Explore Program’s Food Growing Project
Our program is geared towards practical work experiences for our students. They do things like volunteer with “Meals on Wheels” and perform care-taking duties at a local church.
Sometimes, our students access an Employability Program in our building. It is called YCAP, the Youth Culinary Arts Program.
YCAP teaches young people to cook and prepare homemade quality meals under the guidance of Red Seal chefs.
Our students are looking forward to sharing some of the fresh ingredients that we grow with the YCAP program for their cooking!
Our students are learning the importance of caring for their environment by growing organic plants and using them in a sustainable way. This helps them to connect with the world in a caring and productive way.
The more powerfully they connect with local programs and the surrounding neighbours, the more they feel like important members of this community. Giving back and growing things is a positive move in this direction!
With our grant money, we purchased and built 2 wooden planters (2’x4’x3′) from kits that we ordered from Amazon (after pricing them at Costco and Home Depot). We also ordered a cubic yard of soil from the “Big Yellow Bag” landscaping business.
We used this new soil to fill the planters and to replenish the soil in 3 large (8’x6’x1′) pre-existing planters outside of our building.
Previous to getting the grant, we utilized 3 large wooden shelves with grow lights (that we already had in our classroom) to grow plants from seed. In total we grew 50+ tomato plants, 20+ picking cuke plants, 18 pumpkin plants, 11 chive plants, 8 sage plants, 9 rosemary plants, 12 thyme plants, 1 parsley plant, 20 basil plants, 35 hot pepper plants, 8 cauliflower plants, 5 watermelon plants, 16 sunflower plants, 12 beet plants, 25 scented geranium plants, 5 green pepper plants, 7 zinnia plants, 9 marigold plants, 25 daisy plants, 6 dill plants, 8 corn plants, 10 english cuke plants and 12 cherry tomato plants.
We used many of these plants, plus vegetable seeds to fill the pre-existing planters and the new ones that we built.
Reflection & Celebration
We hope to have the plants well-established and strong so that we can turn them over to another program for the month of July.
We return in August and will be able to continue maintaining the planters and harvesting the plants until the end of September!
Our goal is to help our students learn and respect the amount of work it takes to beautify an area and to grow some of the food that we eat.
Our building is part of a residential neighbourhood and these attractive, useful planters will add to our positive reputation in the community!