Our Farm to School Story at Logan Lake Secondary began with an idea to start a school garden and expanded into so much more. Some of our achievements over the past year include a successful school garden, growing microgreens, healthy lunch and breakfast programs, and school composting.
It was very rewarding to see how successful the trial year of our school garden turned out to be. A large proportion of our students were involved with starting our school garden. Students from our shop classes built two raised garden boxes, as well as picnic tables for the learning area around our garden. Several students of all ages helped shovel dirt into the garden beds and plant seeds. We also had several students volunteer to water the garden throughout the summer. We donated produced that was ready to be harvested in the summer to people in need throughout our community. In the fall, our students harvested the produce and used it in our foods class and for our healthy lunch program. It brought us sheer joy to see how excited the students were to be able to eat the food that they had planted from seed and nurtured throughout the summer.
Seeding, growing and harvesting healthy food did not stop at our school garden. Last spring, we were presented with an opportunity to attend a Growing Microgreens Workshop in Richmond hosted by Chris Thoreau. This workshop was extremely helpful and motivated us to begin growing microgreens in our foods classroom. Growing microgreens at our school has been a major success. We used the microgreens in our healthy lunch program and we juice the wheatgrass every week to put into smoothies for our healthy breakfast program. The grade 5-7 students have learned how to seed and harvest the microgreens and have become pretty self sufficient with the process. It is very rewarding to see how proud the students are of their microgreens and how much they enjoy eating their freshly harvested, nutritious greens.
Developing a school garden and growing microgreens opened another healthy living door at our school, the creation of a healthy lunch program. Our senior and junior foods and nutrition classes, as well as helpers from the grades 5-7 classes became the chefs of our lunch program. Twice a week, our chefs made new, healthy meals to be served to the participants of the healthy lunch program. We incorporated fresh and local foods, as well as our own produce from the school garden into the lunches. We are really proud that approximately 40-50 people each week signed up for our lunch program, which accounts for almost half of our school population.
Since the lunch program became such a success and seeing that many of our students were beginning to make healthier food choices, we decided to start a healthy breakfast program in second semester. The healthy breakfast program includes a nutritious homemade muffin and fresh smoothie made and served by student volunteers. Teachers have definitely noticed the impact that having a healthy breakfast has on student learning.
In addition, we started a composting program at our school. Student volunteers helped start and run the program, which has been a success. We were able to use our compost from last year to add to our school garden this year. It is great to see how invested the students are at composting their food and encouraging others to compost their food waste as well.
With all of our successful endeavors, we still stumble upon challenges. Although we have seen some of our students make healthier food choices throughout the year, there are still a number of students who make poor food choices. It is difficult to see students eat high sugar and high fat food on a daily basis, but I do believe that with continued investment into incorporating healthy eating initiatives into our school, that we can work to change these negative choices into positive ones.
It has been a tremendous reward to have the support of our Farm to School Grant to turn our ideas and dreams into accomplishments and successes. The Farm to School Grant has given us the opportunity to build and create many positive connections throughout our school and community. Several students have grown in their leadership abilities and healthier life choices are being made by students and staff. Without the Farm to School Grant, all of these healthy eating and living accomplishments at Logan Lake Secondary would not be successful.