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Our vision for Canada is… Access and knowledge to fresh healthy food. The school’s garden is a focus point for growing fresh healthy food for students and it’s community. As more and more access to appropriate food becomes more difficult, our students will be given the tools and understanding on how to grow food for themselves.
Our garden at Hampstead started in 2013-14 with the support of the school and the after school program (BASE Daycare). Staff worked with the students to plan and build a garden located in front of the school.
Last spring the garden was removed due to renovations done on the school building. Some of the key components of the garden such as seating, raised planters, storage shed and compost bin were saved and stored.
The goal this year is to reinstall the garden along with all of the materials that were saved. We will also add a garden bed that will act as a buffer between the vegetable beds and the sidewalk. The new garden bed will also act to attract pollinators and raise curb side appeal to the schools frontage.
The Parent committee at the school is being an active partner in helping promote and support a seedling sale to raise much needed funds and participate in maintaining the garden throughout the summer.
Our garden will help address such issues and environmental by beautifying the school space and teaching kids to engage in the garden that has many science and environment connections. They will be exposed to social impact by growing their own seedlings from seed and planting them in the garden. This will give them the sense of responsibility to care for their plant and accomplishment once the plant is mature and there is food available to harvest. There is also an element of economics as students will value their input into the garden to receive its output of fresh healthy food.
Every year the garden is celebrated with a harvest festival where students enjoy food harvested from the garden that the students help to prepare. These events bring the school community together to enjoy the garden.
The school has stated an annual seedling sale to raise funds to help pay for garden materials. BASE Daycare students select the seeds, plant and care for the seedlings as they grow. The schools PPO committee helps to promote and run the sale with the students.
A challenge that the garden faces ever year is the constant need for summer attention. Without students at school during the summer it does not receive the maintenance and care. Parents are invited to sign up and help water the garden in the summer. The volunteers are rewarded with fresh harvests of garden produce.