From Seeds to Sustainability
Growing seeds from start to finish and utilizing products grown in the Foods class to prepare a meal to share with the school. The vision initially was to provide an opportunity for Foods students to showcase their skills and create an environment celebrating sustainable practices within the school while learning about the process of bringing food from farm to table. We practice composting regularly and are always looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. Due to COVID plans shifted and students took home plants to care for and were asked to keep track of plant growth via an online growth chart.
In early March of 2020, a growing apparatus was fashioned using a stainless steel shelving unit and grow lights. Seeds were started and placed in front of the window in a common area of the school (this was a good way to educate the students about the nature of the project and garner interest). A sign stating, “from Seeds to Sustainability” was placed on the shelving unit. Shortly, after this stage began, schools shifted to at home learning due to COVID 19. Therefore, I brought the plants home and took care of them for a month or so until they were ready to be handed out to the students to take over care. Students were asked to come to the school to pick up their tomato plants. They were provided with a plant, and instructions for care. Once the students brought the plants home, they measured them and took pictures to post on a group form. They continued to do so each week for the duration of the project/remainder of the school year.
Reflection & Celebration
As it turned out, the project became a successful way for the class to continue to work on a project separately, while together. It became a very heartwarming exercise at a stressful time for many of the students who diligently cared for their plants. The students even gave their plants names and celebrated the arrival of the first tomato on the vine. The project also became a point of connection for parents and their children and I received appreciative notes from a few parents who were grateful that their children had such a positive execercise to participate in at that time. I expect many of these students will be planting again this spring and that they will always look at the process of growing their own food in a whole new light.