Home Sections Sustainability Growing food at SD62 schools includes summer work experience

Growing food at SD62 schools includes summer work experience

Summer work experience in food-growing offered at Royal Bay Secondary & EMCS.

growing food
Growing food in pots as part of sustainability education at Royal Bay Secondary in Colwood.

Friday June 4, 2021 | COLWOOD, BC

by Jalen C Codrington | Island Social Trends | and with notes by Mary P Brooke, Editor

There’s a new micro-farm site at Royal Bay Secondary School in the west shore. It has been set up for the school through the Sooke School District (SD62) by a non-profit organization called LifeCycles Project.

The LifeCycles Project mission is to “build a resilient food system in Greater Victoria by growing, harvesting, and sharing food,” says Matthew Kemshaw. He’s is a Garden Coordinator employed by the Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) Society under the umbrella of the Sooke School District (SD62).

SD62 has been working with LifeCycles to establish a micro-farm at the school, using the TOPSOIL Urban Agriculture model of growing in geotextile containers. This will allow students to produce a significant yield immediately, as they work to build their outdoor learning site into a bio-diverse garden sanctuary.

Healthy Schools, SD62

SD62 Healthy Schools coordinator Cindy Andrew is excited about the project, last week Tweeting out her thanks to Lifecycles and SD62 for getting this project launched for students in the west shore.

Summer work experience:

Summer work experience programs will be offered to SD62 students this summer.

The program will be hosted once a week at Royal Bay Secondary (in Colwood), and once a week at Edward Milne Community School (in Sooke).

About LifeCycles:

Lifecycles also offers a variety of programs to help provide food for the community, and strengthen the relationship between people and the earth.

At the root of their movement is the relationship between healthy food, healthy communities, and a healthy planet. Through sustainable projects and volunteer opportunities, they aim to empower people by sharing their food knowledge and practices in the community.

Lifecycles Project board chair is Rhianna Nagel and Executive Direct or is Joan Stonehocker. Program manager is Leah Seltzer.

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Here are some of the LifeCycles programs:

  • School Workshops – The group offers 29 hands-on indoor and outdoor workshops for grades from K-12. Workshops include lessons on pollinators, plant cycles, seed saving, and herbalism.
  • Farm gleaning – Volunteers redistribute surplus farm produce to people experiencing food insecurity within the region, partnering with the Food Rescue Project [retail partners are Country Grocer, Fairway Market, Red Barn Market, The Root Cellar, Thrifty Foods, Whole Foods].
  • Fruit Tree Project – Volunteers find fallen tree fruit that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute them to those who need it. Fruit more suited for processing is sent to various breweries.
  • Seed Library – The library hosts over 200 varieties of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds, stored at the Greater Victoria Public Library.
  • Wellend Community Orchard – All are welcome to visit this large and diverse orchard, located off the Galloping Goose Trail at 1215 Stancil Lane, View Royal. Fruit trees found there include fig, pear, plum, persimmon, sour cherry, paw paw, hazelnut, shipova, medlar, and quince, and kiwi.
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