Aaron (Life Skills): This is the 2nd year our Life Skills class has enjoyed being active in the school garden and this is the first year our school has participated in the popular “Spuds ‘n Tubs” Program. It has been great for the students, because it allows for so much social interaction and connection with our peer tutors. Nurturing the seedlings, watching the growth of the plants and enjoying the vegetables in salads and blender drinks is a wonderful part of our spring and summer curriculum. The wheelchair accessible gardening bed at Templeton has been well utilized by the Life Skills class and we are looking forward to watching our vision of Templeton’s garden come to life!
Teresa (Foods): My students and I are new to the garden this year. It’s been interesting to see their responses. Some of them are quite eager and dive right in while others are paranoid of worms and don’t want to get their hands dirty. They researched crops that would grow during the school year and found recipes from around the world that we will make with the fruits of our labour. We had fun transplanting arugula and strawberries in the fall and we are now getting to see our broad beans start to grow. Another class had planted quinoa but weren’t able to use it so we got to work harvesting and learning about saving seeds. They were intrigued at the idea of using wind to help get rid of the debris. We are excited to cook the quinoa and to see how it tastes in comparison to imported/store bought quinoa. Next year we are going all local!
Patti (Cafeteria): This spring I have taken my cafeteria students outside to do some gardening. The cafeteria has two garden beds, and in the past we have planted a number of herbs and vegetables that we have used in our food preparation. With only chives and mint balm left in the garden beds we were free to plant what we pleased. The students were excited to be outside and learning about gardening. This is what they had to say:
“My experience working the garden was very relaxing and educational. Normally all my classes take place inside classrooms so it was really nice to be able to go outside and connect with nature. I also really liked how we were working together to plant vegetables that we could use later in the cafeteria. “
“Gardening was fun! I planted beets and I like to touch the soil and bury the seeds. It was interesting to see how our school composts food, and the different things we were growing in the garden. I think it’s great that our school is serving the veggies freshly grown in our gardens, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to help.”
“The Templeton garden was awesome! I love how the garden is built and the setting is very nice. It was my first time planting and I had much fun. My partner was helpful and we planted all the seeds perfectly. I can’t wait to see when all the radishes grow big and tall!”
“Gardening for a lot of people is a fun thing to do when it’s sunny. Since I was a kid I was familiar with gardening because I grew up on a farm. Farming was one of my family’s businesses. I used to plant lots of herbs and also rice. But when I started going to school I got assigned to more homework so I wasn’t doing gardening as much as before.”
We’re all looking forward to watching our plants grow and discovering the joys of gardening!
Carina (Humanities): This spring my Social Studies 8 class has been studying the Middle Ages, as well as reading a novel about a midwife’s apprentice in the Middle Ages, and learning about all the herbs that she used as part of her practice. To tie in with this unit we did a guided herbal and medical plant walk around our school, and have been out in the garden getting our hands dirty by building a raspberry bed, planting some lettuce and carrots, and making our very own calendula oil. It has been wonderful to make these kinds of connections with our curriculum!