This has been an exciting adventure and we are super proud of the progress we have made! First of all the decision to follow through and continue the process when we weren’t sure if this even was a possibility. The most valuable lesson so far learnt by the children was that building a garden is not easy. It takes lots of hard physical work, patients and time. It really has taken a whole community to help get this going.
Over this last year it has been about bringing everything together. We have been very grateful for all the help we have received from the community. They have really stepped up to give us products, insight and direction. Some of the partners have been curious about how it is going, and really appreciate that we are working to bring this into our school. Others are just happy to help when needed if they have the resources.
Of course we have had some challenges along the way, but there would be no growth if there wasn’t. One of our challenges was just bringing everyone together and decide who was going to do what job. It was still tricky to get everyone together for the larger jobs. However someone or a group of people always stepped up and made it happen. We used parents of the school verses professionals to save us money.
Another challenge was what to plant? How much? Last spring 2015 we filled the garden with whatever we thought would be suitable for hot lunch. Some things did amazing and other just came along. What we didn’t plan for was what was going to happen with the food over the summer period. We had 4 families with in the school rotate weeks to tend to the garden and harvest anything left over. The students and teachers have done an amazing job and have really spent a great deal of time in there!!
Farm to School has made a great impact to our school. It feels like now we are just getting started on a new direction. We understand that this takes time to grow and establish a firm foundation. We are well on our way. Rumor has it that other local schools have been curious and wondering how this platform is shaping our school! The students and teachers are working together creating a sustainable learning environment that really teaches team work.
We are so grateful to be stepping outside the comfort zone of traditional learning and heading back to some basic skills that are required to in life to live a healthy life style. This year has been much easier for us to organize and really see what steps are needed and which ones aren’t. We are working towards having a community that is involved in our children’s future.
We have had all the grades in one way or another participate in our garden. The grade 7 woodworking class made our garden boxes. Spring 2015 each class had a designated box on their choice to grow, and maintain. We had parent volunteers fill in where the teachers and students were unable to. This year we have done the same with the exception of adding much more variety. We have sent all our younger students on a field trip to our partnering farm Pine Ridge. So they could see how the food is grown, where it’s coming from. We have used veggies and herbs in our garden for our hot lunch program. We want the kids to be proud of their accomplishments.