Our Native Tea Garden
Our vision for Canada is that we can grow and use the traditional plants as our local First Nations people did to harvest for different reasons including wild teas. We are learning about the different uses for the local native plants and the benefits of drinking them in teas. We are learning through the First People’s Principles of Learning that learning involves patience and time and learning supports the well being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits and the ancestors. Developing an understanding of these principles and learning about traditional teas our local first nations peoples drank is important to developing and understanding the significance and importance of local first people cultures.
Students from a variety of classrooms have contributed to making this project a reality. Students in grade 3 and 4 have learned about native plants used in tea. They have sampled and tasted tested a variety of teas. Choosing plants like mint, yarrow, rose, nettles, huckleberry etc. to plant and grow in our own garden. They also worked in the garden to prepare it for planting, engaged in the planting and water the garden. They are then harvesting and drying the plants to make tea to serve the school community. Some of our parents also supported us in preparing the garden and are looking at ways to grow the garden even larger. The students have taken pride and leadership in the garden and are proud of how it is growing.
Reflection & Celebration
Our project is in progress however we do feel we have learned in the process. One challenge was finding native plants that we could purchase and had to look a few nurseries before we had success. We plan to continue to grow the garden and the PAC is going to be building some garden boxes for the other side of the garden. Getting our water connected so we didn’t have to bring it from inside the school was another challenge that facilities was able to support us with. We have a couple of teachers that are going to continue to support the tea garden with their classes and continue to learn and grow in the garden!