Our Story

Who We Are * Our Purpose * Our Vision * Where we Stand For

Who We Are

We are a BC registered Charity organization based in the Lower Mainland who strives to support the development and cultivation of school garden programs.  Established in 2015 by Founder and Visionary Barb McMahon, the organization has evolved from the 5 years of developing the Forest Grove School Garden.

A working model for other schools, our school garden programs include: Edible Garden Projects, Outdoor Labyrinth for Schools, Cooking Classes, Organic Seed Growing Classes, After School Garden Clubs and Summer Cooking Camps.

Who is Sprouting Chefs?

Our Purpose

The purpose of Sprouting Chefs
  • To create space and programs where children feel connected to the earth and each other, work in harmony with nature and eat the fruits of their labour;
  • To support school garden programs by providing classes in organic food growing principles, food activity stations and cooking classes and facilitating school community garden clubs;
  • To make a difference in the lives of youth and children by providing ways to live a healthier life by:
    • Facilitating activities with labyrinths projects focusing on mindfulness, self-regulation and social emotional learning
    • Facilitating conversations about the various Virtues and how  they can apply in a garden or kitchen setting as in real life
    • To connect the lessons learned in the classroom to those lessons in the garden and kitchen settings;

Our Vision

Individually assisting in the development of the next generation to create more empowered awakened children; equipping them with skills and self awareness to contribute to the change needed in the world.
Barb with kids in the garden
Boy sitting in the school garden

We Stand For:

  • Health and Well Being
  • Understanding and Compassion
  • The quest to do more for the earth, ourselves and each other
  • Love of the Outdoors
  • Love of Food

History of Sprouting Chefs

Sprouting Chefs started as an idea to create a business that combined the passions of working with youth, food, nature and the environment through the creation of school gardens and the programs to support them. After visiting the Edible Schoolyard in Berkley California, Barb was inspired to create similar programs here in BC where children could use the garden or the kitchen as platforms to learn regular curriculum such as Science, Math, Social Studies, Art as well as Health and Nutrition. In 2009, Sprouting Chefs began as a small non profit society in BC with board members from a variety of backgrounds including chefs, teachers, parents and people vested in the development of youth and communities.
Cook with Sprouting Chef
Proud Chefs in the kitchen

We serviced a variety of schools with cooking classes and garden based activities with the hopes of finding a main school location to call home. 2009 was also the first year of our summer cooking camps at UBC Place Vanier Residence with Chef Steve Golob. We ran a week of camps with students ranging in ages of 7 to 12 yrs old and a teen camp for 13 to 15 year olds.

Several schools were scouted in the area of North Burnaby including Stoney Creek Elementary and Forest Grove Elementary. Working with the school principals at the time to flush out and define what Sprouting Chefs could do as a community partner working with a school was extremely helpful in the beginning and special thanks goes to Peter Dubinsky, who was the
Principal at Stoney Creek Elementary and currently Director of Instruction for the Burnaby School District as well as Deb Taylor who was the Principal at Forest Grove.

Barb had the chance to present her ideas to the PAC at both schools with Forest Grove being able to secure a grant to build a garden in 2010.

After presenting a proposal to the Burnaby School District in 2011 and having it approved by focusing on the fact the garden would be used to integrate current curriculum, the Forest Grove School Garden was then built in May 2011 with the help of 4 class groups and thanks to a grant from the Home Depot Foundation.

Kids working in the garden
Building a school garden
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