School Garden News – Canada

Local Schools Get Planting
By EXPOSITOR STAFF, Brantfordexpositor.ca

Students at five local schools will develop green thumbs this spring as part of a garden project.

St. George-German, Mount Pleasant, Sacred Heart in Paris and Braemar House and Tollgate Technological Skills Centre, both in Brantford, will take part in the new School Food Garden Start-Up Program, a pilot project of the Brant Healthy Living Coalition.

Teachers will use the gardens as outdoor classrooms to deliver curriculum and hands-on learning experience to students of all grades, including lessons on plant growth, sustainability, science, nutrition and health.

PLANTING SEEDS

Some schools may also use vegetables they harvest in their existing breakfast and lunch programs.

Plans range from building outdoor garden beds and greenhouses to indoor containers.

“Given our harsh winter climate, schools in Ontario have a relatively short growth and harvesting period,” said Jillian Welk, health promoter for the health unit and co-coordinator of the coalition.

“However, there are a number of garden activities that schools can do during the winter months, including growing seedlings in windowsills, garden artwork, and planning crops and harvest activities for the following year,” she said.

To be eligible for the program, schools were required to develop a school garden committee that could include teachers, staff, students, parents and other community volunteers.

Each school received $1,000 for tools and supplies, a food garden guide and two on-site consultations with a food gardening expert.

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