Edible Education Programming in Ontario during COVID: Webinar Recording #2

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Author: Sustain Ontario

Posted: January 25, 2021

Categories: Edible Education Network / Good Food Ideas for Kids / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Ontario / School Food News / Schools

On January 20, 2021, our Ontario Edible Education Network hosted another webinar in our series on Edible Education Programming in Ontario in a time of COVID – How to Make it Work?

A recording of the presentations is now available:

In this webinar you’ll hear from:

  • Janet Nezon of Rainbow Plate (GTA)
  • Joanna Heyse of Growing Up Organic (Ottawa)
  • Airin Stephens of Roots to Harvest (Thunder Bay)

Rainbow Plate (begins at 00:3:40)

Janet offered an overview of Rainbow Plate and their hands-on sensory-based food education programming, including the continuous pivots they’ve made over the years that have led to the development of some useful online resources. Previously, Rainbow Plate had released a Rainbow Food Explorers Guide designed for educators, which has been used in many early childhood education centres and schools around the world.

In 2020, they modified this toolkit and pivoted to the virtual space, eager to connect with parents and families at home. Rainbow Plate recorded a series of videos available on their YouTube Channel, and in November, they launched a Rainbow Food Explorers At Home Guide. The guide is currently available for $24.99 CAD, and includes recipes and activities specifically designed for parents and kids at home.

Growing up Organic (begins at 00:18:00)

Growing Up Organic delivers experiential education through curriculum-connected garden-based programming. So when schools closed early last year, they also had to change gears. They were able to continue delivering some of their programs, such as one focusing on garlic planting & composting, by providing schools with online manuals, step-by-step videos and workshops, and by delivering needed materials.

In preparation for Spring 2021, Growing Up Organic is developing pre-made kits to deliver to their schools, and they will continue to offer the step-by-step videos for students to follow along. Check out some of their educational workshops on their website here, and stay tuned for Growing Up Organic to launch a new website with many of these resources.

Roots to Harvest (begins at 00:30:00)

Roots to Harvest empowers young people through numerous food-based experiential education and employment opportunities. Last year, they spent a lot of time adapting their efforts to focus on increasing food access through food bag deliveries via numerous wonderful partnerships.

Then in the fall, with schools open, their local school board designated them as an essential service and they were able to continue some of their hands-on learning programs. While following all public health guidelines, they have put a large focus on outdoor cooking and traditional foods, with students getting to cook with fire, a pizza oven, an apple cider press, and learning how to fillet fish, plant garlic, and more.


Be sure to watch the webinar recording to hear more and see some of the magnificent pictures that emerged from these programs!

A Q&A begins at the 43 minute mark, which touches on the overwhelmingly positive feedback received as a result of the organizations’ pivots, how the speakers secured funding to continue their programs, and the immense value of relationship building.

Thank you to our three speakers for sharing their knowledge and experiences!

This was the third webinar that Sustain Ontario has hosted on adapting to COVID-19. The other 2 were held in:

Please get in touch if you’d like to share your story on a future webinar in this series: cwebb@sustainontario.ca!