Elm Creek, Manitoba
Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
Our garden area consists of an L-shaped raised garden bed.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
We have grown tomatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, beans, and zucchini. We have had a difficult time growing beans and carrots.
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
There was a strong interest from students who care about the Earth to learn more about gardening. We also wanted to have a project that would help students and staff connect with the community.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
Mostly K - 7 students are involved with the garden and it has also involved daycare students from the daycare in the school. Math, Art, Science, and ELA have been taught using the garden.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
During the school year the garden is maintained by our Green Crew teacher leaders, Green Crew students, and other students and staff. We also have help and support from our school custodian.
Over the summer we have students who live in town check on it and have given notice to the school community that it is available for picking. Our custodian helps out with watering and the daycare has helped with weeding.
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 harvest from the garden is used for learning activities by the Green Crew and other classes, used in the school canteen for soups and muffins, has been snack for the daycare, and has been donated to the local manor.
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 had a great response from parent volunteers when needed. Parents have given presentations to students, a local farmer has shared his experiences, and local garden club leaders have given students information about planting and harvesting. Community members have donated seeds and small pots for the garden as well.
We have also participated in the Little Green Thumbs program which has allowed us to start seeds in the winter in our indoor garden."
What are your future plans for the school garden?
Our next project goal is to build a gazebo shelter in our garden area as an outdoor classroom. We also hope to increase the produce we grow so that we can do more of a whole-school harvest celebration.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
The work that it may be to set it up in the beginning is well worth it for the learning that takes place. Our garden area is a great place for students to learn, regulate themselves, and be encouraged to care about the earth. In addition, the leadership and teamwork skills students have gained are extremely valuable.
Nutrients for Life is supported by: