by Marcus Lobb
Autumn marks the end of the growing season, but the beginning of another school year. We had a dry summer in the Nanaimo Region, which lead to great fruit production, but not so great salad production!
Over in Port Alberni, Maquinna Elementary launched their first ever Farm to School CSA fundraiser program in partnership with Healthy Harvest Farm. The school’s PAC registered 25 families to receive a box of health local organic produce from the local farm. The fundraiser will raise $125 to be put towards the recently created schoolyard garden, all while connecting local producers to the school community! A special thanks also goes out to Burde Street Community Orchard who will be contributing apples to the produce box. This coming week the students will be picking up the boxes in the gymnasium after school.
Produce grown by Healthy Harvest Farm, and a field trip to the farm (source: Healthy Harvest Facebook).
In Nanaimo, we held our first Farm to School Advisory Committee meeting of the 2018 – 2019 school year. The meeting, which was held at Nanaimo Foodshare, brought together eight members of the community, including teachers, farmers, and community members to discuss how we can support the evolution of healthy school food communities. The group will meet three more times this year, and is already planning to create some working groups to tackle some of the most urgent concerns that were raised.
We are also very proud of one of our biggest partners, Nanaimo Foodshare, for hosting a meeting to discuss their innovative SOIL Lit Kits program they launched in the spring. They met with teachers to discuss how to improve the program, and what worked with the educational kits. Two more kits will be launched this year, all of which will aid teachers in connecting soil sciences, and food literacy to the curriculum.