Activities & Method of Delivery
The Kids in the Garden program brings facilitators into schools to work with different classes, support a school’s garden, as well as build a culture and confidence around gardening and sustainable food awareness in the school environment. We lead seasonally-appropriate lessons with students from kindergarten to grade seven and integrate curriculum concepts to deepen learning.
Beyond our ten in-class sessions, we also provide schools with an aeroponic growing tower for students (and teachers!) to learn how to grow food indoors through the winter.
These sessions are a combination of new sessions which we think integral to food systems learning, as well as lessons that we have been using for years and modified to the new BC Curriculum. When planning our lessons, we take great care to promote inclusion of all learning needs and embodying the First Peoples principles of learning. For the rest of the school year, the lesson plans are available online as a resource for everyone, please see them here.
This year’s sessions include:
1. Preparing the Garden for Winter: Final harvests, planting garlic and cover crop, and adding compost and mulch
2. Local Food and Baking: Healthy adaptations, basic baking and eating with the seasons
3. All about Seeds: The importance of saving seed, different kinds of seeds and seed dispersal
4. Worms & Vermicomposting: We bring worms into the classroom and discuss their habitat needs and how to have a worm composting bin anywhere
5. Mason Bees: Different kinds of bees, habitat, their importance
6. Spring Planting: Planning our garden and planting it out!
7. Soil and pH: Measuring composition of our soil and how alkaline/acidic it is
8. Edible Weeds & Wilds: Nature walk where we sample local wild foods and learn how to identify
plants, a few things safe to eat
9. Honey Bees: We will bring in an observation hive and discuss what honey bees need (how are they different from mason bees) and why are they important.
10. Harvest Celebration: harvest, cook, celebrate our hard work and learning and share with our community.
Summer Maintenance Program
In July and August, our staff will be maintaining the school gardens from Monday to Friday. We will be at each school garden currently registered in our Program twice/week. Students are encouraged to come and volunteer at their school garden with their parents. You can get in touch with programs @ richmondfoodsecurity.org for more information.
The children of today are the adults of tomorrow, so how can we serve the children in our community to best prepare them for their future? We believe that providing students with opportunities to build their confidence, skills, resumé and community connections is the key foundation of building a strong community in the long term. By using gardening as the means, students learn about environmentalism and food security. Studies have proven that those who spend more time in nature are more likely to care for the environment. By learning by doing, students can create lifelong habits, values, and skills to take them perhaps on a career path, to share knowledge with their families, or make healthier lifestyle choices.
In the short term, students and parent volunteers are welcome to take home garden harvests. In this way, households can see an increase in access to healthy and local food.