcomes in Science, Math, English Language Arts, French, Health, Personal Wellness and Art.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
With this being our first year, the garden was primarily cared for by the teachers in our Grade 3-5 team along with their students during the school year. These same teachers took responsibility for the garden over the summer, and families were invited to come and water the school whenever they could throughout the 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?
This year, we opened the garden up to students and staff to eat at recess and lunch. With cucumber harvest, we provided every teacher with cucumbers to share with their classes. We also made bread and butter pickles with our Grade 5, 6 and 7 classes and shared those as well. We had the unique opportunity to carve a pumpkin with a student from South Africa, who had never seen a pumpkin before. We donated some of our tomato harvest to our breakfast program.
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 fantastic community involvement for our first year. The garden beds themselves were built and donated by students at NBCC. The soil and fabric to line the beds was donated by a local landscaper. We were given a large container to use for water and it was filled for free by a company in our community.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
We are hoping to add 4 more beds to our garden this spring, in order to engage more classes in this project.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Start small, both with number of beds and classes involved. Once you get excitement built, it is easier to expand.
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