The GROW Project
Although we are not currently able to deliver the GROW Project as we have in the past, the GROW learning modules and resources have been made available to all teachers in the Limestone District School Board and Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board through Minds Online. So if you're interested in getting your child GROWing at school this year, talk to your child's teacher today!
Good Food * Community * Collaboration * Environmental Stewardship
Loving Spoonful's school-garden based GROW Project teaches students in the Greater Kingston Area about good food, community, collaboration, and environmental stewardship. Thanks to three-year Grow Grant funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the GROW Project expanded from 7 schools and 271 students in 2017 to 21 schools and 890 students by 2020.
Students in grades 4-8 participate in hands-on workshops where they plant, care for, 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 healthy eating, food security, social justice, ecology, climate change, cooking, and more.
GROW connects students to more than good food. Through classroom workshops, guest visitors, the fence mural project, and nature-based field trips, students deepen their understanding of the links between food, health, community, and the Earth. Students connect to their local community by giving donations of produce that they have grown. Even over the summer, the GROW school gardens provide fresh garden vegetables to Loving Spoonful's Grow a Row program.
The development of our GROW Project coincides 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 engaging in outdoor work (and play!)
increasing children's willingness to try new foods
positively influencing students’ diets as their knowledge of fruits and vegetables increases
improving students' attitudes towards school in general
improving social relations and mental health
improving academic achievement
Hear what some participants have to say:
As a new school year started in the fall of 2020, a lack of funding coupled with the realities of the pandemic environment, has restricted our ability to deliver the program as we have in the past. For the 2020-2021 school year, the GROW learning modules and resources have been made available to all teachers in the Limestone District School Board and Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board through Minds Online.
We want to send a huge thanks to volunteers, donors, and our local farmers who supported the GROW Project over the past 3 years. Supporting farms include: Root Radical, Fat Chance Farmstead, Highland Gem Farm, Patchwork Gardens, Goat Ridge Farm, Forman Farms, Salt of the Earth Farm, Doublejay Farms, the Martin Homestead, Main Street Urban Farm, and Sun Harvest Greenhouses.
Thank you as well to our partners and supporters below:
I can't believe I actually like kale!"
GROW PROJECT 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."
GROW PROJECT 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 go and they were actually serving up salads from the garden. It's so great!"
GROW PROJECT PARENT
"Things like the GROW Project will change the world. This is where we need to put our energy."
GROW PROJECT TEACHER