Call me an optimistic aquarian because despite the headlines of environmental catastrophe and political doom I still see our way forward as a path well lit on the darkest night. If we travel along it in connection to each other and to the earth and all it’s variety of life we cannot go wrong. To truly love and take care of our planet it seems that taking care of ourselves is of utter importance also. Making sure we eat well and nurture our bodies in the way that is best for each of us. Now that I am on the fun side of 50 watching the upcoming generations and what challenges they may be facing I am moved more than ever to support them in healthy positive directions.
One of the ways the Food Program can do this is to commit to the school garden, community greenhouse and the healthy growing, cooking and eating projects that go on there. Staff and students are eager with any of the ideas we have shown up with over the years from Applefest and grafting to WORMFEST and composting…. One of the more involved activities we did together was a game where we uncovered the REAL cost of food taking in to account environmental costs through pesticide use, quality of life for workers and livestock as well. It was a real adventure in understanding the relationships between what we eat and how it is produced. Now that the school has beehives, the Pollination Game is a big favorite where kids get to be bees, trees or rain !
The tastings that we do on site from March through till Nov involve anything and everything they have grown. Have you ever seen school-aged kids elbowing their way to the front to get some sauteed turnip greens, or raw sprouting broccoli, broad beans and brussel sprouts that they just picked to share? Of course the maple blossom fritters and the strawberries (frozen from the previous year) were understandable favorites.
As the space and appetite for projects has grown, what really is needed is a time commitment from community members of an hour or 2 per week during the spring and fall seasons to ensure that the garden is well tended. Parents on Galiano are at their busiest time in their lives as they raise children and hold down several jobs as prices of housing and food all contribute to crunched schedules…. at afterschool softball practice there have been some willing and strong hands to get some spring projects like the PIZZA GARDEN planned and dug. The greenhouse group is passing on all kinds of starts to the kids and the children themselves have seeded many types of peas and cucumbers.
This gets me to our offer: I would like to invite people to become ‘Friends of the School Garden’ by pledging your support of just 5 hours to the school garden over the 6 months of April to October….. At the end of this there will be a most lovely surprise just for you ! Email or call in your intention of support. Work parties happen 2-3 times per week and are short. Right now Tuesdays from 3: till 5: are the best bet but also 3: on Thursdays is a good time to show up. Looking forward to working with you in our healthy, active, fun and tasty future projects.