Ontario Farm to School Inspiration: Brown Public School

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: February 6, 2017

Categories: Edible Education Network / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Ontario / Schools

Canada’s 3rd Annual National Farm to School Month, led by Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC), was held throughout the month of October 2016.

A number of schools submitted Farm to School stories to F2CC as part of the month’s #ThinkandEatLocalatSchool contest. Here is the 5th story that we’re sharing as inspiration for 2017!

Brown Public School shared the following on how they engage in thinking and eating local at school:

Brown Public School is an urban elementary school in midtown Toronto. In the spring of 2016, the entire school spilled out into the school yard to build an edible garden in landscape cloth lined milk crates and transformed our school yard from an expanse of grey concrete into a growing space. A significant segment of our student population lives in high-rise dwellings and does not have access to green space and hasn’t ever had the opportunity or pleasure of growing food and many students were amazed at the prospect of being able to grow food!

Students planted the crates with vegetables and herbs and were tasked with daily watering, weeding and most importantly, sampling what we were growing. The garden was disassembled for the summer – families took crates home for the summer to care for the plants and eat whatever ripened – and during Farm to School month, we reassembled the garden in the primary students school yard and harvested our first very very local crop!

Herbs grew most abundantly so we harvested them and taught groups of children from grades 1 to 6 how to make infused water using the herbs, citrus fruit, cucumbers, apples and more! The children were delighted to “cook” at school and to learn how to make something that may be more appealing than plain water and is much better for them than sugary drinks from the store.

We have more cooking planned with our herbs – next up (although outside of Farm to School month) is to make some herbed scrambled eggs and bruschetta – and the children are thrilled to be using more school-grown produce and to learn a critical life skill.

Thanks to Brown Public School for sharing their story!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the other Farm to School stories we’ve shared on the Sustain Ontario blog: