Encouraging gardening

Each year the Grindrod Garlic Festival sponsors a $500 grant to a local school. This year the Garlic Festival received five applications for its one grant. Instead of just picking one winner, they went out and found other groups that would support the other applications!

Ian Richardson, a member of the Garlic Festival Committee, said the Shuswap Seed Savers and Enderby and District Financial (a division of First West Credit Union) were approached and they both decided to support the applications.

A.L. Fortune Teacher Brandi Streloff (far left) accepts the $500 grant from Enderby and District Credit Union Branch Manager Heather Hunter, Garlic Festival committee member Ian Richardson and Financial Advisory Jody Baumle.

The Shuswap Seed Savers are funding M.V. Beattie’s application while Enderby and District Financial are supporting the applications from A.L. Fortune, South Canoe and Hillcrest! The Garlic Festival is supporting the application from Grindrod Elementary.

M.V. Beattie Elementary teacher Stephen Pyle explains, with the knowledgeable help of Dianne Wright (a retired CEA and gardener-extrordinaire), they are planning on using the much appreciated grant from the Seed Savers to continue to expand the school’s garden with the purchase of more raised beds, soil and plants. 

“We will also be accessing the bank of seeds that the Seed Savers provide.  We connect our gardening with sustainable practices, understanding where most of our food comes from and what we can start to do to grow more food in our own backyard.” He added the students are excited to get started in the early spring. 

One of three grants being funded by Enderby and District Financial (a division of First West Credit Union), is going to A.L. Fortune Secondary. Teacher Brandy Streloff says the school will be using the money to help support a program to grow herbs, strawberries and possibly other plants in her science classroom.

She noted Shepherd’s Hardware donated five LED lights towards the project as well. These new funds will help purchase more lights and further support the program!

She added the hope is that they will be able to grow enough so that the school’s Foods Classes will be able to use what they produce for fresh cooking ingredients.

At Hillcrest Elementary, the very welcome grant will be used to build two planter boxes to grow strawberries. They will also use the money to take students to a working farm in Mara to see growing on a larger scale.

South Canoe Elementary will be using the grant to add some beauty, intrigue and learning possibilities to the school’s outdoor learning area by extending the existing garden plots in the primary play area.  “We are going to make the plots interactive which means concentrating on growing hardy crops, like garlic, bulb flowers and self-seeders, that can survive our young gardeners,” adds Principal Jared King.

The Garlic Festival awarded its $500 grant to Grindrod Elementary. The grant will enable students to spend time with community elders and knowledge keepers to learn about the use and value of indigenous plants. The school’s goal is to have our students know how to use local plants for food or medicine and to acquire a greater respect for the value of the forests around which we live, explains principal Jeff Abbott. “In this way we believe our students will have a deep desire to take personal responsibility and ownership for the land, the plants and the animals that live here.

The staff and students of all the schools would like to thank Grindrod Garlic Festival, Enderby and District Credit Union and the Shuswap Seed Savers for their support and for helping the schools teach self-sustainability to students!

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