FoodShare’s School Grown is a schoolyard farming project that employs students in running urban market gardens. This innovative project is a part of FoodShare’s Field to Table Schools program, leading a movement of change in the way children and youth eat, grow and learn.
School Grown engages and excites high school students with growing, preparing and selling vegetables, fruits and preserves. During the school year the project provides hands-on learning opportunities for students both in the classroom and in the field. Over the summer, students are hired to work alongside the School Grown farm manager in running the market gardens, selling at farmers’ markets and delivering produce to local restaurants.
School Grown at Bendale BTI
After partnering together on a Footprint garden in 2008, FoodShare supported the development of one of Canada’s first school-based Market Gardens at Bendale Business Technical Institute.
Since its creation in 2010, this ¼ acre market garden has become an inspirational example of the transformative potential of school-food gardens. FoodShare works with Bendale’s staff and students in the garden’s planting, care, harvesting, cooking and market sales. In 2012, a 1,000-gallon aquaponics system was set up in the green industries classroom, which is home to 300 tilapia and allows for year-round production of greens and herbs.
School Grown at Eastdale CI
Our newest school food garden is located on the rooftop of Eastdale Collegiate Institute. The School Grown Rooftop is a food literacy education centre, large market garden and vibrant event space all wrapped into one.
The 16,000 square foot rooftop includes over 450 garden planters, 100 shiitake mushroom logs, a dwarf fruiting orchard, seating for over 200 people, a covered area as well as an indoor classroom. With the wheels already put in motion for a small greenhouse, composting area, and an open air cafe, the rooftop is shaping up to be a one-of-a-kind facility.
The Field to Table Schools program will be collaborating with Eastdale staff and students to maintain the rooftop growing spaces, harvest, and sell at the East Lynn Farmers’ market for the duration of the season, with the intention to continue using the rooftop’s classroom for workshops, events and trainings year-round.
Watch School Grown on CBC, May 16, 2013
Watch the School Grown Rooftop Being Built At Eastdale CI
All of the proceeds from sales are used to increase FoodShare’s food literacy education throughout the city.
Capital funding for the first phase of the project was provided by Live Green Toronto with additional support from The Ontario Trillium Foundation and Slow Food Toronto. We are actively seeking funds and partners for the next phases of this project, which will include the creation of a rooftop teaching kitchen, equipping the indoor classroom with food literacy tools and retrofitting the school’s elevator to ensure that the rooftop is fully accessible.
Find our students selling their School Grown produce at:
East Lynn Park Farmers Market
Thursdays from 3-7pm
June – October
Closest Intersection: Danforth & Woodbine
Donate To School Grown:
For more information on School Grown projects, production and purchasing:
School Grown Senior Coordinator
Phone: 416 363 6441 ext 248
For more photos from the program, visit our blog post here.
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