Lots of kale, chard, pumpkins, herbs, plus some tomatoes, peppers. eggplant. Identify parts of various plants to learn about the diversity of roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds. Students can make hand-salads. Dig up & fry up potatoes on a camp stove in the garden. Organize an all-school Halloween Pumpkin Soup Lunch or make pumpkin bread with your class.
- GATHER & PACKAGE SEEDS
Toby Carson and Dan Jason (Salt Spring Seeds) have offered to help classes gather, process, and package seeds from the gardens. Learn about the abundance and diversity of seeds. These packets could be decorated, labelled in multiple languages, and sold. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PLANT SEEDLINGS OF WINTER GREENS + GARLIC
All sorts of seedlings of spinach, broccoli, kale, radishes, lettuces, and more can be planted in Sept-Oct. These can be donated by Country Grocer, Thrifty's, Foxglove, Fraser's Thimble, and others. Just ask if you need some. Garlic can go in Oct-Nov.
- PLAN THE GREENHOUSE PLANTINGS
Decide which plants to start for the garden, or for Mother's Day gifts, and to sell as a garden fundraiser. Linda Gilkeson could talk to your class about the best timing for year-round gardening. Members of the SSI Garden Club have been involved with school gardens, such as Susan Lee (Fernwood) and Milly Sinclair (GISS).
- VISIT FARMS, SEED PRODUCERS, RESTAURANTS
Salt Spring Seeds, Foxglove Farm, Chorus Frog Farm, Bullock Lake Farm (and others) are all open to visits. A Victoria field trip could include The Gardens at HCP which has great school programs.
- VISIT OTHER SCHOOL GARDENS
Galiano has an amazing greenhouse and garden, plus great Island food programs. Phoenix School has offered to host a pizza day for a SSE class or two in their cob oven. GISS garden and greenhouses are amazing!
- COMMUNITY FARMS, GARDENS & PROJECTS
The SSI Farmland Trust is building The Root and would love to teach kids about it (179 Beddis), and SSI Community Services (contact Simone Cazabon) runs the Burgoyne Community Farm, the Food Bank and The Harvest Cafe (just behind the Core Inn, across from the Library). Transition Salt Spring runs the Community Gardens behind the pool. The Abbatoir processes local meat and would be fascinating.
The first week of October on Salt Spring. Contact Harry Burton to participate or to request apples or field trips to apple orchards. Galiano Island also hosts an apple fest at the school each year.
- TUESDAY FARMER's MARKET
Tuesdays, 2 to 6pm through October. Students could harvest veggies and seeds and sell them at the Market, or just visit the market and do a veggie scavenger hunt.
- INTERVIEW FARMERS & CHEFS
Several farmers have expressed interest in hosting field trips (Salt Spring Seeds, Foxglove Farm, Chorus Frog Farm, Bullock Lake Farm) and chefs like Mark Kilner (GISS) and Brooke Winters (B'Nurtured Food Cart in Ganges) use lots of local produce.
- CREATE A BUG HOTEL
Parent, Michelle Goss, has offered to help classes construct a bug hotel or hotels for overwintering mason bees and other insects.
- ART: PAINT WOODEN CUT-OUTS/BUTTERFLY MOSAICS
GISS shop can laser-cut wooden insects to be painted and attached to the garden fences (like the painted salmon). Katharine Byers is looking into this. The laser-cutter contact is Rachel FitzZaland. EA Luba Polouvytnova might be able to help with butterfly mosaic creation (see facing photo).
- PLANT POLLINATOR PLANTS (perennials)
Entemologist, Linda Gilkeson, could provide education and advice around pollinator plants. We have funding to purchase these plants.
- BUTTERFLY GARDEN WORK-PARTY
Parent, Carolyn Hopp designed the initial butterfly garden along the playground bench and building. It needs signage and maintenance, mulch and more plants.
- GET AN OBSERVATION HIVE - grants due Oct 15.
- DESIGN A SCHOOL ORCHARD
We have funding to purchase trees and protection if a suitable location and plan is organized.
- BLACK HORSE APIARY HIVES
Ask Wendi Gilson to show a class around, if possible. She would also have more Gulf Islands beekeeper contacts to suggest.
- GALIANO GARDEN & SCHOOL HIVE
Galiano School has an observation hive and a field trip to see their garden and other Galiano Conservancy sites would be awesome.
- VICTORIA BUTTERFLY GARDENS & INSECTORIUM
Located in Brentwood Bay, this place looks amazing and directly relates to the pollinator and insect learning! Maybe get ideas for painting the wooden cut-outs here?
- FRUIT ORCHARDS
Apple Luscious, Laughing Apple, Wild Cider, and others all maintain large fruit orchards that could give insight to students designing a school orchard.
- APPLE FEST (Sunday Sept 30)
Start planning the school orchard by learning more about apples on the islands.
- Register as a BEE SCHOOL, and browse opportunities at
- RON PITHER, PORTABLE HIVE
Ron can bring a portable hive to school and Katharine Byers has already arranged for a date in late Sept/Oct.
- QUEEN BEE THEATRE, STONEWELL FARM
A special dramatic performance by Grace Jordan about hive life may come to SSE - Katharine Byers and Gail Bryn-Jones have been talking to them about it.
- BLACK HORSE APIARY, Wendi Gilson
Wendi runs 60-80 colonies on SSI in 7 locations and is a Beemaster and Apiary Inspector at BC Ministry of Agriculture, and works with the collective group- Ethical Bees
END-OF-YEAR GOAL: PLANT SCHOOL ORCHARD/TAKE CARE OF THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN
Gail and Katharine are organizing another worm-composting workshop at SSE with the Victoria Compost Centre. Wormeries will be available for all classes.
- MAKE COMPOST BIN/PROCESS SIGNAGE
A big wooden sign could be painted and attached to the fence behind the compost bins to highlight the waste recycling and ecological processes going on here.
- SOIL-BUILDING PRACTICES
Plant cover crops, lasagna garden with layers directly on the beds, gather leaves and seaweed and other compostables (coffee grounds from local cafes?). Build a Hugel Kulture bed and try trench composting.
- USE SOIL SIEVES & TEST SOIL pH & NUTRIENTS-
Joss Krayenhoff has really nice sieves and will come to your class to help separate soil into its component parts. Simple pH and nutrient test kits are available at Foxglove Garden for $35 for ten testers.
- TRY COB BUILDING
Parent, Molly Murphy with the BC Mud Girls Collective could share more about building with cob and might be available to help construct a cob wall behind the greenhouse or something else this year.
- MIX, WATER, SIEVE & SPREAD COMPOST
Care for the compost bins and compost and enhance garden soil with the final product.
- SEVEN RAVENS PERMACULTURE
Michael Nickels has offered to host a field trip or two.
- VICTORIA COMPOST CENTRE
This place looks amazing! What a learning opportunity. There are free composting workshops on Saturdays October 13th and 20th, and they are coming to the school with worm classes too!
- FOXGLOVE FARM & GARDEN SOIL ADDITIVES
Could learn about soil additives in their bulk room after testing the soils around the gardens.
- BULLOCK LAKE FARM COMPOSTING SYSTEM & ADDITIVES
Learn what this big farm does with its compost and how it uses kelp and alfalfa to grow veggies.
- SOIL EXPERTS? COMPOST SCIENTISTS?
- ORGANIC FARMERS
END-OF-YEAR GOAL: GOOD GARDEN SOIL (SPREAD COMPOST & PUT BEDS TO SLEEP)