Sprouting Chefs

Forest Grove Elementary Project


A school garden provides children with a natural and effortless way to learn. While a garden can visually enhance a schoolyard, it can also provide a calming and nurturing space for children to gather, retreat to and discover all the possibilities LIFE has to offer!

What is a Sprouting Chefs School Garden Program?

Sprouting Chefs Visionary and Founder Barb McMahon strives to connect children and the community to nature by providing cooking and gardening programs including the ever popular, After School Garden Club. It is one thing to build a school garden, it is another feat to create a sustainable thriving program that truly connects and engages the students and community members.

A Sprouting Chefs School Garden Program ideally includes:

  • A garden built on the school grounds
  • Whole school involvement
  • An After School Garden Club allowing the students to truly take ownership and take care of the garden throughout the year
  • Community Bridges - inviting other community members and volunteers to be an active part of the program
  • EnviroMentors = older teen students who are stewards of the earth as members of Outdoor Ed Clubs or Youth Sustainability Clubs that provide positive peer pressure to younger students
  • Cooking Classes - Food grown in a school garden should be harvested and enjoyed by the students in cooking classes that focus on healthy seasonal DELICIOUS recipes
  • Success = when students of the program go home and want to cook the food they grew with or for their families to enjoy together!

Project Management = How to build a school garden project

Services Provided to the School Included:

  • School Garden Consultation Services: 1 hour meeting with the school committee to help guide the initial project, provide resources including possible funding sources as well as help with any proposals to the school District for approval
  • Solid communication between the principal, committee members and staff
  • Seed Planting Classes
  • Coordinating activities for student classes to participate in the build of the garden
  • Event Coordination for the Opening Ceremony of the garden

Garden Design

  • Designed as an outdoor classroom, this edible school garden is one of the first in the Burnaby School District. Classes are able to sit inside the structure on raised benches with the teacher at the front of the garden to facilitate classes in Art, Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Health and Career or any other subject.

Student Engagement

This project engaged students at every grade level of the school starting with the Kindergarten 100th Day Celebration where children were given a power point presentation of "What to Plant in the Garden". At the end of the presentation, students were able to use stickers to choose which plants they would like to see in the garden pasted beside the names of the plants on a large poster. Intermediate students participated in the actual "build" of the garden over the course of the day including: hammering in the raised beds, pouring soil, and planting established plants.

  • All classes participated in Indoor Seed Growing Lessons with Gardenworks (2011)
  • Each division was responsible for the care of their trays of growing seedlings. When the plants were big enough, they were transplanted by parent volunteers and students to wait until their home garden was built.
  • Project Coordination

    • A grant awarded to the Parent Advisory Committee from The Home Depot Canada Foundation, funded the build of the garden. Team Depot provided a main contact from a local Home Depot store and 3 volunteers to build the garden. Each class participated with the build from observing, moving of lumber, dumping soil, hammering and a math component estimating the perimeter, area and volume of the garden.
    • Sprouting Chefs played a key role in ensuring funds were tracked, teachers and administrators were kept informed and the appropriate reports were submitted including the proposal for this project to be approved.


        Forest Grove School Garden Program Today

    After School Garden Club - Free Program for all students in the school community 

    After School Cooking Classes - Parent Funded Classes supported by the City of Burnaby

    Seed to Table Program - Gardening, Harvesting, Tasting and Mindfulness Activities throughout the year

    Community Lunch Events - 2016 & 2017 3 Free School Lunches served to the school community that were prepared, cooked and served by the students of Forest Grove thanks to funding support from Farm to Cafeteria Canada and the Metropolis at Metrotown Investment Fund.

    Read About the 2016 Community Event Here

    ~ Connect with me and I can help you discover all the possibilities ~




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