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Walter E. Harris Public School Students are Growing Food!

Walter E. Harris Public School Students are Growing Food! 


Walter E. Harris Public School, Oshawa, ON

Walter E. Harris Public School Students are Growing Food! 


Last year, our school received a seed grant of $1,500 from Farm to Cafeteria Canada. Immediately, this money was put to good use, as our Garden Club and Grade 3 students began growing sprouts for consumption during the cold winter months. With this infusion of cash, we bought new tools, a bunch of bamboo pots, vegetable seeds, trays, a germination heat mat, a grow light, potting soil, lumber, hand tools, and cooking equipment.

Walter E. Harris Public School Students are Growing Food! 
Not only was our school going to build raised beds to grow fresh vegetables, we were going to cook them too! Never in my teaching career have I run an extra-curricular activity with such passionate and committed students. When it comes to food, kids do not mess around.

As time went on, and the snow began to thaw, those same students dusted off the garden tools, overturned soil bags, and began prepping the earth for the growing season. After the threat of the last frost, our indoor seedlings of tomatoes, onions, radishes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs were ready to be planted. All summer long, we tended to our babies – weeding, watering, and pruning.

So, as the doors swung open on September 3rd, 2019, we came full circle. The students took joy in eating freshly grown veg of all colours, shapes and sizes. The grade 7s have made salsa, soup, and sauces, all from the bumper tomato crop. Plans are in the works to include grade 8s into the cooking club.

Walter E. Harris Public School Students are Growing Food! 


As we look ahead to 2020, and celebrate our school building’s 50th anniversary, I continue to map new gardening spaces with the students, as we set our sights on our goal of feeding more and more kids. We still have a lot of work to do. On the horizon: purchasing more berry bushes, along with several fruit trees. Teaching students how to preserve food through canning is also in the pipeline.

A sincere thank you to Farm to Cafeteria Canada for their patience with us, as we slowly spend their seed grant, and realize our gardening dreams at Walter E. Harris! 

By Adrian Hogendoorn

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6 hours ago

Today is Family Literacy Day and this year's theme is: Learning in the Great Outdoors 🌱🍓🌳🏵️How perfect! Last fall we celebrated all the ways that farm to school is grounded in land-based learning. We have seen the healthy impacts of outdoor classrooms and we encourage hands-on-learning as part of the school curriculum! bit.ly/34iYnsgHow do YOU learn in the great outdoors?Check out resources and activities with Life Literacy Canada: abclifeliteracy.ca/all-programs/family-literacy-day/@abclifeliteracy #farm2school #landbasedlearning #outdoorclassrooms #handsonlearning ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

It has been 5 years since the launch of the Farm to School Canada Grant program. Incredibly, that program has now afforded more than 53,000 students in 133 schools right across Canada an opportunity to feast on healthy local foods at school.One of most important aspects of the grant program continues to be it's FLEXIBILITY, underpinned by the understanding that a cookie cutter approach to school food is NOT going to work in Canada. To close the distance between children, their food and their land, in this vast country with it’s diverse ecosystems and its multicoloured tapestry of people and food culture, the program needs to meet children, schools, and whole communities where they were at. It also needs to be developed, and driven by the community - the school and the local food system community.Today, if you visit any of these schools you will likely see a whole lot more than a salad bar. School greenhouses, gardens, farms, smoke houses, root cellars, kitchens, and/or dining areas are commonplace in recipient schools. And in these places, often the heartbeat of the school, you will likely see dozens of excited children happily digging in.I suppose this is why I am thrilled to see that F2CC and WKF have put out another call for proposals. Up to $10,000 per school is available. If your school has a vision, partners, and a plan, please send in a proposal. Deadline January 31, 2022. www.farmtocafeteriacanada.ca/our-work/farm-to-school-grants/ ... See MoreSee Less
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