Here is Thursday's group inspecting the lumber and sizing up the soon to be garden space. Our garden will be located in front of Ms.Kontzie's beautiful flower garden which is just outside the gym entrance and early years staff room window. Step by step we are getting there- with much excitement along the way.
We received our books in today to help is plan and implement this wonderful project. Stop by the classroom and have a look for yourself. I'm so excited and don't know where to start!!!
The lumber has been ordered for the construction of the raised box beds to begin!
Once the lumber has been picked up we will be taking names of volunteers who will be able to assist us in building the flower beds. Please speak to a faculty member at the day care center or school programs to let them know if you are interested in helping.
Here is a rough draft of our ecosystem plan. It is difficult to see in the photo but we are using rain barrels, composting bins and an herb spiral along with our raised vegetable garden beds to compliment the project. The raised beds will begin at one foot for smaller gardeners and raise up to three feet for our taller assistants. Construction is set to begin the weekend og June 8th. :)
Here are a couple websites I am finding very helpful in the development of our project.
"Edible education is growing around the world. Plant your stake in the movement !"
"New Era has created a community garden for families in the neighborhood. I love seeing kids learning about gardening, where their food comes from and
getting out to commune with Mother Nature! I also love that New Era is really working at getting good food into their breakfast/lunch program and into their community!"
"If we had our own garden we could grow whatever we wanted and eat it for snack!"
This simple statement by a young student brought about a wonderful idea of creating an organic, permaculture-inspired edible ecosystem A.K.A. a garden.
We were updating the snack menu for our school age program and the children were getting frustrated by the limitation of the snack budget and the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables through the year.
These frustrations brought forth a statement from a child that would change our snack program forever! He said, "If we had our own garden we could grow whatever we wanted and eat it for snack!" Here sprouted the idea of a
school garden which we could use to supplement our snack menu with nutritious, delicious FRESH food. Our idea grew and grew as we discussed ways to use our project to help the earth as we maintain our garden. This is where we came up with creating an organic, permaculture-inspired edible ecosystem. Our attempts of gathering information for a grant in the fall ran short, but this spring we were successful in obtaining a grant through Promise Years which will allow us to construct, implement and maintain the
project for this year and years to come. Some of the ideas we have are to used gardening raised beds and an herb spiral to grow various vegetables, herbs and fruits. Eventually we plan to add apple and pear trees, a comfortable sitting area and a greenhouse. Our current recycling and composting projects will be used within our edible ecosystem. The cardboard we have saved will be used in the place of landscaping fabric, composted materials will be used to supplement the soil and rain water
will be collected and used for watering. Construction is set to begin at the beginning of June for the raised gardening beds, local businesses and volunteers are being used where possible for materials and construction. Guy Williams (principal) and Marcel Deslaurier of the Souris School have
generously provided us with an area in front of the school where our edible ecosystem will flourish and help enhance the learning experiences of everyone at the school including math and science, soil ecology and statistics. Beginning in Nursery School and growing with each student as they progress through school we hope to assist in teaching a basic to advanced program about permaculture, organic growing and plant maintenance.
Stayed tuned for more posts and learn along with us as we create and implement this earth-friendly project.
"Organic gardening is natural. It's using compost instead of chemical fertilizers to improve the health of your soil. It's using mulches to retain moisture and reduce watering needs. It''s proven: chemical fertilizers and pesticides have a negative impact--on our health, on the environment and on future generations." (Organic Gardening for Canada by Laura Peters)
"Permaculture is moving to the mainstream as gardeners who are ready to take their organic gardening to the next level are discovering the wisdom of a simple system that emphasizes the idea that by taking care of the earth, the earth takes care of you." (The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture. By: by Christopher Shein
with Julie Thompson)