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Garden Beds and Blueberries

Vision

To create a garden for students and staff to grow vegetables, fruits, berries, native plants and other beneficial plants to learn first-hand about the benefits of these plants. To create a garden on our school grounds providing access to all students at our school. Having it at the school provides access as it’s not always safe to travel to other places. It also provides students a sense of having their own garden if they don’t have one at their home. These hands on experiences engage students by getting them involved, and they can contribute their own ideas and interests to the garden planning. Students are motivated by improving the environment and by creating and growing gardens that grow plants, attract pollinators and create a biodiverse habitat in what was once just a bare piece of dirt. We started our garden vision 2 years ago and now have 9 beds, a fence, blueberry and raspberry patches and soon a shed. Our garden is continually growing and brings inspiration to our learning community everyday.

Action

This year, with our grant from Learning for a Sustainable Future, our school community worked to create three more garden beds and a blueberry garden so many more students in our school community can learn how to grow healthy plants and benefit from eating fresh fruits and vegetables. With this grant we bought 8 blueberry plants to plant in our fenced garden. Our students learned how to create a hilled garden to plant the blueberries so the plants would benefit from the soil and a raised garden to increase drainage. They dug holes and planted the plants. They chose a spot that gets lots of sunlight and that was big enough for the plants to grow to full size.
Parents volunteered their times with their children to build the garden beds which allowed for 3 more classes to be able to grow vegetables in our school garden, including kindergarten to Grade 5’s. We just put in a fence, so this means we now have a total of 9 garden beds in our school garden.
Students have researched the best plants to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to are garden and we have included native flowering plants.
We also researched what to plant to attract bugs that will deter garden pests such as dill, cilantro and parsley to attract lady beetles.
Students also found beneficial bugs are attracted to calendula, mustard and sweet alyssum. We are growing these in our gardens.
The kindergartens are planting beans and peas, Grade 1/2’s are planting garlic, kale, potatoes, peas and healing herbs, Grade 2/3’s are planting carrots, peas, gourds and sunflowers, and Grade 4/5’s are planting potatoes so far. We also communally grow raspberries.
Our garden is visited regularly by all classes to maintain and take part in what is growing and benefit from learning about plant life cycles, how to keep soil healthy by adding organic matter and work together to help create a sustainable garden for our school community.

Reflection & Celebration

It was amazing to see students so fulfilled by getting to create gardens that help keep them and their community healthy. They researched all the ways they can benefit local animal and plant habitats and are keen to grow healthy food and create healthy habitats for insects and other organisms. They work as a team to increase biodiversity and transform our school yard into a place for every member of our community to be curious, learn, engage and be an active participant in creating a sustainable environment.

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
2. Zero Hunger
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