École Franco-Nord, Prince George, BC
The name of our school is a reference to our geographical location in British Columbia. Located in the boreal forest, Prince George is also known as the ‘Spruce Capital’ of the north. Prince George can now boast that it has its first Farm to School participant, our francophone school: École Franco-Nord. Not only are we the first public school, but also the first in Conseil Scolaire’s provincial school district.
2016 – 2017 was our initiation into the Farm to School program, however our seeds germinated several years prior. The efforts of numerous parents, students and staff to create a school garden was met with such success that we knew that, as we say in French – lâche pas la patate – (don’t give up). That first year we watched our students engage in planting, tending the garden, and best of all enjoying their harvest. Following this year, it was our grade 2/3 teacher, Janie Roberge, who suggested that we apply for the Farm to Cafeteria grant in order to continue to build on the experience and make this a year-round learning adventure.
Accepting that we were newbies to the program, we decided not to bite off more than we could chew. Objectives were met and lessons were learnt. A “Franco-Farm” bulletin board was set up in our main foyer to display pictures and announcements for all of the parents to see. The grade 3 and 4 class took charge of maintaining the micro greens that were served in our salad bar servings. Our community partner and local farm, Hope Farm Organics, provided us with much of the root vegetables. The students were amazed when served purple fries at one of our salad bars. We learned that children are willing to try and enjoy new food and much to their parents surprise, also like them!
As the seeds of our outdoor gardens grow and our school year comes to an end, we look forward to an amazing continuation of the program for many years to come!