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You Can Make Friends with Salad 2018


Departure Bay Eco-School’s garden classes focused on the “Ecosystem of Compost” this spring as part of our Farm2SchoolBC project.


All divisions Grades K-7 participated and learned  about building fertile soil through the returning of organic matter to the soil with composting.

Students learned that all organic things decompose over time but with the right ingredients and climate we can encourage a speedier outcome and improve our gardens soil fertility for growing healthy foods we can eat.


Students learned about :


  • 4 Ingredients for a Healthy Compost ( Greens, Browns, Water, Air)
  • That the plants fed on the nutrients in the soil and that by composting we can return those nutrients to the soil.
  • We discussed in depth the interconnectedness of our health and the health of the plants we eat.
  • Students collected the 4 ingredients and built up a compost in alternating layers of greens and browns and turned it over 5 times creating a beautiful humus to enrich the soil.
  • Grades K-7 learned about about the shredders and decomposers in our compost helping us do the work, the FBI ( Fungi, Bacteria and Insects) with hands in exploration and identification!
  • We spent a good deal of time talking about the worm and it’s anatomy and role in the gardens ecosystem.
  • Students have participated in growing and harvesting and preparing 5 huge salads of spinach, lettuces, kale, chard, herbs, edible weeds, flowers and  radish. ( the salad spinner is a huge hit!)
  • Departure Bay Students love eating  their chives and garlic scapes.
  • Grade 7 students harvested leeks we had blanched and made a Vishichoise for a class lunch.
  • Garlic scapes have been harvested and some new berry beds have been established in the student gardens.


SOIL Lit Kit Pilot Project phase 1

Together with the guidance of the Nanaimo Foodshare SOIL Lit Kit team our school educators/parents/supporters participated in an advisory committee to discuss what materials, learning tools, objectives and lesson plans would most benefit our school’s classes to either learn outside or bring outdoors with hands-on learning in the classroom. Nanaimo Foodshare facilitated two SOILAC meetings to help define these goals as well as work towards how best to incorporate the new BC curriculum into each lesson plan with supportive assessment materials. SOILAC school participants collaborated and cross-pollinated ideas, supports and solutions to concerns. Our outline to complete 4 kits around different garden/environmental themes was supported and adapted to what best worked for our SOILACs. Contents for our first kit theme was developed “Ecosystem of Compost” and includes:

1) a comprehensive compost teaching resource binder (located within the school photocopy room as well as an online PDF for school educators to also provide editing input)

2) a grab-and-go concise binder with only grade-specific lesson plans, assessment tools and compost vocabulary that relates to the materials found in the material kit

3) a material kit tote which contains all supplies uncommon in the existing school supplies which are included in the compost lesson plans for enhanced hands on and experiential learning

Lessons Learned

As this was the first SOIL Lit Kit developed (1 out of 4) we realized our original timeline was unrealistic and that we did not have time to fully incorporate the kit (material totes specifically) into all garden classes this spring. We will continue developing the kit contents over the summer and fall to be implemented in the fall, winter and next spring school year.