October is Farm to School month, and what perfect timing; students are settling in back at school and the local farms are growing a bounty of fresh food! Eight schools in School District #73 received Farm to School funding between 2014-2016, and they have been doing a wide variety of activities including growing gardens, starting indoor microgreens 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 eating healthy, local food.
Monthly Network Meeting Topic: Growing Microgreens Talk, from 3:45-4:45pm on Thursday, Oct. 20th
The Kamloops Region Farm to School Hub will be hosting monthly online networking meeting to discuss specific topics of interest to the teachers of SD73. They could include fundraising, seed saving, dehydrating, cooking in the classroom, perennial gardening, and whatever else you would like to learn about. The talks will be about an hour in length, and guest speakers will be invited to do presentations with time for questions afterward. Since it will be a video conference call, you will be able to see everyone on the call including the presenter, making for an engaging opportunity for learning.
The monthly networking meetings will happen on the third Thursday of every month from 3:45-4:45pm – Oct 20, Nov 17, skipping December, and then again on Jan 19, etc. We will be using the online platform Zoom that you will connect to via a link provided when you register to attend. If you are not near your computer during that time, you will also be able to phone in, though there may be visuals that you will miss. All of these meetings will be recorded and archived, so you will be able to access them later.
This month during the network meeting, we will be talking about growing microgreens in the classroom, recipe development, and how to connect them to the curriculum, the possibilities are endless! Although this is a Kamloops Hub Network meeting, anyone interested across the province is welcome to attend – register here.
Connecting to the Community:
The strength of the Farm to School programs rely on their connectedness to the community, and microgreens have been a great way to bring people together. In addition to the intro to microgreen growing that will be provided on our October 20th Network meeting, all SD#73 teachers will also be invited to attend an in-person Growing Microgreens workshop in October presented by our resident teacher experts, date TBA. Kamloops Makerspace will be building microgreens shelving units at cost for those schools that want them, and we have connected with SD#73 Aboriginal Advisor Noreen Pankewich who suggested that in the spring the students can collect seeds from wild plants (like dandelions or plantains) and plant those as microgreens.
Growing microgreens has been an opportunity for teachers from Farm to School schools to connect and learn from each other, and will continue to be as they get creative in tailoring growing styles to suit their classroom needs. Ideas for cross-curricular connections include conducting science experiments with the greens – testing light conditions, soil or watering levels, or connecting to English story writing assignments or taking average growing times in Math class. Microgreens are truly interdisciplinary!
The chef at NorKam High School is hosting the BC Culinary Arts Specialist Association conference this year in Kamloops from October 21-22. There will be a round table session for school chefs from all across the country to learn about Kamloops school programming, and Farm to School will have a booth at the event.
The Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market will be hosting a pie-making contest for four schools in the District on October 19th, it will be a great way for students to have fun baking with local produce and compete with neighboring schools! I can smell the apple and pumpkin pies already…
October is Farm to School Month:
Enter your school in a contest to win a $1500 Farm to Cafeteria Prize!
All across Canada, schools will be celebrating Farm to School month in October, bringing awareness to all of the amazing programs that are going on. Simply by sharing your story (you can use the one written in your progress report) here, you will be entered to win one of three prizes of $1500 each for your school!
Is your school already thinking and eating local? Add them to Canada’s School Food Map.
Animator Reflection, Adrienne de Candole, Kamloops Hub Region:
This is my first month as the new Animator for this region, following in the footsteps of Keira McPhee. I was on the steering committee of this project from the beginning representing the Kamloops Food Policy Council, who I continue to work with. I also work for the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market, and have farmed in the city for last few years. With my background in academic research, transitioning to farming, and now working with schools, this is a perfect blend of my personal interests, and I am passionate about getting students to eat healthy, local food!
To learn more about any of the projects happening in the Kamloops Hub Region, email Adrienne at firstname.lastname@example.org