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EDIBLE GARDENS

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Getting Started

Growing food helps students learn where food comes from and may spark interest in eating vegetables, fruit and other nutritious plant foods. Outdoor school gardens have the added bonus of increasing physical activity and a sense of community. Plant any type of edible garden (indoor or outdoor) to earn this badge.

Steps To Earn This Badge

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Step 1 - Ask the Students

Ask students if they know where food comes from, and if they have any experiences growing food.Talk to them about what it means to grow food and try to get them excited about the possibilities!

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Step 2 - Start a Conversation

Growing food might seem like a big undertaking but it is made easier (and more rewarding) with lots of help. Talk to members of the school community to find out what they think about the idea and to see what they can offer (e.g. gardening tools, soil, plants and seeds, gardening expertise, etc.). Be sure to check out the Tools and Helpful Links for this badge.

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Step 3 - Do a Nutrition Checkup

One of the main benefits of any garden is the harvest of fresh, nutritious plant foods! Students will be more open to trying these foods (now or in the future) if they are involved in all aspects of the growing process. Include at least one activity that extends the garden experience (e.g. link to curriculum, prepare the food to eat, offer taste-testing, etc.) to earn this badge.

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Step 4 - Make it Fun

Hands-on gardening activities are a blast for students and the possibilities are endless! You can plant seeds in the classroom and then move outside to plant in the ground. Try one or more of the (optional) following fun garden ideas to get everyone excited about edible gardens, or come up with your own creative idea(s).

Badge Inspiration

  • If you are going to cook with the foods that you grow, include them in recipes that let their natural flavours shine through and be sure to sample them raw when possible!
  • Visit a farmer’s market, local farm or community garden
  • Special themes make a garden more fun, and offer lots of opportunities for creative and critical thinking. You might want to try a different one each year. For example:
    • ABC garden (A is for artichokes or alyssum, B is for broccoli, etc.)
    • Vegetable soup garden (ask your students what veggies they would like to grow to put in their soup next autumn)
    • Crayon colour garden or rainbow garden (purple potatoes, anyone?)
    • Herb garden (make herbal tea bags to sell as a fundraiser)
    • Salad garden
    • Fruit garden (with dwarf or espaliered fruit trees, strawberry beds, vining grapes or kiwis, and a “berry walk”)
    • Pizza garden