by Aaren Topley
With a month into the new year, garden beds are resting, waiting for days to get warmer and longer. This slumber doesn’t mean that local food isn’t still on the minds and in the bellies of students; it just means we are enjoying simpler foods. Kale, root vegetables and winter squashes are what are on the plates of students. In the Capital Region, we are lucky to see the ground and sun more often than not, and every time I walk past a school garden I am reminded of what is waiting to bloom.
Professional Development Day
On October 19th, LifeCycles Project Society, School District 61 and their Aboriginal Nation Education Department, Whole Food and Farm to School BC, held a professional development day. Led by Sarah Rhude, this day fostered learning about Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Good Food Summit
On November 22nd and 23rd, the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiative Roundtable held its annual Good Food Summit that brought together growers, engaged citizens and activists, local non-profits, elected official and civil servants from across the Capital region and beyond. To learn more, click the link here.
Gulf Island Learning Circle
On November 29th, the Gulf Island’s held their first Learning Circle that brought together teachers and parents from across the Gulf Islands to learn from each other. The day started on Pender Island with a tour of the school and their cob oven and garden. We were also able to have a tour of Salt Spring Elementary school garden. The Gulf Island School District (SD64) is doing some amazing work. Did you know that every SD64 school has an active garden? The photo below is of the school garden at Pender Island School.
Harvest4Knowledge is well underway and as teachers are planning, planting and restoring Indigenous gardens and ecosystems, we are also meeting monthly to create signs for the garden. There will be one larger sign built for schools which talks about meadow ecosystems and then there will be smaller interpretive signs for individual plants.
We are just waiting to confirm a few details before announcing our regional events. Some things to look forward to are our Spring Celebration that will be happening in May. This year will be a bit different as we will also be celebrating our Harvest4Knowledge schools and the work they’ve done over the last two years. We will not be having a specific school garden professional development day in the spring this year. However, we encourage people to attend the National Farm to School Conference in May.
Seedy Saturday: February 16th, 10am to 4pm @ the Victoria Conference Centre.
Want to know where to get your seeds for the year? Seedy Saturday has it all! Check out the link here for more information.