HBOIERC Veggie Bounty
The HBOIERC Veggie Bounty program will be undertaken with the support of Frontier school division, the school principal, teachers, students and community members. We plan to develop and implement a garden-based curriculum in our school that will be integrated into the existing school curriculum. Curriculum development is already in progress under the guidance of Churchill River Instructional and Research facility.
Apart from curriculum development, we will also focus on a 3 days training program for entire community in the area of gardening in April 2011. Herein, we will teach theoretical concepts related to ecology, plant growth and resource use. Day-2 and Day-3 will focus completely on hands-on training in the garden area, soil bed preparation, planting seeds, watering, weeding, thinning, soil improvement, harvesting, composting, and many other activities related to gardening.
Children on grades 3-7 would be involved in gardening activities in the HBOIERC Veggie Bounty program. We would hire a school garden coordinator to overlook the garden activities, guide children and community volunteers when they are working out in the garden and to monitor the progress of the garden. The school will have community volunteers coming in to help the school garden coordinator with gardening activities during the summer vacations.
We plan to set up the garden at the back of our school, where there are open grounds, ample sunshine, and five different water sources to help with watering the garden. This site is also away from the playground and a little secluded, so, kids do not vandalize the garden when playing. We also plan to build a fence with a wide gate to allow human access as and when needed. We want to use a low and high tunnel greenhouse, especially for tomatoes and peppers, since they are very sensitive to low temperatures. The cover system will not only protect the plants against cold and harsh winds, but will also prolong the cultivation period.
We plan to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs in our garden. Since there was a lot of confusion on what people want to grow in our garden (some said they need a three sister garden with corn, squash and beans, but many community member do not like squash, while others objected to corn when the regional gardening coordinator pointed out that corn is not suitable for the soil in our region). Hence, Chuck Stensgard, the regional gardening coordinator, prepared a list of the best growing species of plants in colder climates and handed it to us.
The produce from the school garden will be shared among the participants, their families and needy members of the community.