The GROW Project

Good Food * Community * Collaboration

 

 Loving Spoonful's school-garden based GROW Project is teaching students at 21 Kingston and area elementary schools about good food, community, and collaboration.

 

Students in Grades 4 to 8 participate in hands-on workshops where they plant, raise, and harvest vegetables in their school gardens while learning values of stewardship, and responsibility. Seven curriculum-connected classroom workshops complement their garden time, teaching students about food systems, social justice and food security, food and culture, healthy gardens and cooking.

 

GROW connects students to more than good food. Through classroom workshops, the fence mural project, and donations of produce to local shelters and meal programs, students are connected to their community on local and global levels. Guest visitors to GROW classrooms and nature-based field trips further assist students in making the connection between their food, their health, their community, and the Earth.

 

Thanks to three-year Grow Grant funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Loving Spoonful expanded from 12 schools in 2017 to 21 schools by 2020.

Loving Spoonful’s GROW Project staff work with the classroom teacher and school administration to plan and implement a GROW garden. 

When established, Loving Spoonful provides:

  • 7 curriculum-connected workshops in classrooms and school gardens

  • Guest visitors to GROW classrooms to enhance student learning

  • 2 free field trips for GROW students (Little Cataraqui and a local farm)

  • Parent engagement opportunities & garden training

  • 2 paid youth interns help care for the gardens during the summer months

  • Garden materials (e.g., soil, seeds, seedlings)

  • Volunteer support as needed

 

Participating GROW schools are responsible for contributing to the program's success. Please reach out to Food Education Manager, Sarah Keyes at kitchen@lovingspoonful.org or 613-507-8848.

The GROW Project offers a host of benefits that encourages a generation of youth to become both engaged members of the community and stewards of the environment. Kids who grow greens, eat greens. We see this every year at our Salad Bar Celebrations. Students go back for thirds of “their” freshly picked ingredients. Last spring, a Grade 5 girl exclaimed, “This is the best day of my life!! I love salad!”

The development of our GROW Project has coincided with a broader emergence of garden-based curriculum, which is being taken up in schools throughout North America as evidence mounts about the effectiveness of this experiential teaching tool. A growing list of positive outcomes that can arise from school garden programs include:

  • opportunities for active outdoor play

  • increasing children’s willingness to try new foods

  • positively influencing students’ diets as the result of increased knowledge of fruits and vegetables

  • improving students attitude towards school in general

  • improving social relations and mental health

We will be evaluating these outcomes and more thanks to our OTF funding and are looking forward to sharing the results of the impacts of GROW in 2020!

A huge thanks to our local farmers who support the GROW Project through seedling donations and classroom visits to enrich student learning. Supporting farms include: Root Radical, Fat Chance Farmstead, Patchwork Gardens, Sunnyside Farm, Forman Farms, Salt of the Earth Farm, Main Street Market, and Sun Harvest Greenhouses.

GROW Project Schools (2019/2020)

  • Molly Brant P.S.

  • J.G. Simcoe P.S.

  • Rideau P.S.

  • Rideau Heights P.S.

  • Lord Strathcona P.S.

  • Centennial P.S.

  • Southview P.S. (Napanee)

  • J.R. Henderson P.S.

  • R.G. Sinclair P.S.

  • Our Lady of Lourdes C.S.

  • Sir John A MacDonald P.S.

  • Truedell P.S.

  • Amherstview P.S.

  • Cataraqui Woods P.S.

  • Bayridge P.S.

  • Selby P.S.

  • Granite Ridge Education Centre

  • Bath P.S.

  • Enterprise P.S.

  • Welborne P.S.

  • St. Francis of Assisi C.S.

The GROW Project needs your help!

Volunteer to be part of the excitement in schools and/or gardens.

“It makes me feel like we’re a family when we’re working together in the garden.”
-
Grade 5 GROW student

“Being in the garden makes me feel happy and relaxed. I like knowing that we’re not just growing for ourselves but for the whole community.”
- Grade 5 GROW student

“Two of my kids have been through the GROW Project and each year when they’ve finished they’ve come home and started planting their own vegetables. This summer they had all sorts of things growing. I came home a few weeks ago and they were actually serving up salads from the garden. It’s so great.”
– Parent of GROW Project student

Contact:  613-507-8848  |  info@lovingspoonful.org  |   559 Bagot St., Kingston, ON  K7K 3E1

©2019 by Loving Spoonful | Kingston, ON

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