The Coast Tsimshian Academy, a First Nations school in Lax Kw’Alaams, B. C., used a Healthy Schools BC First Nations School Grant to improve their school greenhouse. Their dream was for students in kindergarten to grade 12 to be able to use the greenhouse to learn about nutrition, how plants grow, and to connect to the land in a hands-on way.
They used the grant money to buy soil, fertilizer, tools, gloves, seed kits, a vermicompost bin, and red wiggler worms.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to close for in-person leaning and the small community went into lockdown, which meant limited access to fresh food. Therefore, foods teacher, Ms. Koep, took the opportunity to plant the greenhouse full of fresh greens, and give food away to families, staff and students as it became ready to harvest. This inspired more interest in the greenhouse from community members and has triggered a much larger project to expand the community’s food security by building a second greenhouse.
Students participated in the project by hauling soil, planting seeds, watering plants, weeding, and eventually, harvesting. They hope to continue to use the greenhouse for years to come as a way to connect students to each other, elders, and the wider community.