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Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Growing for everyone
By: Steph Crosier
05/22/2013 1:00 AM
Grade 6 student Emma Almdal (left), and her little brother Spencer, in Grade 3, helped plant herbs and are excited for them to get hung on the fence. (STEPH CROSIER)
Students at Grosvenor School are preparing for their community garden.
Come mid-June, students in all grades will be hanging herbs, lettuce, and tomatoes from the fence surrounding their school in two-litre pop bottles.
Currently, the plants are growing in the school’s science room with donated soil from Jensen Nursery & Landscaping and grow lamps donated from Rona home.
The project is called Grosvenor School Community Herb Garden; enough for all, for everyone, forever.
Principal Brad Corbett said the school is taking part in a sustainable development study with three pillars for learning: social justice, the economy, and the environment.
"So how we’ve defined that for students and the community is enough for all, for everyone, forever," said Corbett.
"For example, when they are learning about water they are asking the question: how can we make enough for all, for everyone, forever?"
The herb garden started last year when students collected the pop bottles and coat hangers to hang the herbs from the fence as part of their co-operation with Urban Eating, a community garden co-operative.
"It helped beautify the playground and the neighbourhood," said Corbett. "The children were all involved from nursery to Grade 6."
Kate Nizio, science teacher at the school, said everything the students are doing with the plants is part of their curriculum.
"The kids study plants as well as soil, it’s a real and experiential learning path for them to have hands-on experience with planting and growing," said Nizio. "It’s not just a textbook full of ‘this is the life cycle of a plant.’ We actually look inside the seed."
Nizio said students are always asking when they will be transplanting the herbs from their indoor growing house.
"It’s very rewarding for the children to learn about food sustainably, that hands-on component that’s very engaging for the students," said Corbett. "At recess we often see the students nibbling on the herbs trying and tasting each of them."
The garden is maintained over the summer by rotating groups of volunteer parents.
"Parents sign up for a week and they are responsible for coming in and watering the plants," said Corbett. "It’s great that we get that kind of involvement from our parents."
Nizio said the garden should be up and running outside on the fence by mid-June.