Over the past thirty years on Salt Spring, Pender, Mayne, Galiano, and Saturna Islands, volunteer teachers, staff, and parents, along with community donors, have established food-growing and learning opportunities at every school, reflecting the Islanders shared values of outdoor, ecological and agricultural education for our children.
The overall purpose of this School Garden Activity Guide is to encourage and assist children, teachers and garden facilitators to enjoy and learn from fun, creative and healthy school garden experiences.
You are not alone. Your love for, passion for, and rooted interest in school gardening is shared by many many others. Each school garden brings different creative approaches to the table. Hopefully this Guide can connect you to some exciting ideas and useful resources.
There are four main sections based on four seasons in the school gardens: Autumn (September to November); Winter (December to February); Spring (March to May); and Summer (June to August).
We have focused on five key themes: 1) Growing and Harvesting Food; 2) Living Soils; 3) Community Art & Culture; and 4) Ecosystem Science, plus 5) Garden Coordination & Maintenance. Other themes could be added to this living project in the future.
For each theme, we list class garden activities, field trip options, and community connections. Here is a seasonal guide to school garden activities, and here is a seasonal planting plan. Lesson plans will be added as PDF's linked to particular class activities.
For specific class activities linked to grades and a wonderful evolution of garden knowledge, we highly recommend using The School Garden Curriculum, by Kaci Rae Christopher, just published in April 2019!