18 August 2014

L'Ecole Bilingue Potato Rotato!

Our feature "Garden of the Week" is L'Ecole Bilingue which is our only French immersion school part of this program.

On July 14th, we had an amazing harvest of many many many (and can I add another 1000 manys) POTATOES!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are by far the largest potatoes I have seen in any of the school gardens.

Look at all them potatoes!

Some hard pulling and tugging!

Use them muscles!

Enjoying some delicious peas after some hard digging! Yum Yum!

Look at these peas in a pod!

Some More Magical Hands at Work:

Can you feel the excitement of fall planting?! The sound of opening seed packages and the feel of soil between your fingers...

 Away we go with planting!

Look at these pumpkin seeds!

Look at them magical hands!

Keep on digging away for those pumpkin seeds!
They grew in 2 days! The power of magical hands!
Garden Pictures
WOW! Look at how tall these beautiful sunflowers can get!

This apple tree is looking fruitful! 

Special thanks to L'Ecole Bilingue staff, parents and kids for harvesting, planting and watering the garden. YOU are the reason why the garden is looking SPECtacular!
Merci, Merci!

11 August 2014

Brock at 4 O'Clock!

What's happening at Brock Junction Daycare around 4 O'clock??! - Gardening Time!

Our feature "Garden of the Week" is Brock Elementary maintained by the staff and kids at Brock Junction Daycare. These kids certainly have "magical hands or the green thumb!"

Too many bunnies in the garden! :P
The kids and I making a promise card to water the garden. These kids are truly amazing gardeners!
Let's meet some of our little garden helpers...

Isla watering the garden!
Tristan watering the sunflowers!
 Ava watering her cucumbers. They grew in two days!!!

Christina watering her cucumbers, zucchinis and tomatoes! Way to go girl!
Andrew watering some Lacinato kale. Can I hear a KALE YEAH?!
Tristan lending a helping hand filling up Andrew's watering can.
Magical Hands at Work!

Christina and Tristan planting some bush beans!
Look at how big they got! Magical hands!!!!!!!!!!!

Two peas in a pod? Siblings Christina and Simon planting some carrots!
Watering lineup!
Special thanks to Brock Junction staff and parents for watering the garden!

5 August 2014

BEWARE BEWARE: Munchie Cuteness is Back!!

The sun is out and so is our lovely school gardens blog! This summer we are featuring a "Garden of the Week" and this week we are featuring Thunderbird Elementary maintained by the staff and kids at Thunderbird Daycare.

Our first harvest was on July 14th! We harvested garlic, potatoes, snap peas and kale. The kids ate some delicious potato salad and kale salad for lunch. What a better way to eat healthy than straight from the garden!


The kids and I making a promise card to water the garden.
 The kids searching for "POH-TAH-TOES"!
"It looks like a BIG chicken McNugget!"~Aaron
Guess what the kids also found??....a family of earthworms!
Emma gently picking some lacinato kale. Can I hear a KALE YEAH? :)
Let's meet some of our lovely garden helpers and muncheros....
Our gardening queens (Jessica and Emma) wearing some fabulous nasturtium flowers!
Way to go girls!!!

Lavienne watering the nasturtiums like rain.
Emma rocking the floral print dress while watering!

Jessica watering the strawberry beds.

Our only male gardener Aaron. Way to go, representing all the boys!  

16 July 2013

L'Ecole Bilingue and Student Teachers

In partnership with the Think & Eat Green At Schools Project and thanks to the Vancouver Foundation, SPEC worked with Student Teachers in UBC's Bachelor in Education program to enhance student experiences and introduce new teachers to the world of School Gardens. 

Here is what one of the student teachers had to say on the experience "First of all, I would never think it would be possible to have a garden at school, let alone harvesting and sharing the produce with (the) children. Also, I learned how to manage a harvest with young children and how enjoyable and educational it can be for them." Students facilitated lessons on pollination and helped with harvests including potatoes.

In another student teacher's words "I loved the potato harvest with the Ks especially, the whole event was magical from the students trying to guess how many potatoes they would find (8-50 were the guesses) to them exclaiming identically as each was uncovered." How many potatoes did these little guys unearth? 208! From 16 seed potatoes!

12 July 2013

L'Ecole Bilingue Summer Harvest!

Students at L’École Bilingue harvested much of the spring crops they had planted on June 18th!  Grade 1s collected their giant sunflower plants to take home and care for in their own gardens.  Kindergarten students harvested their early potato crop and were surprised to find over 200 potatoes despite last yield of only 14. Grade 2 students pruned the garlic scapes off the tops of their plants in order to allow the bulbs to fully mature, while Grade 3 students harvested peas, corn mache (a type of lettuce) and basil.  A second Kindergarten class also harvested the following day, with nasturtiums, curly lettuces and kale collected in preparation for the next day’s harvest party. 

The students were brought out to the beds in small groups by UBC Student Teachers doing a Community Field Based Experience practicum, but the planting and care of the garden over the past few months had been done by students, parent volunteers and Marnie Newell of SPEC.  The harvest was the culmination of months of planting, watering, weeding, and much watching and waiting.  Students were thrilled to get their hands dirty, learn about the plants they were harvesting, and prepare the vegetables for shared consumption. 

The process was finished with all the classes in sharing and eating the crops! The 3rd grade class ate a salad from their combined mache, basil and peas and a scape vinaigrette, prepared by their classroom teacher Alison.  The Grade 2 students brought their scapes home for sharing with their families.  Students feasted on roasted potatoes and salad with scape vinaigrette. The students tasted the school garden’s bounty, with many enjoying second helpings of the salad and vinaigrette which they had initially been reluctant to try. 

New plants were planted by another Grade 3 class on Thursday where the potatoes had been, and plans are now underway for properly staking the summer crops that remain, covering the tomatoes to protect from blight, and creating a watering and weeding schedule among volunteer parents and students.

19 June 2013

Potato Harvest at QE

June 18 every class who had planted potatoes came out to harvest. Organized chaos! The tubs were dumped out, potatoes gathered, counted and weighed. The results put on a beautiful chart, created by our UBC Education Practicum Students.

This year yields were low - approximately 25kg, of mainly small potatoes. There were a number of probably reasons - poor soil, growing conditions, watering issues, weather issues, and timing - a few more weeks and the crop would have been much better. Catriona Gordon from SPEC often says that one of the greatest challenges for the school garden program is the short growing season of September to June.

Still the potatoes will taste great roasted up by parent volunteers for the harvest festival on Thursday June 20.