As gardeners and farmers are all busy harvesting, so were students at Caronport Elementary School.
In May last school year, students planted a garden in their schoolyard in a fenced in area that staff gave up so students could use it. Starting out with nothing, they got the ground prepared, purchased planter boxes, and planted tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, carrots, beats and many other vegetables.
Over the summer, many students, parents, and staff volunteered to water and upkeep the garden, making it the success it was.
Cindy Smith teaches at the school and got the garden started thanks to a grant for the project.
"All I had to do was to apply for a grant for Nutrients for Life, and Nutrients for Life is a program to promote learning in Canadian schools on topics such as modern agriculture, gardening, plant growth, nutrition, nutrients role in food production and health and sustainability for the development of a Nutrients for Life garden," Smith explained.
In the end, Smith had received a $3000 grant for the garden. The high school also got a grant for $500 which they gave to the elementary school. Giving them a total of $3500 to build and plant the whole garden.
As part planting and maintaining the garden, Education Coordinator with Nutrients for Life, Ray Cochrane, visited the school to talk about his organization and the importance of gardening.
This past Wednesday, they began harvesting everything that was grown. Even with students taking some of the produce home and other people being handed what they grew, they still have plenty left over. Smith said they plan to have a low cost farmers market to sell the veggies to the community.
"It was a really big community project and so it went so well that we are going to make it bigger for next year," Smith said. "We're actually going to expand it outside of the area and we're gonna have pumpkin patches and cucumber patches, because the pumpkins kind of took over in the little area that we had them in, and the kids loved it."
Smith said it also worked perfectly with her classes science unit since it included lessons on plant life.