We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in just one year at Brock Middle School! We have connected with the Kamloops Gleaning Abundance Program. Our Leadership students and Explorations class picked grapes and apples from neighbourhood trees. The homeowner kept 1/3 of the product and the Food Bank received a 1/3 of the product. Over 200 students helped peel and cut the apples and made jelly, apple pies and apple crisps. In addition, we secured a community garden plot through a partnership with Kamloops Community Gardens. Our Foods classes planted the garden last spring and our Foods students harvested the gardens in the fall. We used our vegetables to make sauces and salsa and other dishes. We were also fortunate to have field trips to our local farmers’ market and Gardengate (an organization that works with adults with mental health issues to grow and maintain 3 acres of gardens). Last week, we joined a grade 4/5 class at Arthur Hatton Elementary to visit SSOL (Seasonal, Sustainable, Organic and Local) Gardens where we planted potatoes and weeded the lettuce plants. Daniella, the farmer, then treated us to an incredible lunch made with their own produce. Our local Brock Centre for Seniors were kind enough to pit and freeze 50 bags of apricots for us last summer. We used these apricots in our smoothies and we made jelly. We sold some jelly, donated some to seniors and used some in our free lunch program.

In terms of processing food, we started a Food Sustainability class. The students learned to make healthy smoothies, scones, muffins, granola, granola parfaits, “energy balls”, smoothies and jellies. In addition, the students learned to grow microgreens, how to start seedlings, build planter boxes and even put in a small garden in a student’s backyard. Our Science 9 Honours Class set up an Aquaponics system and grew their own lettuce, celery and other vegetables. Finally, this motivated our Foods and Science classes to participate in the Spuds in Tubs program that is offered through the B.C. Fruit and Vegetable Program. We were excited to have the mobile dairy lab at our school last week. Students learned where milk comes from, the benefits of drinking milk and were even given the opportunity to milk a cow.

Addie, our local food animator visited our school many times this year. She taught some grade 7 students food literacy that involved learning how to read nutrition labels. Addie also taught students about the importance of knowing where your food comes from. She then took the grade 7 class to Gardengate where our students learned about seed separation.

Finally, our Foods Sustainability class participated in a Waste Audit. We literally went through every bag of garbage in our school and calculated how much of our garbage was food waste that could and should have been diverted instead of making its way to the landfill. We also had a great deal of garbage that should have been recycled. As a result, we now have a big Jora Composter and many classes and students put food waste in food bins that are put in the composter (we named it “Brock Jr.”) instead of being placed in the garbage. Before this, all of our food scraps from our Foods classes, lunches and cafeteria were thrown in the regular garbage.

So, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished. We had a class of 7 at the beginning of this semester and are finishing with 12 students. Come September, we have 37 students registered in our Food Sustainability class!