DIY Garden Boxes


The vision for this project centered on empowering students to grow their own food while aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) #2 Zero Hunger, #3 Good Health and Well-Being, #13 Climate Action, and #15 Life on Land. By providing the students with the knowledge and tools to build and cultivate their own gardens, we aimed to instill a sense of self-sufficiency and environmental stewardship. The project had a goal of fostering a connection between the students and their food sources, promoting healthy eating habits, and imparting practical skills that would benefit them for years to come. Additionally, the project sought to create a ripple effect of knowledge and skills through peer teaching and community involvement, thereby contributing to a more sustainable and health-conscious society.


Under the guidance of a retired contractor and community member, the students embarked on building their garden boxes from scratch, learning to safely use various tools such as hand saws, screwdrivers, and power drills. This hands-on experience naturally integrated curricular goals and global competencies, with problem-solving, communication, and collaboration evident throughout the construction process.

Once the garden boxes were built, the students added their personal touches by painting beautiful scenes and abstract art on the boxes. The planting phase began with indoor tomato seedlings nurtured under grow lights, with students actively involved in tracking their growth and development. Hardier plants like peas, beets, and kale were direct sown into the garden boxes, suitable for the cooler May temperatures in New Brunswick.

The students were able to take their boxes home to continue their care with their families and have opportunity to enjoy their harvests once the summer months arrive. The project will culminate in June with the students teaching Grade 1 children how to prepare and plant garden boxes in our school/community garden further extending their knowledge and skills. Together, they will paint rocks to mark the placement of different vegetables, fostering a sense of community and shared learning.

Reflection & Celebration

Reflecting on the project, it was remarkable to witness the students’ growth in both practical skills and personal confidence. The hands-on experience not only taught them how to build and maintain a garden but also instilled a sense of responsibility and pride in their work. The collaborative nature of the project enhanced their ability to work as a team and solve problems collectively.

The project also succeeded in its broader goals of promoting sustainability and healthy living. By growing their own food, students gained a deeper understanding of where their food comes from and the importance of sustainable practices. The skills and knowledge acquired through this project are invaluable and will continue to benefit the students and their families for years to come.

Moreover, the peer-teaching component highlighted the project’s lasting impact, as older students passed on their knowledge to younger peers, ensuring that the benefits of the project extend beyond a single year. The engagement with SDG goals #2, #3, #13, and #15 was evident throughout the project, from reducing hunger through food production to promoting health, taking climate action, and supporting life on land. Overall, the project was a resounding success, demonstrating the power of experiential learning and community involvement in achieving educational and global sustainability goals.

2. Zero Hunger
3. Good Health and Well-Being
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
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