New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Innovative Classrooms Across Canada Are Feeding Young People’s Hunger For Agricultural Knowledge

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook1Share on StumbleUpon0Email this to someoneShare on Google+0

On the first day of school last week, Lacombe Composite High School students toured their greenhouse and edible gardens, harvesting gooseberries, cherries and grapes for a canning project.

They’ve since started a commercial aquaponics system, raising up to 1,000 tilapia at a time, some of which are served at the school cafeteria.

By Julie Van Rosendaal
Globe And Mail
Sept 12, 2017

Excerpt:

On the first day of school last week, students in Steven Schultz’s high-school agriculture class in Lacombe, Alta., toured their greenhouse and edible gardens, harvesting gooseberries, cherries and grapes for a canning project. After school, the beekeeping club conducted a postsummer hive inspection, harvesting 60 kilograms of honey from just one of its three hives.

These tasks are part of Lacombe Composite High School’s EcoVision Club, designed 13 years ago to inspire young leaders to make an environmental difference. Science teacher Schultz has been with the project since the beginning, when a student approached him after class.

“She said, ‘We can talk about the environment until we’re blue in the face, but unless we take action, it’s kind of useless,'” he recalls. The club’s first project was a rooftop solar-panel system, which reduced the school’s energy use by about 5 per cent.

Every three years since, the club has taken on a new major project imagined and researched by the students themselves. The school’s commitment to the club is remarkable, especially considering the challenges hands-on agricultural programs face in public schools. That a large percentage of Canada’s growing season falls during summer holidays is one obstacle, but limited time and financial resources are more stubborn issues. Even the most passionate teachers often lack the background knowledge to tackle such projects – and then there’s the bureaucracy.

Read the complete article here.