H.M. MacDonald Elementary, Antigonish, NS
Grant term, 2023-2024

We sincerely appreciate the funding provided to our school through the Farm to Cafeteria Canada grant.  With these funds we were able to successfully complete multiple projects this year.  Our hopes for this funding were to help our students gain a better understanding of where their food comes from. In utilizing these funds, we were able to foster activities like a field trip to a local dairy farm.  
Our trip to Knoydart farms

At Knoydart the Grades 1 & 2’s enjoyed the tour of the local dairy farm and seeing all the cows and how they are milked.  The trip helped deepen their understanding on where milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products come from.  They loved the tour of the cheese factory and were able to sample some of it, as well they were all given their own package of cheese curds to go home with them.  After the cheese farm the kids took in a lovely beach walk nearby to end the day. 

This year the children were also able to meet some local community members who came out and showed them all how to tap the maple trees that are around the school.

The kids checking their buckets

The raised garden beds, tower garden, seeds, plants, fruit bushes and trees were used to educate students about how their food grows and give them a hands-on experience to foster their food literacy. In purchasing these through local nurseries, the students were able to engage with the community members that provide these services, which in turn gives them a greater understanding of how many people are involved with where our food comes from.  Through this funding, we were able to achieve our goal of bringing healthy, organic, local, and culturally appropriate food to our school.  

Although we are just in the process of planting the apple and plum trees, here is an Instagram reel of our grade 3 and 4 classes learning how to make apple crisp with local produce.  Our librarian also loves to help out with teaching the kids how to make yummy foods.  The kids love being taste testers, the teachers do too! 

We were fortunate to have a community partner agree to provide us with some lumber as in kind contribution for this project so the raised garden beds were completed.  All of the grades were given seed packages to make starter plants and the kids were able to go and get those planted just this week.  

The planting process 

We, and our school community wish to send a sincere thank you for giving us this opportunity, with items purchased such as the tower garden, raised garden beds, fruit trees and bushes, our students will enjoy a sustainable and local educational culture for many years.  

Respectfully submitted,
Jerome Stewart and Natasha Neal

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