The students in our school’s Health Inspectors Club wanted to start an indoor gardening project to promote healthy eating and to experience how to grow plants that produce food. The students have been working the past few years on increasing physical activity and promote the choice of healthy foods. They felt that the next step was to begin producing their own food and participating in the task of making something themselves. This project fit well with our desire to become an Eco-School that demonstrates ways to support and care for our environment.
Working with our Public Health Nurse, we researched what plants we would need to grow to make salsa for the school. We ordered the necessary seeds, soil, planting tray, and invited someone from the Ontario Grower’s Supply to come and speak to us about how to start our planting so that it would be successful. The students walked away with knowledge of how to plant seeds and maintain the initial seedlings. Each student also received a wheat grass set to start their own planting at home.
We planted our seeds but noticed that our location for growing was not providing the right environment. The temperature where they were growing fluctuated too often and this affected the ability of the seedlings to get started. Through our funding we were able to purchase a plant light and moved the plants to an area where there was better air circulation and natural light. The plants have since started to grow.
Due to our initial challenges, our plants are not growing in time for us to make our salsa for the school. We have a family who is willing to donate the ingredients to allow us to create the salsa snack to share with the school! The students are very excited to create and share their healthy snack with the school and are hoping to continue with our plantings next year. We anticipate greater success next year now that we have learned through our challenges this year about the best places in our building to start our plants.