17 April 2015

Seedling Time

This is the time of the season when we start indoor seedlings of warm season crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, and squash.  These plants will grow in the classroom for the next 6 weeks until the weather is warm enough for them to be transplanted into the school gardens.

All it takes is some seeds, soil, and pots.

Plant your seeds, but not too deep.  Make sure you label your plants!
Set them by a sunny window or under a grow light...and don't forget to water often.

There are now many seedlings on the go in classrooms at SPEC's partnering school across Vancouver.  Thank you West Coast Seeds for donating all the seeds and Home Depot for donating all the specialized seedling soil.  Stay tuned for next time when we transplant these plants to the school gardens!

16 March 2015

Nutrition in the Classroom

While we were waiting for Spring to come around, we spent some time in the classrooms learning about vegetables and the amazing nutritious powers they provide for our bodies.

We tried some raw carrots, beets, and cabbage.  Oh my!  For some of us, it was our first time trying these vegetables raw.  Most of us loved them and cleaned our plates!

Some of us got to try raw collard greens that had over wintered in the school garden!
Now that we know some of the powers that vegetables give us, we can't wait to grow them in our school gardens!

6 February 2015

Composting in the Classroom

Even though it's winter, the SPEC School Garden Program is busy with all kinds of projects and lessons.  A few weeks ago, we were at Bayview Elementary School starting worm compost bins in the classrooms. 

We learned about how composting works in nature.  These beautiful posters came from SPEC's Food Garden Lesson Book: Green Thumbs at School, available on our website at http://www.spec.bc.ca/school-gardens

We learned how to build our compost bin.       

We learned what we can feed our worm bin.

Then it was time to put our knowledge to work and make our bin.

We each took turns looking at the worms and adding some to our bin.

All it took was some shredded newspaper, some veggie scraps and fruit scraps, ...

...and of course our worms!

And viola!  We had a worm bin.  These worms will be working hard to make some nice, rich compost for the school garden that we will be planting this spring.
A special thank you to Wormworx Organics Recycling (www.wormworx.ca) for providing us with red wiggler worms for this project.

23 November 2014

School is back!  The SPEC School Gardens Program is also back in our partnering schools.  We have been doing lots in the gardens this fall - enjoying the harvest, planting garlic, transplanting winter vegetables, preparing the gardens for winter, and saving some seeds!

Enjoying the kale bounty at Bayview Elementary.

Enjoying the diverse bounty at L'Ecole Bilingue during a winter garden prep after school work party.

Yum! Eating right off the plant at Henry Hudson Elementary.

Harvesting potatoes at Queen Elizabeth Elementary.

Planting garlic at Bayview Elementary.

Planting cover crops (like clover and peas) to protect the soil in the winter.  The newly transplated kale plants, which do wonderfully in Vancouver's winter weather, will share this bed with their newly seeded cover crop neighbours.

Covering bare soil at Queen Elizabeth and Grenfell with leaves to protect it during the winter.

Saving some beautiful bean seeds in reused and repurposed envelopes at Bayview.

Saving onion and tomato seeds at Queen Elizabeth.

 We look forward to a whole new year of food and garden education and fun in 2015!

We'd like to thank West Coast Seeds for donating all our cover crop seeds, Gaia Green for donating organic fertilizer, and Canadian Tire on Bentall St. for donating garden equipment for our Program.  Without the support of our generous supporters, this program would not be possible.

2 September 2014

Harvest at Henry Hudson

In June 2014, just before school was out, the kindergarten and grade 3/4 classes at Henry Hudson got their hands into the soil and harvested some potatoes, lettuce, kale, green onions, peas, and everything else growing in the wonderful Henry Hudson School Community Garden.  They also transplanted some new plants into the garden to grow over the summer.

Lett-uce see what has been harvested...


Red potatoes...big ones...mini ones.

Grade 3/4s in the house!

Green onions in fashion.

Lettuce pick those greens...

Don't squash that squash!

Be warned...this blog post is full of corn.


                                 Summertime Garden

Look at the broccoli, daikon and radish!

 The garden is in full bloom!

The first signs of a broccoli crown!


Some beautiful purple kale!

Special thanks to Lululemon for watering the garden this summer!


25 August 2014

The Garden at QE is WOW--EEE!!!!!!!!!

Queen Elizabeth (QE) Elementary is our largest school garden! There are many many many plants blooming and growing in this garden!

Let's take a photo tour of this lovely garden!

Look at that long stretch of kinder-garden!

Here is a mix of beautiful French marigolds, speckled lettuce and baby kale.

That summer squash is sure growing larger and larger each day.
Corn be warn! They sure grow mighty fast and tall!
Fruits of Success: 

Last week Nikoo and I harvested about 100lbs of Red Liberty apples! Look at dem apples!

Tis the season for Concord grapes!

Do I see some grape vines?!

Plum de lum, they are ripening fast!
Who's that picking in the fruit orchard????....
And who can forget to harvest some fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries! Yummy in my tummy!
Our amazingly talented volunteer Wing Wu, who painted our Mandarin translation sign!
In the beginning of July, Allison, Nikoo and I harvested loads of lettuce, peas, mint and kale for a local community kitchen. Here's a look at our sunshine filled harvest day!
Nikoo and I harvesting some lettuce!

Look at all these bags of fresh produce!

Snap peas galore!
Special thanks to the QE parents for watering the garden this summer, and Wing Wu for painting the Mandarin sign! Thank you, Thank you!