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Elmlea JS garden yields summer-long harvests, learning opportunities

Elmlea JS garden yields summer-long harvests, learning opportunities

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

It may still be summer vacation for students across the city but in the Elmlea Junior School community, children continue to gather to learn and to tend to a garden that is producing regular harvests for a local women’s shelter.

The first crop of kale, mint, green onions, lettuce and broccoli was delivered to Ernestine's Women's Shelter back in June.  The July harvest to the shelter was just as abundant, with fresh, delicious vegetables--including  more broccoli, zucchini, peppers, cabbage, and peas--provided to the shelter for dinner meals each week. 

“The garden is lush and bountiful,” said Camelia Marks, the Grade 2 French Immersion teacher who spearheaded the creation of the Learning Garden. “Sometimes I think it's a magical garden, and I find myself having genuine ‘green envy’  because the vegetables in my own garden just don't compare.”

But it’s not just a vegetable garden. In the spring, Elmlea JS was dotted with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that bloomed in the colourful tire planters that form the centrepiece of the Elmlea Learning Garden. The flowers illustrated the dedicated planning and hard work of the students who planted the bulbs the previous fall.

Box planters were also filled with vegetable plants for the summer crop, and continue to be tended to by students, parents and staff, creating an outdoor space where students engage in hands-on experiences and authentic interaction with their natural environment throughout the year.  

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