Happy Holidays

As you wind down for the upcoming holiday season the idea of building an organic food garden might be far from your thoughts. Not here at SPEC!

Our School Gardens Coordinator, Catriona Gordon and our School Gardens Facilitator, Marnie Newell, have been busy attending meetings, doing research and gathering resources to help 4 Vancouver Elementary Schools start their gardens in the spring.

It’s amazing what can go into the process when you’re trying to do things right!

We’ve been discussing garden plans/dreams with incredible teams of passionate people at all of our participating schools. But our goal is to start building the physical infrastructure for our garden as soon as the ground has thawed. This means deciding on the design and materials for garden boxes and raised beds, which are the best options for school gardens (the little guys don’t compact the soil by walking on the beds).

Our teams are learning more and more about what needs to go into a garden to make it successful. Perhaps the most important words here are “teamwork” and “staying power”. Many gardens have been built on school grounds only to be torn down soon after because they fell apart or their creators left them and no one kept them up. This is what we’re working to avoid right now. Schools interested in building a garden should establish a Garden Committee with teachers, parents, students, administrators and the community involved. The more individuals who are ready to commit to the garden’s continued success the better. When the project is a whole school and even a whole community initiative more people become invested in its success and ready to offer their expertise or even supplies to help it thrive and grow.

What has been absolutely inspiring in our experience so far is how many people believe in this work and are ready to donate their time and skills to make it the best it can be. The wealth of resources provided by the internet and other agriculture-related organizations is also astounding.

Keep an eye on this blog to learn more about this work. Updates, insights on school garden design and links to resources are on their way shortly.

posted by Marnie

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