The Vancouver board of education plans to create a school market garden to educate, nourish and inspire students in the city’s east side.
The garden will be developed at Vancouver Technical secondary on East Broadway in September under a new agreement between the board and Fresh Roots Urban Farms, a non-profit society that promotes urban agriculture to feed Vancouver residents. The deal was described as the first of its kind in Canada.
The Van Tech garden will cover about 1,000 square metres of land and is expected to yield thousands of kilograms of vegetables, including Asian greens, salad greens, beets, carrots and garlic, Fresh Roots director Ilana Labow said in an interview. The sale of those vegetables, including for use in school cafeterias, is expected to cover all costs, she added.
Fresh Roots will be responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the garden and will synchronize the growing season with the school year to allow for a fall and winter harvest. The urban gardeners will also offer professional development for teachers who will then be able to take their students into the garden to teach them about agriculture, soil and life cycles, said Kevin Millsip, the board’s sustainability coordinator.
But the lessons of the garden could also stretch into poetry and journaling, he said, adding: “It will be a living outdoor classroom.”
[Top Image: Fresh Roots Urban Farm]