Kamloops Region Farm to School Hub
The theme of the blog this season is hands-on learning, an inspiring theme, especially when it fosters food literacy in students! The strength of the Farm to School BC network allows the sharing of knowledge and resources across the province, which in turn allows schools to support each other and not work in isolation. What a teacher is doing in Kamloops might inspire a teacher in Prince George, who might in turn inspire a teaching in Nelson.
In her book, Food Literacy: Key Concepts for Health Education, Helen Vidgen defines food literacy as, “a collection of inter-related knowledge, skills and behaviours required to plan, manage, select, prepare and eat food to meet needs and determine food intake. It is the scaffolding that empowers individuals, households, communities or nations to protect diet quality through change and support dietary resilience over time.” When approaching the topic of food literacy with students, this broad systems approach allows for further creativity in the curriculum, allowing many subjects to be taught through food. Food may seem simple at first, but it addresses political, environmental and social issues. Using food as a lens and exploring its wide reach beyond seeing it as sustenance, students can explore many subjects of their curriculum all from a single tomato plant.
Schools across Kamloops and the regional are engaging in a wide variety of activities including growing gardens, starting indoor microgreen projects, and working with the wider community to harvest local fruit. By providing students with opportunities for hands-on learning, schools are connecting more to their community and getting the opportunity to eat healthy, local food.
Monthly Kamloops Network Meeting Topic: Food Waste, from 3:45-4:45pm on Wednesday, January 11th
Every month, Farm to School Kamloops hosts a meeting to connect teachers, parents, farmers, and school administrators with one another to learn about a new topic of interest and network. These video meetings are a great space to discuss specific topics of interest to the Network, and you will be able to see everyone on the call including the presenter, making for an engaging opportunity for learning. Advanced registration to attend the meetings is required in order for you to receive a link to join.
Food waste is an issue that had been moved into the spotlight over the last few years, and Kamloops has many programs that divert food waste from landfills and move it to those who need it. We will be hosting our next meeting on that topic, talking to the Kamloops Food Bank, Community Kitchens, and Gleaning abundance Program about their work, and think about how schools can learn from them. Composting, growing and preserving their own food are just some ways that schools in SD73 are becoming more food literate, and learning about how their food choices have a much wider impact. To register for the January meeting, click HERE.
The other two F2S Regional Hubs in the Vancouver and the Capital Region are also hosting great conversations with their networks that you are welcome to join. All previous conversations can be accessed on the Farm to School BC Youtube page and notification of the dates and times for all network meetings can be found on the events page.
Story from the Field – Hands-on Learning in Kamloops
Brock Middle School has been doing some amazing work this Fall in their Foods class, not only growing their own tomatoes in a nearby community garden, but making beautiful tomato salsa and freezing the rest. Talk about farm to table!
Norkam Secondary School is also leading the way building student food literacy. Chef Scott Roberts and his cafeteria class have started building a garden in the courtyard, with the first of the beds now complete. They will be relying on permaculture growing methods to create a perennial, low maintenance garden. Compost is a big part of their garden design, with the school purchasing a new composter to deal with the food waste produced in the cafeteria program at the school. All of the learnings from this courtyard garden will be shared on the Kamloops Food Policy Council website as well as future Kamloops Farm to School Hub blog posts.
Connecting to the Community
Vessy Mochikas (from Brock Middle School) and Paul Denby (from Arthur Hatton Elementary), along with Addie de Candole (Kamloops F2S Hub Animator), were on TV in November! We had the opportunity to talk about these two schools and their successful microgreens growing projects. Students harvest the greens every two weeks and then sell to teachers, parents and local restaurants to bring money into their classroom for field trips and more local food projects. Check out the video HERE!
Vessy (Brock) and Scott (NorKam) were also able to attend the Farm to Cafeteria (F2CC) BC Digs In event in November that took place in Victoria for schools who received National Farm to School Salad Bar Grants. The agenda included the opportunity to learn more about running a salad bar program for their schools, as well as a great opportunity to hear about what other schools who received the F2C grant were doing, and definitely shed some light on new ways to run a salad bar!
Wednesday, January 25th – Just Eat It Movie and Food Waste Booths
The Kamloops Food Policy Council is showing the documentary film Just Eat It on Wednesday, January 25th, a documentary about food waste and food rescue. The film will be showing at the TRU Clock Tower and will be by donation. Come to the theater from 6-6:45pm and learn about different groups in town, how they minimize food waste, and try their snacks made of salvaged food!
Wednesday, January 25th
Questions? Email kamloopsfoodpolicy [at] gmail.com.
Sunday, Jan 22nd – Farm to Chefs Social at TRU Culinary Arts Cafeteria
Farm to Chefs is hosting a Social to bring together chefs, farmers, teachers, principals, and citizens who are interested in connecting with each other in personal and professional ways. There will be several information sessions about working with local producers, and how local food procurement might work with schools.
More details to be posted on the Farm to Chefs Facebook page. Questions? Email Dave Colombe at dcolombe [at] hotmail.com.
Animator Reflection, Adrienne de Candole, Kamloops Hub Region
This school year has gotten off to a wonderful start. The first Kamloops Farm to School Regional Hub Advisory Committee meeting of the school year was in November and had a lot of energy and expertise in the room. As part of the work of the Advisory Committee going forward, there will be four working groups established to take on key areas of interest for the Hub:
- School Gardens
- Local Food Access (procurement and school food policy)
- May Celebration of Learning Event
It has been such a pleasure to work with the members of the Advisory and Steering Committees over the last few months. These fulfilling partnerships with folks that really care about what students eat, continue to remind me why Farm to School programs are so important. There will be a concentrated effort to move the above working groups forward starting in January, harnessing the local knowledge and capacity to expand into their areas of work. We are looking for more people to join the School Garden and Local Food Access groups! If interested email Adrienne at the email address below.
To learn more about any of the projects happening in the Kamloops Hub Region, email Adrienne at email@example.com.