Through a partnership between the Foodshed Project and the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, Cultivate Your Neighbourhood sprouted in 2017. Our mission is to provide children the opportunity to be active in their communities by engaging in growing their food. In doing this, it is our hope that the students will enjoy the experience and continue cultivating their neighbourhoods in future years.
How do we do it? In the early spring, students are provided an opportunity to grow a variety of vegetables and fruits within their classrooms and then later transplant them in their neighbourhoods, often in local community gardens.
In The Classrooms
When students are in the classrooms that are outfitted with our program materials, they participate by planting seeds and growing the plants under their care. They benefit from weekly visits from a volunteer, who teaches them the various stages of seedling development and ideas for care. The volunteer returns once again in June, to assist students to transplant in the nearest community garden. When students return to school in the fall (and when funding is available), Cultivate Your Neighbourhood finishes up the season’s program by cooking up a fall harvest lunch from the garden produce that the students had planted and nurtured.
The project has developed a number of resources to help with involve local schools in community gardens. A lead resource guide is available for individuals wanting to start this program in their neighbourhood. Contact us for more information and assistance.
On a yearly basis, the project also issues a number of resources that can be used by volunteers:
- Cultivate Your Neighbourhood - English flyer to introduce schools to the project
- Cultivez Votre Quartier - French flyer to introduce schools to the project
- Teacher's guide - English instructions for teachers participating in the project
- Guide pour les enseignants - French instructions for teachers participating in the project
- Letter to parents - English letter to distribute to parents whose child has planted seeds
- Lettre aux parents - French letter to distribute to parents whose child has planted seeds