First, an unusually cold early March, then sudden warming, then back to lots of rain. However you look at it, it has been a bit of a topsy turvy spring. Good news is that the weather (for now) has normalized enough to get planting. And so we have had lots of groups of students and teachers out in the garden in lots of ways.
Up in the Mary Jo garden, a group of Home Economics students help move soil into some of our new garden boxes, while other prepared the bed for planting, and planted various greens. They all seem to really enjoy the physical work, well most.
On another day, we learned about seeds as part of our planting. There is a surprising amount of information to learn just form the seed packs. In another class the students sorted seeds by appearance then packaged some beans that will be cooked up in a chili.
On sunny days, the gardens can look particularly beautiful. At the šxʷqʷeləwən ct Carving Pavilion garden, spring can look quite gorgeous with many of the native plants starting to flower, including the Red Current and Oregon grape.
Last week a group of Vancouver teachers visited the Britannia Gardens as part of the Farm to School Learning Circles. This program is an opportunity for school gardeners, teachers, parents and others to visit various school gardens and learn from experts how to create and develop classroom gardens. This past week we were joined by Megan Zeni of The Classroom Gardener, who shared her wonderful knowledge of teaching in the garden. Her main message – make gardening playful for the students.
And today, the Britannia Latin American youth group who were interested in doing some gardening came down to the garden to start their own box. These are youth from a variety of schools around Vancouver. Most are fairly new to Vancouver with one of the youth from Van Tech Secondary who had participated in the SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership) program and has taken the lead in their garden project.