Students at L’École Bilingue harvested much of the spring crops they had planted on June 18th! Grade 1s collected their giant sunflower plants to take home and care for in their own gardens. Kindergarten students harvested their early potato crop and were surprised to find over 200 potatoes despite last yield of only 14. Grade 2 students pruned the garlic scapes off the tops of their plants in order to allow the bulbs to fully mature, while Grade 3 students harvested peas, corn mache (a type of lettuce) and basil. A second Kindergarten class also harvested the following day, with nasturtiums, curly lettuces and kale collected in preparation for the next day’s harvest party.
The students were brought out to the beds in small groups by UBC Student Teachers doing a Community Field Based Experience practicum, but the planting and care of the garden over the past few months had been done by students, parent volunteers and Marnie Newell of SPEC. The harvest was the culmination of months of planting, watering, weeding, and much watching and waiting. Students were thrilled to get their hands dirty, learn about the plants they were harvesting, and prepare the vegetables for shared consumption.
The process was finished with all the classes in sharing and eating the crops! The 3rd grade class ate a salad from their combined mache, basil and peas and a scape vinaigrette, prepared by their classroom teacher Alison. The Grade 2 students brought their scapes home for sharing with their families. Students feasted on roasted potatoes and salad with scape vinaigrette. The students tasted the school garden’s bounty, with many enjoying second helpings of the salad and vinaigrette which they had initially been reluctant to try.
New plants were planted by another Grade 3 class on Thursday where the potatoes had been, and plans are now underway for properly staking the summer crops that remain, covering the tomatoes to protect from blight, and creating a watering and weeding schedule among volunteer parents and students.