School Gardens

Learning * Planning * Planting * Harvesting * Cooking

School Garden Consultations

Starting a garden project in a school that is yet to see many flowers let alone some grass can be a daunting task. Knowing where to start, what the vision is and what a school needs to make a project successful and sustainable are all tricks in my garden bag. A consultation can include:

  • How to start and prepare a vision for your project
  • Site Assessment and Project Feedback based on a facilitated visioning conversation with your group
  • Interesting ideas of how to engage the staff, students or parents of a school garden project
  • Ways of tackling the issues a school district or community might have preventing the project to move on to the planning stage to the building of excitement stage
  • A PDF Manual and Guide that is customized to your school community
  • Cost: $125 includes a 1 hour meeting and site visit with your school based group
Watering school garden
School garden consultations

Seed to Table Program
School Garden Based Program

Seed to table program

This program is offered to the whole school starting with up to 10 divisions at a cost of $2500 for the year. 

Bringing the classroom outside to the garden throughout the year to engage students and integrate the BC Curriculum as well as many Core Competencies including: Personal Awareness and Responsibility through learning about Self-regulation and Well-being in an outdoor classroom setting is the goal of this program, Communication, Personal Awareness and Responsibility & Positive and Cultural Identity.

Students learn the health benefits of veggies growing in their garden as well as the social emotional aspects of what it means to be Patient while seeds are growing, Trusting that whatever happens, all will be well, and Forgiveness when something does not go plan which all result in developing the whole child’s mental, physical and emotional health and well-being.

* In School Cooking Classes are also available at an additional fee of $250/Primary Class Division or $350/Intermediate Class Division. A Sprouting Chefs Garden Educator can facilitate classes (1 class division at a time) throughout the year, 4 days per season for up to 4 classes per day.

Fall Season (October, November)

Starting in the Fall, schools can sign on to have Sprouting Chefs facilitate classes that can include a variety of garden-based learning activities depending on the month and season. Teachers can also choose a variety of social emotional heart based classes including:

Virtue Discussions: Gratitude (October), Peace (November)

  • Class discussions on what we can be grateful for that nature provides for us, what the garden has provided, what we are grateful for in our lives, ourselves and how we can be in a state of Thanksgiving
  • Peace Talks: what does it mean to be at peace globally, locally, in our
    classroom and within ourselves. Breath work is also explored in this class which helps develop Mental Well Being as part of the Big Ideas in Curricular Competencies

Garden Activities: Communication Competency Profiles/Project Place Based and Experiential Learning

  • Putting the garden to bed
  • Planting Garlic
  • Harvesting Fall Crops
  • Seed Saving
  • Adding Mulch to the garden
  • Soil Saving activities
  • Creating a Winter Garden
  • Building a Hoop House
Garden labyrinth
Fall season garden planning

Winter Season (January/February)

Garden seeds planning
Exploring in the school garden

Virtue Discussions: Trust/Faith (January), Love (February)

Trust/Faith Talks: It all starts with a seed…or does it? Having faith in ourselves, in the garden and in the future is the first step to any new project. Setting intentions for the year ahead is also discussed. (Wel-being, Self Identity Core Competencies)

Love: How can we love the earth while growing our school garden? What does it mean to love ourselves through this process? How can we express love for each other in the garden and with food? (Personal Awareness and Responsibility Core Competencies)

Garden Activities

  • Planning the Garden
  • Seed Inventory
  • Visioning – Art Classes based on what we can grow and imagine for our garden
  • Learning about Ancient Grains and how grains are still used today

Spring Season (March, April, May)

Virtue Discussions: Compassion

How can we show compassion to the plants in the school garden? What does it mean to have compassion for others? How can we have compassion for ourselves? (Communication Core Competency)

Garden Activities

  • Planting the Veggie Garden– peas, spinach, salad greens, Asian vegetables, chard, kale, all can be planted in the Spring for a harvest and tasting classes in June
  • Activities can include learning about: Biodiversity in the garden, Bees and Worms, Soil Ph, Climate Change, Companion Planting, First Nations Place Based Learning, Crop Rotation, Measuring and Mapping the Garden, Math in the Garden, Composting, Parts of the Plant
  • Classes are up to 1 hour long where a class group plants a crop and learns one of the activities that is grade level appropriate
School garden
Vegetable garden

Late Spring (May/June)

Tasting classes
Harvesting Veggies

Teachers can choose either Virtue Discussions or a Garden Activity. Each activity is 30 minutes.

Virtue Discussions: Courage and Confidence

As the Grade 7’s enters their final stage of being in elementary and look ahead to their new adventures in high school, these discussions explore what it means to have courage and confidence. Vulnerability and worthiness are also explored in these discussions. further developing social emotional well being, self regulation and mental health.

Garden Activities

  • Harvesting and Tasting Classes
  • 30 min classes where Grade Level groups visit the garden with a garden educator from Sprouting Chefs to learn when a crop is ready to harvest
  • Varieties of flavours can also be explored with small tastes of whatever crops are ready in the school garden

Benefits of Seed to Table Program

Incorporates Social Emotional Learning, Place Based Learning, Experiential Learning as well as Project Based Learning.

Connects BC Curriculum, Big Ideas and Core Competencies

In School Cooking Classes

School gardens become more sustainable when paired with a harvesting, tasting and cooking class. Students who experience the ability to plant, grow, care for and then harvest and eat veggies from a school garden are more likely to adjust their eating habits and become healthy kids. Commitment to school gardens also becomes more likely when there is a reward such as eating the foods they grew in an exciting tasty way with an entire school community. Offering these classes to an entire school community becomes our focus to ensuring a wider impact, engagement, connection to food and school garden legacy.

Classes are offered to individual class divisions during the Fall or Spring Season when harvesting from the school garden is most possible. Sprouting Chefs brings in chef leaders, holistic nutritionist and volunteers to support these classes. Activities include: harvesting items from the garden, preparing a meal together, learning about the health benefits of key ingredients, food activity stations (conscious eating habits, herb sensory stations, food security activities, science based food activity, and or art activities). All equipment, food supplies outside of what the garden cannot provide and table talk discussions are included.

School cooking class
Cooking classes in school

Testimonials

Whenever I walk by the garden I always think, wow we are really grateful for all of this because we have so many opportunities when it comes to the garden. We can use all the food we grow to cook for events or fundraisers. We learn about planting seeds and discover what we can find out about cooking.
Grade 6/7 Student
Forest Grove Elemenary
Our students were very engaged and Barb’s approach to their learning is exceptional. She knew when to scale back her discussions to help some students become better engaged and self-regulated. Student learning was evident as they were excited and eager to continue visiting the garden during recess and lunch. They have begun conversations with their parents about our garden and how important it is to our school community.
Teacher
Lochdale Community School
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