With 15 years organic gardening experience, Axil Gardens official startup was in June 2017, where the gardens were built to serve dual purpose as restaurant supply and a teaching environment. Axil Gardens offers gardening workshops, childrens’ summer camps, and garden consulting for business, school and home gardens.
Axil Gardens started working with local schools in Spring 2018.
Schools we are currently working with:
- Chris Saunders Memorial Elementary School (Quispamsis)
- Ecole des Pionniers (Quispamsis)
- Centre Scolaire Samuel de Champlain (Saint John)
- Soon to Add:
- Quispamsis Elementary School (Quispamsis)
- Seaside Park Elementary (Saint John)
Services we provide:
- School/class visits to our teaching gardens, which include full lesson plans and activities developed in conjunction with the NB Science Curriculum, and based on grade level.
- At school (in-garden or class) workshops – coordinating with teachers to provide activities and lesson plans using the desired outcome/curriculum goals identified by the school/teacher.
- Consulting sessions for school staff or school garden organizers, to improve overall garden productivity and introduce season extension methods.
- Providing advice for enhancing fundraising opportunities as a result of school garden projects.
What motivates me? I am motivated by the belief that change is needed in our current food system. In general, I think we have become far too detached from our food sources, and as a result, people are losing the critical skills necessary to be more self sustainable and food secure. I am inspired by the idea that with education and guidance, we (the general population) can collectively make big, long term changes in how we source our food, how we interact with the environment, and how we teach our children to think about food. The garden to table approach is not a new concept, by any stretch, rather a return to an “older” and simpler way of living – at one time the majority of homes had a food garden. This is an experience that is less and less common for our children’s generation. I firmly believe that food production is a life skill that everyone should have an opportunity to experience and learn from, and with work and commitment, CAN play a role in public school education.
What has been most rewarding? It is hard to choose the most rewarding part of teaching food gardening! If I had to choose one, it would experiencing how children “light up” in the garden environment. The combination of fresh air, active learning, trying new foods (and this is amazing, because they are trying foods they have never eaten before, fresh picked, and LOVE it!) is very impactful. The feedback I have received from teachers and parents has been very encouraging.
What has been the most challenging? At first I thought that developing engaging material for in-garden lessons would be the most challenging part of my job, but I quickly learned that this is not the case. The children are naturally curious, and many have never been in a food garden, so the teaching is a pleasure. I guess the most challenging part at this point is going to be finding funding opportunities to help more schools create a food garden space!
Owner and Operator
Located in Quispamsis, N.B.