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Community Classroom Garden
Our vision for Canada is… that our students would have access to fresh produce, the ability to learn where our food comes from and a space for students to come together for a common purpose. The produce available in our stores is grown all over the world, picked before it is ripe often lacking the nutrients our bodies need, expensive and often lacks flavour. We have become a very busy society where processed foods are a convenient and cheap option to feeding our families. Many families living in town do not have the space or time to put towards a garden either. Our vision is to inspire our children to get excited about healthier eating, growing our own food and working together as a community for a common purpose.
We began our gardening initiative with three indoor hydroponic gardens that allow us to garden all year long in our school. When asked, only approximately one third of my class were taking advantage of growing gardens over our summer months. Many of my students didn’t truly know how our produce was grown and didn’t like the way most of our produce tasted. We truly began our vision by inspiring our students to grow our own food, to get excited about it and to taste the difference compared to what is in the stores. This was a great way to have a diverse group of students come together for a common vision. This was a way to get healthy food for those that couldn’t afford it. Now that we have a solid group of students that are inspired, we wanted outdoor gardens for students to have access throughout the summer. We have a small group of dedicated, inspired gardening students who have wanted these outdoor gardens to happen and have committed to taking care of them. We have started our seedlings in peat pods, watering them regularly and giving them access to regular light intervals. These seedlings are growing strong and will be soon ready for planting outdoors. Our hope is that these outdoor gardens will inspire our families to grow their own gardens with their children in the future.
Reflection & Celebration
We did have some issues with our seedlings. First we had some overwatering so the seedlings rotted out. The seedlings were also not close enough to the light source so they got laggy stretching towards the light.
With closer lighting and less watering, the seedlings have been growing strong. We have learned that seedlings can be finnicky, but with some flexibility, we can get some solid seedlings ready for the move to the outdoor gardens to capitalize on our growing season.
We will ensure the ongoing sustainability of our project by continuing to inspire our students to want to grow their own food. We have options available to our 5-9 students that centre around gardening. Every spring we will begin our gardening project and every fall we will clean out our gardens.