The program began as an idea in September 2008. From there it became a reality in the form of a garden on the school campus- two 6 by 6 foot garden beds. At that time we also had a garden at the Mt. Scio Ecology and Justice Centre, run by the Sisters of Mercy.
Over the years the garden program has been run at several different community gardens in and around St. John’s, including the MacSheffrey Community Garden, the Oxen Pond Community Garden and The Gathering Place garden. Always we have had a garden on campus.
The garden has been ‘staffed’ by student volunteers. This has included students from grades 7-12. We have also, more recently involved younger students from grades 3-4 to help with planting of seeds and seedlings and harvest. The hope here is to connect the garden to curriculum meaningfully. It is also an opportunity for our older students to be leaders in the true sense- so that students are teaching students.
Finally, the compost program- the original idea for the school- compliments the garden. The idea is to compost organic waste into soil, so that we close the loop on waste at the school as a community. Just now students in Grades 4 and 7 are tasked with looking after this.