YQS students learn about gardening
Yellowquill School is not only growing little minds this year but little green thumbs too.
The school joined the province’s Agriculture in the Classroom initiative to teach students how to grow their own vegetables and how to eat healthy.
“I think kids are so detached from agriculture and gardening even. When I was a kid everybody in my small town was attached to agriculture in some way and pretty much all of us had gardens, so we all knew where our food was coming from. Now, for so many kids who don’t have that connection anymore,” said organizer Laurie Krynski.
The Little Green Thumbs program came to Yellowquill after Krynski attended a conference and met a teacher from Crescentview School who told her about the initiative. She thought it was interesting and decided to ask her Grade 1 and 2 colleagues Sylivia Hocken and Mary Hodge to jump on board with their classrooms.
“They were really quite excited about it and we decided to share the program together and it turned out really well,” she said.
About 59 students grew tomatoes, beans, lettuce, herbs, and peppers inside the classroom before taking it to the school’s courtyard where garden beds were awaiting the plants. The students also used the crops they grew to make salads and also learned how to make salad dressing from the Canola Growers of Manitoba. Krynski said some of the students had never eaten such fresh produce and some had never even eaten a tomato before the program began. She said part of the appeal for the kids was the fact that they grew these vegetables themselves and also made the salad dressing, which made them more interested in gardening and healthy eating.
“They know how fresh and tasty it is, especially the lettuce. When we grew that lettuce it was so fresh and tasty and so different from the stuff you buy at the store. They noticed that difference and I really would like them to go home and encourage their families to plant a garden or just a few plants,” said Krynski, adding the Canola Growers are sending kits for each student to make their own salad dressing.
In the Portage la Prairie School Division, all the schools participated in the Agriculture in the Classroom except for Fort la Reine, Portage Collegiate, and Ecole Arthur Meighen School. Krynski said teachers from PCI and Ecole Arthur Meighen told her they have already applied for the free provincial program and bring it to their classrooms. Currently, about 37 schools throughout the province are involved in the initiative. Krynski said she would like to see the program continue and hopes that a community garden will be established in Portage.