It's hard to believe this is only week #2 of Spring Garden season at SSE! The greenhouse is nearly full of seedlings starting, incubators are running in two classrooms again, the hens in the garden feel right at home, and nearly everyone had a hand in pulling off this remarkable Easter Weekend Meal Kit & Snack Pack project (thanks to Kirsten Marshall for great flyer designs):
Monday, Mike Lane from Ruckle Farm kindly delivered 14 fertile TURKEY EGGS to SSE. Sylvia's K-1 class discussed hatching and placed them in the incubator, where they will develop for 28 days before hatching as poults. Male turkeys are Toms, and we decided females should be called "Jills".
Both Sylvia and Kari's classes were introduced to the school hens in the garden. They gathered and fed them calendula and kale and had a chance to pet their soft feathers. EA Joan Werner brought in fencing wire and created a small run for them, so students could more easily interact with these therapy animals.
Kari's class also learned to weed their seedling pots before planting more kale into the garden. Kids cram so much kale into their mouths, that we've got to keep planting more! Meanwhile, parent volunteer Spence was pulling & digging invasive blackberries, preparing an area for more fruit trees.
Tuesday, we jumped into the Easter Meal Kit project, as Donna's grades 1-2 class enthusiastically folded, painted, and stacked 100 cardboard totes, while it rained outside.
Janisse's grade 1-2 class ends their Tuesdays in the garden, and by then, the sun had come out, which allowed us to seed parsley pots for future meal kits and snack and play around the Hillside Garden to wind down from a challenging day.
Wednesday morning, I took the early ferry and picked up 100 snack bags from Backpack Buddies, who donate food to address weekend child hunger in the greater Vancouver & Victoria region. According to their website, "British Columbia has one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada with 20% of children living below the poverty line." Unbelievably, 3 in 10 children in BC don't have enough food. We launched the Easter Mealkits in response to reports of hungry families at SSE.
In the afternoon, Heidi and Katharine's grades 3-4 classes brought all the boxes outside and painted and splatter-painted them with Easter colours. It was fun in the sun.
Wednesday afternoon, a bevy of volunteer parents, including Anna Pugh, Aisia Salo, Meghan Howcraft, myself, and Carla Maruca, wild-foraged nettles and kids snipped rosemary sprigs from the gardens for Thursday's meal kits.
Thursday morning, the kind folks at Thriftys packed up our enormous order of BC-grown veggies, fruit, eggs, and more, and Trish Bielecki of Harlan's Chocolates delivered the cutest Easter chocolate squares.
(Above) Tanya and Valeskca's grades 5-6 and 6 classes chopped and bagged nettles, packed grated cheese, then coordinated the filling of the bright wee totes with tasty ingredients for these kid-friendly recipes (this flyer + an Easter I-Spy game was also stuffed into each box):
After school, we had fun handing them out, asking kids to surprise their parents by cooking them a special meal over the holiday weekend.
One of the most gratifying parts of my day (aside from hugs, a great conversation on the beach, and wine in the hot tub with a friend), was receiving these awesome photos of families enjoying proudly, kid-cooked meals and hearing how much people really needed this.
Thanks again so much to our sponsors for these mealkits & snackpacks!