by Marcus Lobb
February and March was a busy time for our Nanaimo North Animator. Marcus traveled to Port Alberni and presented the Farm to School Hub model to the trustees or School District 70, a district that covers a wide geographical area stretching from Port Alberni out to Ucluelet and Tofino. The presentation highlight the terrific work that has happened at Maquinna Elementary, a 2018 funded school. Maquinna will be officially launching its garden this year, which was built last summer.
Maquinna Gardens waiting for seeds!
Early March had Marcus participate in Nanaimo’s exciting Seedy Sunday event. He kick-started the day by hosting a seedling starting workshop to over 25 attendees. The workshop showcased best practices for starting your seedlings indoors, under grow lights, and on a budget! Marcus has perfected his method of raising vegetable seedlings, after years of growing seedlings in schools, and at home. The speaking event which focused on tools of the trade, watering tips, and where to source seeds, also included a demonstration on how to prepare your medium, and plant your seeds.
Seedling Workshop ready to go!
March also saw Marcus present to the Education Committee of School District 68, a district with 27 elementary and 7 high schools. His presentation highlighted the schools we have funded in the district, and showcased the upcoming Farm to School National Conference, and the Spring Celebration which is an annual event hosted in Farm to School Hubs. This year the Spring Celebration will be hosted at John Barsby Community School, in partnership with the Earth Day Celebration, Sunday April 27th.
Visiting Gabriola Elementary and School Food Initiatives
Along with Provincial Manager Richard Han, Marcus visited Gabriola Elementary and learned about an inspiring community project called PHC (People for a Healthy Community), which was located directly across the street from the school. Gabriola Elementary Principal Robert and PHC staff member Kenda, as well as local farmer Graham, were kind enough to sit down with us an inform us of all the amazing work happening on the island. PHC, which is located at the commons, boasts a food depot pantry, an incredible school and community garden, and a greenhouse. Thanks to everyone for showing such hospitality!
Marcus and Richard visit the Gabriola Commons
It has been inspiring traveling around my region this winter and early spring, and learning of all the interesting projects, and connections that are being made among schools, and community organizations; including farmers, non-profits, and health professionals. With the upcoming National Farm to School Conference less than 2 months away, I am getting excited to meet all of these leaders on a national stage. A special thanks to all those who have welcomed our team into their communities, and taken the time to inform us on the unique work that is happening all across the province.
Please join us for Earth Day / Farm to School Spring Celebration: Sunday April 27, John Barsby School.
For more information: https://www.nanaimoearthday.com/