Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Wednesday, June 8th 2016

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 teachable garden. 

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...

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