Our vision for Canada is…to ensure that every student and community member has the change to participate in creating a sustainable future for Canada. We want people to feel passionate and connected to the environment. One way we thought of addressing sustainability in Canada was encouraging a farm to table movement. This has been an increasingly talked about issue within certain communities in Calgary- mainly local restaurants, and we wanted to give students, staff and community members the chance to participate in this idea. By encouraging the production and consumption of locally grown food, we can start to understand the ecological footprint food production has on our society, and start to think of ways to decrease this footprint.
Our project is creating a grow tent within our classroom that will create a similar environment to that of a greenhouse. Our grow tent will run through an aquaponics system, with fish waste from our fish being directed into our barrels containing different vegetables and herbs. Fish waste is an excellent source of nutrients for the plants, helping them to grow in better conditions. This system students created was funded through grant applications, helping students understand the economics behind project work. Students learn how important it is to know where your food comes from, and can trace the ecological footprint of their food using this system they have created. Socially, students were able to communicate to community members visiting our classroom the importance of the whole farm to table movement, and as a result, have started a push to produce more locally grown food in our community. We now have a community garden working with local seniors on our school property because of students’ passion to not only create an environmental movement within our school, but our surrounding community as well.
Reflection & Celebration
Initially, our project was to design and build a greenhouse in our school courtyard, but our board was currently working on another greenhouse at a different school, so our greenhouse could not have been completed this year. As a result, our students came up with the idea of a grow tent in our lab. This grow tent has similar properties to a greenhouse, and therefore, the students thought it was a great alternative. In order to ensure the ongoing sustainability of this project, we will continue to work with other programs at our school (Culinary) to sustain this project, and encourage its continuation. As well, students in this program as a result of this project have developed a great appreciation for working with members of the community that are not students, and we will continue to encourage this aspect of the project as well!