We lost our school and our school garden in a tragic fire 2 years ago. We wanted to rebuild our whole school garden but we were unable to do that this year due to the size of the project. We got the smaller garden boxes for each classroom and we noticed that most classrooms took very good care of them and ate the produce from them. We are an urban school.
Our inquiry question was, “Will growing your own food make students want to make healthier eating choices in their life.”
We started by working with our Garden Committee to help pool our money to purchase cedar plant boxes, soil, plants and garden tools. 3 Leadership students and one teacher went to Canadian Tire to purchase gardening tools and nursery plants. We choose plants that were all edible, leafy greens, herbs, tomatoes, strawberries and edible flowers. We also bought watering cans, trowels and kneeling pads.
The teacher brought the soil from the Foothills landfill and students unloaded it onto a tarp at our front entrance. Each classroom came down and filled their planter box and planted their plants and seeds and had a lesson on caring for them.
They then took them to their line up doors at each classroom. We choose to take them in and out each day to avoid vandalism.
Some boxes did better than others. It might have been who cared the most but it might have been effort or location.
Out of 143 students 73 said they would eat in a more healthy way after doing the garden project. 65 said they would eat the same and 7 said they would eat less healthy because of the garden project.
We learned that students are more likely, by a small percentage, to eat healthier due to growing their own food. It took a lot of effort to bring the bins in and out each day so the bins that did really well show how hard people worked.