McCrosson-Tovell School, Sleeman, ON
Grant term, 2023-2024

McCrosson-Tovell School is in Bergland. A small town in Northwestern Ontario near Lake of the Woods. We are a K-3 school with eleven students.

Our gardening journey began with the goal of introducing the students to the joys of growing their own food. With the support of the Dig-In! Seed Grant, we were able to acquire indoor pots, soil, seeds, an outdoor composter and educational reading resources for our gardening program. The students were each given an indoor planter to plant seeds. They were able to choose the seeds in which they were interested. A variety of lettuce, spinach and herbs were available to them.

Introducing students to healthy habits is especially important to us and eating healthy food is part of this plan. We are enriching our health curriculum by reading books and watching videos about growing foods. They have also learned about companion planting, different garden pests and helpful pollinators. The students made books so they can track the growth of their plants. 

We also have been engaging sensory learning by having the students describe what they see, smell and what the plants feel like in our fingers throughout the growing stages. We are looking forward to being able to harvest our plants to discuss taste and texture.

To continue involvement during the summer, students planted seeds in “milk jug greenhouses” that they will be taking home. Staff will send home information on how to care for their plants and recipes to try. Providing the students and their families with continued gardening engagement and access to fresh leafy vegetables throughout the summer months.

The Nutrition and Support Coordinator and Indigenous Education Lead came to the school at the end of May. They met with students to discuss composting and gardening. The students were super excited about the worms! While here, they helped us clean up our outdoor garden in preparation to plant peas, beans, corn, squash, watermelon and pumpkins. Creating an opportunity for students to participate in a fall harvest. 

We have implemented an “I Can Eat a Rainbow” challenge to introduce students to new foods and are excited to incorporate this with the food we grow together at school.

Our belief is that a hands-on learning approach will continue to increase student engagement and build skills that can lead to students making their own healthy food choices.

We have started out simple and are looking forward to increasing our knowledge, activities and involvement in traditional growing, harvesting and Indigenous practices. Learning about the Earth, our environment and the plants and animals that sustain us is a fantastic way to engage students in the learning process. 

“Miigwetch / thank you Farm to Cafeteria Canada; we are very grateful for this opportunity” from the staff and students at McCrosson-Tovell School.

Related Posts