Montague, Prince Edward Island
Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
We are in stage one of our gardening. Last Spring we planted High Bush Blueberries and Rhubarb. We also planted individual salsa gardens and the students took them home for the summer.
In the Fall of 2018 we weeded our gardens, yikes that was quite a project! We harvested our rhubarb and made rhubarb muffins. Some people did very well with their salsa gardens at home and some did not get much produced. This was an opportunity for good discussions on why this may have happened. We made some salsa and had some nachos to test it with, yummy. Each student was able to take a bottle of salsa home with them.
We planted a variety of bulbs and look forward to seeing them bloom in the Spring.
A challenge we faced this summer was watering our plants. We were so lucky that some of our garden members and their families brought buckets of water and watered when they could. To help with this plan we are looking at purchasing a large tank that we could leave outside and use through out the summer. We have someone who will put a spout in it and the local fire department will fill it for us.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
We grew high bush berries, no harvest this year, rhubarb, and salsa gardens that included: a tomato plant, a pepper plant, cilantro and green, and red onions. A challenge we faced this summer was watering our plants. We were so lucky that some of our garden members and their families brought buckets of water and watered when they could. To help with this plan we are looking at purchasing a large tank that we could leave outside and use throughout the summer. We have someone who will put a spout in it and the local fire department will fill it for us.
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
We have many students/families who find it hard to purchase fruits and vegetables because of the cost. If we can educate the students on growing their own food, even if they don't have space for a large garden, they will be able to do this a container garden(s). Hopefully, we will introduce them to a variety of produce that they may not have tried before.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
We did our garden club at recess time. The grades that were involved in the Spring were grades 3 and 4. We will be opening the club to grades 3, 4 and 5 this year.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
The students, Vice Principal and an Educational Assistant tended the garden during the school year. The Educational Assistant and her family (students at our school) did some watering during the summer. This was one of our main challenges this year, watering.
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?
Our harvest was small this year but we were able to make rhubarb muffins. We did purchase some produce to make salsa, but it was the same items that we grew in our gardens. We have a holiday dinner each year and hopefully next year Fall 2019 we will have some produce we can donate to the dinner.
Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?
Not this year but in stage 2 we will involve the fire department and we may also plant some container gardens and share them with the local seniors home.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
Stage 2 of our garden plan will be to have raised garden beds built for us. We discussed some items we would like to plant such as: carrots, radishes, lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, onions, we will decide in the spring what seeds to plant for sure. We would also like to purchase a tank that we could use in the summer to help with keeping our gardens watered. We are looking at purchasing a light garden. We would like to plant some herbs to see if they will grow for us, maybe some microgreens as well. We have approached a local restaurant who may purchase our winter produce an then the funds will be put back into our garden club. We would also like to plant some container gardens and give them to a local seniors assisted living home so the residents there could have their own gardens
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Start small and grow. The students absolutely love it! They will learn skills that they can take them through our their lives.
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