Westshore Centre for Learning student Josh Hill (right) and a member of the Western Garden Club help themselves to a lunch of pumpkin and apple soup, mixed greens, croutons and pumpkin pie at the school’s campus in Colwood Thursday. The students grew and harvested everything in the meal in the community garden. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)
The garden has been happening in various capacities on the property for the last 12 years, however, this year the school was able to add a greenhouse, thanks to funding from the Horner Foundation
By Kendra Wong
Nov. 6, 2017
As part of the school’s sustainable resources class, which runs from February to June and gives students a Grade 11 science credit, students learn how to plant and nurture seedlings, transplant, weed out and harvest in the roughly, 4,000-square foot garden on Sooke Road. Students had their own grow boxes and planted a variety of tomatoes, lettuces, cabbages, raspberries, carrots, beets, herbs, apples, squash and onions.
While other schools have gardens, Jennifer Freeman of Zero Mile Solutions who helps support the development of the garden, said this one is unique in that gardening is integrated into the curriculum.
“A lot of gardens at high schools are an add or it’s maybe a demonstration garden. But this is really from beginning to end part of the kids’ class curriculum. It’s a really great, unique resource,” she said.
“A lot of people today don’t have to grow a garden anymore, so they’re not getting that really valuable hands-on experience that’s really healing and very helpful. They’re [students] experiencing that. It’s a different form of outdoor activity, like what sports can give to people or going out for a walk.”