“ My favourite, part of the week is when we get to go into the garden!” This is the phase more and more parents are reporting their children reply to the question, “What is your favourite activity at school?” Students on Gabriola usually begin to garden the first week in May and this year was no exception. Every Thursday 125 elementary school children come to People for a Healthy Communities Food Bank garden. On the first day, ALL of the weeds in our 20 beds were completely gone and the beds made ready for planting.
There are many lessons that come out of gardening. Some are obvious, journal writing, math, and science. Some are not so obvious, sharing, pride in task, team work, and contributing to those less fortunate, in addition to the joy of eating food you grow yourself.
One of the not so obvious lessons is learning to be responsive and adaptive; our small garden on the school grounds has been difficult to maintain over the summer vacation, so this year we have planned to replant the school garden into flowers for bees, butterflies and birds with a focus on indigenous plants. Students are learning that life is like gardening you make a plan but you can also change a plan.