K’jipuktuk (Halifax) - School gardens in Nova Scotia are getting a gift this World Food Day — the support they need to grow. Today, Nourish Nova Scotia and the Ecology Action Centre launched Grow Eat Learn, a new program that supports school food gardens in Nova Scotia.
Satya Ramen, Senior Coordinator, Community Food at the Ecology Action Centre says school food gardens teach essential skills for students’ success and well-being. But many school food gardens in Nova Scotia are struggling.
“From greenhouses to windowsills, there are more than 100 school food gardens in Nova Scotia. Many experience similar challenges, such as securing funding, ongoing coordination and leadership, being fully integrated across all grades and classes, and caring for the gardens over the summer,” Ramen says.
Grow Eat Learn was developed to respond to these challenges, so that school food gardens can thrive.
“We’ve long recognized the growing momentum and desire for school food garden support. We know school food garden leaders are looking for help to sustain and grow their programs. That's why we are working to build a robust program to provide on-the-ground ground support to gardens across the province,” says Margo Riebe-Butt, RD, Executive Director, Nourish Nova Scotia.
Grow Eat Learn has been informed by the wisdom and diverse experiences of local garden leaders, teachers and community groups and stakeholders from across the province. The project is being launched in phases. Phase one, launched today, provides school communities with resources that are adaptable to each unique school community to help a garden put down roots for years to come.
Jennifer Berry, co-lead of the school garden committee at Ecole St Catherine's, says she’s excited to have Grow Eat Learn resources available to make growing a unique school food garden attainable for every school in Nova Scotia.
“The school garden at Ecole St Catherine's School is an inclusive learning space where every student has the opportunity to learn. Students learn math, science, art, social studies, language arts and health in the garden and the entire school community celebrates good food and culture. The school garden is a centre for community building in our school, it brings people together to build skills, relationships and community,” Berry says.
To learn more about the program visit nourishns.ca/grow-eat-learn.
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