Kamloops Regional Farm to School Hub
As Spring approaches (albeit much more slowly than we would like), we are starting to think about the garden and local farms coming to life again. After spring break, enthusiastic student volunteers will have three short months left in the school year, a tight timeline to work with!
Where in your school is food being served? Is it local? Is it healthy? Is there anything you can do to change it? Think about what role you and your class can play in improving the food being served. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
If you are unsure of where to get local, healthy food, do not despair, here is an upcoming option for you. Most BC Farmers’ Markets will be starting in April if you are not lucky enough to have a year round market where you live, so take a stroll through the market and talk to farmers. You could also keep an eye out for your local Seedy Saturday or other gardening events.
Connecting to the Curriculum:
Many schools are currently on Spring Break, and farms will be in full swing by early April across the province. Thinking about food during spring break and being able to jump right back into school will maximize your classes’ potential to get involved in many stages of the food production. Whether that means growing beans on your classroom’s windowsill, walking to a nearby garden, or taking a field trip to a local farm, there are many ways to get your students thinking about the whole life cycle of food. In the Spring, there are many activities and discussions you can have with students including seeds, planting, greenhouses, soil health, composting, and transplanting.
If you do not know that much about gardening yourself, ask for help! For example, your local Master Gardeners chapter may offer workshops or may even come into your classroom. You could even seek out a co
mmunity member with a beautiful garden who love sharing their passion for gardens. They may even be willing to host your students in their garden! You could also organize a Bike to Farm event, check out this article from an event on Vancouver Island.
Healthy, local food is not restricted to just fruits and vegetables. There are many meat-producing farmers and 4H clubs to connect with to teach your students about where meat comes from. If you time it right, you could meet some fluffy chicks!
Monthly Network Meeting Topic: April, Indigenous Food Systems at School
Our webinar structure has changed a bit, so that every month, Farm to School BC hosts a meeting for teachers, parents, farmers, and school administrators from all across the province to learn about a new topic of interest. These video meetings are a great space to discuss specific topics, and you will be able to see everyone on the call including the presenter. The webinar fosters an engaging opportunity for learning.
In our last webinar, we discussed how to grow microgreens in classrooms with a Kamloops elementary school teacher. Here is a link to our microgreens webinar, as well as a resource page with everything you need to know to get started.
April’s webinar will be focusing on Indigenous Food Systems at School, everyone is welcome to participate! More details will be posted on the Farm to School BC website, check back for details.
All of these meetings are recorded and will be available on our YouTube Channel. In order for you to receive a link to join on the day of the webinar, registration is required!
Story from the Field:
Last month, the Foods 10 class at NorKam Secondary made four vermicompost bins for Arthur Hatton Elementary. Since NorKam already composts all of their kitchen scraps in their compost bins, they decided to give these worm-composting bins to the elementary school. Now, students in grades 3-5 are throwing all of their apple cores and banana peels into the vermicompost bins instead of the garbage!
This past week, the NorKam Secondary school attended the indoor Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market, and purchased vegetables for their upcoming salad bar. The students talked to two vegetable farmers and a beekeeper about their farms, and learned all about cold storage, root vegetables, and honey production. The students will be serving a free salad bar as part of their Farm to Cafeteria grant they received from Whole Foods using primarily local, organic vegetables!
- The Farmers’ Market (check out their Facebook page) has two more indoor markets at the Sandman Center, March 29th and April 12th from 9:30-1pm. Contact Addie at the email below to book a visit!
- The Farmers’ Market moves outdoors on Saturdays (8am – 12pm) starting April 22, and Wednesdays (8am – 2pm) starting May 3
- Addie will be at the Green Living Expo on April 29th with a Farm to School BC booth with students from Arthur Hatton, come say hi!
- We have scheduled our Celebration of Learning for Thursday, May 25th. The theme this year is: “connecting school gardens to the curriculum”. More details TBA!
Animator Reflection, Adrienne de Candole, Kamloops Hub Region:
The Celebration of Learning event this year will be even bigger and better than last year’s as we will be inviting more schools in SD73! The theme this year will be “learning in the garden”, and each community group will showcase their work categorized by school subject. For example, the Master Gardener group may teach a Science lesson about pollinators, or the Food Bank could teach an English and have the students write a story about food waste.
It has been an amazing experience for me in the last few months to have worked with all schools and their teachers. Here’s to a fabulous last three months!
To learn more about any of the projects happening in the Kamloops Hub Region, email Adrienne at firstname.lastname@example.org.