This blog post is brought to you by Deb, Gerry and Hannah.
This morning’s presentation by Toni took us through the step by step process of how to plan for,
implement and care for a school garden. As a North Vancouver high school educator, she
recently started a school based garden to supplement her work as a foods teacher and her
advice was incredibly practical.
Some of our takeaways are:
+ School policies / regulation on materials and space usage : separating planting soil from
regular soil, don’t use treated wood for food planting
+ How to apply for grants / funding : Spuds & Tubs, Whole Kids (Whole Foods), Toyota
Evergreen Fund, and of course, the PAC
+ Adapting student involvement based on student body : more hands on energetic group,
a more academic group, personal interests
Later in the morning, we had a chance to plan out our own ideal garden with attention to how we
would use the space and the types of lessons we would pair well with this resource.
This was a great opportunity for us all to share our own lesson ideas that we could use with a
We brainstormed what our gardens might look like if we had unlimited funds and it was really fun to
consider all of our exciting ideas.
We discussed shapes of our garden beds, shade and sunlight
directions, climbing vegetables, flowers to keep the bees pollinating and incorporating traditional
Coast Salish weaving by planting grasses or having cedar trees - one of the teacher candidates in our group did some weaving with her students.
In the afternoon we visited Roots on the Roof with Brendan; this community garden is already
quite bountiful with many vegetables! Being in the garden allowed for us to realize the many
teachable moments that come with being there.
When we all arrived at the space, we were in
awe of the beautiful colours and just how much growth had occurred... Brendan had told us that
it had only been a few weeks for some of the crops and it was amazing to see what can happen
in a garden in such a short amount of time!
We were able to connect our morning discussion
and brainstorm within the physical garden space and really see just how easy it would be to
show students how satisfying growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers can be! The learning opportunities really do
seem to be endless...