School Vegetable Gardens

The headline “An edible education” in the Toronto Star the other day (Nov 3) caught my eye. “Scarborough high school’s garden supplies cafeteria, inspires students and feeds community”.

“It’s believed to be Canada’s first school-based market garden,” the article says. I wondered if that was true. Cornelia Oberlander has been encouraging kids to plant vegetable gardens at their schools for years, and I could have sworn I saw photos of kids doing just that in at least one issue of Landscapes/Paysages when I was researching my book about Cornelia and her work.

Ah, yes, to be sure, but as the article goes on to point out, there have been other school gardens, but not on the scale of Bendale’s – thanks to funding from an Ontario Community Go Green Fund grant. Since planting their 26 beds last April, almost 1800 pounds of food has been harvested!

Not every school will be able to access that funding, but as Ian Hepburn-Aley of FoodShare says, “There are so many schools that could be turning their lawns into fields of food.”

Hmm. A project for a school in your community? Food for thought? It’s not to soon to start planning for spring!

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