There’s been a food and herb garden at John Barsby Community School in Nanaimo for many years.The potential of the garden however, has been limited due to the lack of a fence.

During this school year, Barsby enthusiasm food growing culture was invigorated due to having an onsite garden facilitator. Funding for this position was provided by Community School funds and expertise was provided via Foodshare in the form of having farmer Chris Brown available to students and teachers once a week. Due to the consistent presence of a knowledgeable food grower on school grounds, we were able to bring knowledge into classes and the garden about local food issues, sustainability and the environment.

The icing on the cake this spring was when we finally made our way through the challenges of red tape, bureaucracy and funding to get a fence built.  Funding came from the Parent Advisory Committee and a F2SBC grant. Labour was donated by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School Career Technical Centre and Vancouver Island University’s carpentry program. Many people worked hard to make this happen. It was truly a collaborative effort.

Thanks to cooperation and persistence, this long term dream of having a garden that’s protected from vandalism, theft and deer has become a reality.  Now the fun of planning hands on learning opportunities and garden to cafeteria programs can begin!