Chateauguay Valley Regional High School Dives Into Food Production

Chateauguay Valley Regional High School, Ormstown, Quebec
Grant term 2022-2024

Farm-to-Cafeteria Canada Grant enables rural high school to optimize indoor and outdoor spaces for food growth.

Chateauguay Valley Regional High School dives into food production; Farm to Cafeteria Canada Grant enables rural high school to optimize indoor and outdoor spaces for food growth.

Chateauguay Valley Regional High School-or CVR, as it is known- is located in the southwest corner of the province of Quebec in the quiet rural community of Ormstown. This bilingual public high school has approximately 700 students enrolled from grades 7 to 11, drawing from surrounding communities and towns in the area.

Using the $10,000 F2CC grant we received, we were able to upgrade our indoor greenhouse space through the purchasing of shelving and lights to make it more functional for food growth. We were also able to purchase supplies for our outdoor garden beds, as well as invest in a school beehive. CVR high school feels incredibly lucky to have been the recipient of this grant, as it has encouraged new project ideas, and interest in incorporating hands-on-learning opportunities tied with sustainable food production and food literacy amongst our school community.

Our outdoor garden beds being prepared by CVR high school students, and the beautiful array of plants at the end of the 2023 school year.

The new shelving units and lights purchased for the indoor greenhouse.

Numerous projects have taken place in our indoor and outdoor growing spaces thanks to the funding received through the Farm to School Canada Grant; here are a few examples which saw great success! 

A class planted, harvested, and dehydrated garlic grown in the outdoor garden beds on the school campus. A portion of the garlic was provided to a CVR cooking class, and the remaining powder was sold to students and school staff members. It was a big hit and sold out completely!

Another class experimented with planting, harvesting and consuming red potatoes, a great farm to table experience right from the school garden!

Microgreens were grown in the school greenhouse by a club of students; the greens were provided to our cafeteria provider who incorporated them into salads served daily at lunch.

A class learnt about harvesting honey and extracting beeswax from the school beehive. The students used the beeswax they extracted to make candles which were given to students and school staff members.

A class grew leafy greens in the school greenhouse which were harvested and incorporated into a humus and a rice pilaf cooking activity!

Without the support of the Farm to School Canada Grant, none of these projects would have come to light! When asked about their experience and biggest take-aways with regards to the farm-to-school activities they participated in, CVR high school students responded:

“We learned how to grow vegetables, and it taught us the importance of local organic food.”

Cameron (student)

“Society has gotten away from hands-on-learning, and we need to bring it back.”

Abigail (student)

“It was engaging to learn by doing.”

Nicko & Brandon (students)

“It was rewarding to be able to make food using vegetables which we grew ourselves.

Ava & Maureen (students)

“We got to learn a lot about planting, the process was fun.”

Zionnah (student)

We hope these renewed spaces can be used for years to come, and that more and more farm-to-school projects can be incorporated into class curriculums to increase our student’s knowledge on food production, all while enhancing the food available to our students!

Thank you Farm to Cafeteria Canada for all of your support!