NIC’s ABC (Awesome Blossom Club)
The vision that our Awesome Blossom Club has for a more sustainable Canada is to create food security within our community using indoor gardening and hydroponics. We want to promote healthy eating, as well as finding sustainable ways of accessing and producing food. This is an important issue in our community for many reasons. One is that because we live in the heart of downtown Toronto, there are many people near our school who are homeless and need food. When our plants grow to its fullest form, we want to provide meals that we can hopefully give to those whose access to food are limited. In addition, most of our international students live alone and or are in a homestay and having a hydroponic/indoor garden would be greatly beneficial for the students to develop skills they can use at home to save money. Lastly, learning to grow locally will help many of the students in developing healthy eating choices, especially for those who do not have time to go grocery shopping and who oftentimes purchase take-out.
Our grade 12s Challenge and Change in Society students have used this sustainable project to discuss the benefits indoor gardening and hydroponics have on the environment and have given students opportunities to research on topics related to healthy eating and food security. In this class, students have created inforgraphs and posters to demonstrate how indoor gardening and hydroponics have helped the environment by discussing how growing locally will help reduce our carbon footprint since it requires growing your own produce, which would help limit your fossil fuel consumption. Some students have even researched on the economic benefits of an indoor garden by exploring how people can save money instead of continuously buying goods at the grocery store. Students have explored many different benefits to having an indoor garden that go beyond financial and environmental solutions such as the healthy emotional and mental well-being developed when one works in a green space, the opportunities of exploring new ways of growing food in an urban population, and several other benefits. Students have also been engaged in the project through youth leadership. Students were given the opportunity to make a change in their community and were responsible for up keeping the garden as well as promoting the club’s vision on food security, growing locally and healthy eating to the rest of the students in the school through advertisements (posters, word of mouth, infrographs, presentations and posters). Under supervision, students have walked to a nearby store and have helped purchase useful material and tools needed for the indoor garden and hydroponic.