Tower Garden Vegetable Garden
Our school was given an aeroponic “Tower Garden” for indoor food growth. As a school in an innercity community, access to healthy food is not always a reality for our students. Many students do not have a green space to grow food in their homes and know little about how to grow and harvest food. The gifting of the garden tower prompted many of our students to ask what the tower was and how it worked. This led to a discussion with our Deep Learning consultant about how we could turn this into a meaningful learning experience.
We used the Tower Garden as a way to research the importance of local food resources while boosting food resources for our much-used school breakfast program. This relates to climate change as utilizing local food resources takes the strain off the climate by limiting transportation usage. Eating locally reduces the distance that food travels (food kilometres) and the emissions produced during transportation, thereby resulting in a smaller carbon/ecological footprint or “foodprint”. With the current issues with grain delivery and the war in Ukraine, food scarcity and food shortages are current issues that many students were aware of, and with the current shortages on certain products, students were aware of the difficulties of trying to find certain products and the long journey that many products make to our homes.
Reflection & Celebration
Students used the tower garden as a way to investigate biodiversity and the interconnection of living things as part of the Grade 7 Science curriculum and use it as a means to learn about Human Impacts on the Environment and the journey that food makes to our plates as part of the Grade 7 and 8 Geography curriculum.
Students then harvested the lettuce and vegetables that were grown and turned them into a meal plan, which they then planned and cooked in our school kitchen for our students to enjoy. At the end of the year, all students planted their own vegetables in pots and then brought them home to continue the growing process with their families.