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Highlights from NFL Gardens


School Gardens

At Acadia Colony School the older students have been busy building a greenhouse.  In the upcoming school year, the younger students will be getting involved with planting in this new greenhouse, which will be used as an outdoor classroom.  Their plan is to have agricultural, vegetable and flower plantings.  By next spring nearly the whole school will be involved in the Nutrients for Life School Garden!  Carberry, MB


Students in Carman Collegiates Enviroclub learned about soils as they helped plan next year’s vegetable garden. The nutrition and food students began vermicomposting at the school and hope to use the compost as a soil amendment next year. The Enviroclub will be in charge of maintenance, but it is expected that next year, this NFL School Garden will be used by a number of classes for learning purposes.  Students will be engaging in activities such as soil testing, performing seed germination projects, and participating in lessons related to gardening and composting.  Carman, MB



Janeville Elementary School has a vegetable garden which was grown in their recycled pop bottle greenhouse which the students designed and brought to fruition. The students will be harvesting their vegetables and making salsa to sell at their Fall Fair. The school developed a Facebook page to engage with community volunteers. Janville, NB


At ÉcoleHarrison School the students learned about gardening through planting flower and vegetable seedlings and bulbs. They carefully monitored the growth of their plants in the self-watering planters each of them made, and when large enough, they transplanted their plants.  The flowers they grew were used for decoration on volunteer appreciation day, as well as for gifts for mother’s and father’s days. They also had a snack day in which the students were able to make a salad from the lettuce, herbs and radishes they grew in their individual box gardens. For the summer, each student was sent home with their own tomato plant which will be used in the fall to make a salsa snack. The students were described as eager to challenge themselves and took great pride in their knowledge, responsibility and ownership of the plants.ÉcoleHarrison School is excited to expand their NFL garden program to involve the whole school.  Brandon, MB


St. John’s Ravenscourt developed a butterfly garden with the help of research performed by students in their Outdoor Adventure Club. They examined how Manitoba butterflies select host plants for nectar. Collectively they decided to plant swamp milkweed, yarrow, bee balm and blanket flower – all Manitoba native species. The students released a hatchling of butterflies into the garden in the early summer. Next year the school hopes to involve the grade 3 students as they study soils.  Winnipeg, MB

Learning Gardens

Ashern Central School has a vegetable garden, tended by ten student members of the gardening club. This past spring, students prepared and planted the seeds, and experimented with nutrient application. They grew herbs, tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse. The students visited care homes in the community, planting flowers and vegetables. The gardening club also held a plant giveaway in which all the students at Ashern Central School were invited, over the PA system, to take a plant home with them. The students had over 15 gardening-related lessons in their science class throughout the year. The school is planning to expand their garden into outdoor beds in the future.  Ashern, MB



St. Paul’s Collegiate students have learned about compost and gardening in their health and science classes this year. They seeded the plants in their nursery, expanded their butterfly garden, and were empowered through the process of planning and designing their garden. The school has a vegetable, butterfly, and flower garden. The school’s Eco Club, which is described as having a small, but enthusiastic core, has plans to promote and expand next year. One community member was involved, helping do work in the garden throughout the year and during the harvest. St. Paul’s is looking to further expand their gardens in the future and hopes to bring in some presenters for the students to learn more. Events held included a nursery plant giveaway and a school barbeque. The vegetables grown (tomatoes, peppers, onion, carrots, beets and potatoes) were used either in home economics classes or donated to Main Street Project. Elie, MB



Nellie McClung also has a garden in their second year, they have grown vegetables and flowers, supplementing with compost and commercial nutrients. In 2015, they grew tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, beets, potatoes, corn, carrots and pumpkins. They will be having a “Flavoursof Fall” meal with their community volunteers to celebrate the accomplishments of the students in seeding, transplanting, caring for the plants, and harvesting their garden to make soups. The seeds were started under grow lights in their garage and then moved to the greenhouse when the weather permitted. The school grounds have been beautified with flowers. Their garden has been featured in the local newspaper.  Manitou, MB



Virden Collegiate has a garden in its second year. They have grown vegetables (peas, carrots, basil, chives, cabbage, radishes and thyme) and flowers (4 o’clocks, black eyed Susan’s, morning glory, and sunflowers). They do not have a nursery or greenhouse yet, but will be looking into building one in the future. Some high school students visited the local elementary school and worked with the younger students to experiment with planting seeds into recycled pop bottles, which were then hung from a fence to create a vertical wall garden. The effects of different nutrients on each plant was carefully observed and recorded. The plants were transplanted into recycled tire raised garden beds. The school has received funding for their garden from Tire Stewardship Manitoba as well. Eleven lessons in Math, Science, Home Economics and Foods and Nutrition were taught using the garden, including teaching students how to test the soil for nutrients. Ten community members are involved in helping tend to the garden and will be joining the school in their Celebration of Harvest event in the fall. The school has a twitter account and a website for their community to stay updated on the school garden, and they were also featured in the local newspaper.  Virden, MB