Wednesday, January 26, 2011

School Gardens Get Kids Excited

Maeve & Josh help harvest grapes. Photo by Fiona Gilsenan

Here's a great story from Oceanside, California. Teacher Mark Wagner started an organic gardening club. In a spirit of entrepreneurship, the school started selling their produce.

Harvest from the garden provides snacks for the pint-sized gardeners, as well as a lucrative lunchtime business. Fruit is sold during the lunch hour, for about 25 cents apiece. Kids all over the school know where Mr.Wagner's room is and know that he's got what they want: tangerines, apples, figs, fruit! The Garden Club has done so well that they've been asked not to set up on Ice Cream Day because the fruit is more popular than the ice cream!

Now, because this school is in Southern California they are able to sell figs, oranges, pomegranates, and other exotic fruits that we can't grow here in Victoria. But planting fruit trees and bushes is an essential part of the Fairfield Community Garden plan, including in the Commons area.

In fact, the list of fruits that we can grow in Victoria is pretty significant. Grapes, kiwi, apple, plum, berries of all kinds, figs, cherries, pears—certainly enough for the kids to make a few bucks.

Kerin Van Hoosear writes more about the organic garden at Palmquist Elementary school here.

-Fiona Gilsenan

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