Kai Eversfield (left) and Robert Wallace Nicundano MacDonald working the farm stand. (Photo courtesy Leah Selzter)

Greater Victoria students help bring small-scale urban farming to community

The high school students presented their work at City Hall on Nov. 13

Students in the Greater Victoria school district participated in a small-scale urban agriculture project over the summer and were able to grow food, connect with the community and improve their mental health in the process.

The Seed the City project was open to all secondary students in the district. Thirteen students from Mount Douglas Secondary, Reynolds Secondary, Victoria High School and Esquimalt High School took part in the program and put in at least 100 hours each over the course of nine weeks.

The project was a partnership between School District 61 (SD61), LifeCycles and Topsoil, explained LifeCycles program manager Leah Seltzer.

LifeCycles has been operating in the Capital Regional District for over 25 years and seeks to develop communities that build, share and harvest food.

Seed the City emerged from a need to bring agriculture to schools and help students in high school learn about career paths associated with farming, Seltzer said.

READ ALSO: Match making service connects gardeners with plots

She worked closely with the students all summer teaching them about the many aspects of urban agriculture.

Students earned work experience credit through the program and spent their summer growing vegetables in the courtyard gardens at Reynolds Secondary and salad greens in the new, above-ground, micro-farm beds provided by Topsoil. The students also attended workshops and field trips and ran a stall at the Topsoil farmers’ market each week.

Seltzer pointed out that none of the students dropped out of the program and that many spoke of how much they enjoyed learning, eating healthy, being outside, connecting with their peers and building something that lasts. The garden remains on the school grounds and has provided fresh food used in the cafeteria throughout the fall.

On Nov. 13, the students presented at City Hall during a small-scale urban farming information session.

The program has given them several opportunities to become advocates for what they care about, Seltzer noted.

READ ALSO: Submissions open for 2020 Teeny Tiny Garden Tour

Seed the City exposed students to career paths in horticulture and sustainability which is the goal, according to District vice-principal Lindsay Johnson, who oversees the career path programs in SD61. Helping students figure out who they are and then find a career path that aligns with who they are while still in school is the district’s goal, she noted.

Many of the students who participated indicated a desire for a livelihood involved in making positive change, Seltzer said. Now, they know that farming isn’t just happening in rural areas and that they can combine life in the city with their passions for food-growing.

Seltzer and Johnson are hopeful the program will run again in the summer of 2020. For updates, visit the lifecyclesproject.ca.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Student injured after being struck in the EMCS crosswalk

Injuries appear to be non-life threatening, but student was transported to hospital

More rowers come forward with complaints about coach, criticism of UVic

Barney Williams is accused of verbal abuse and harassment

Jeneece Place receives bags of holiday gifts from Save-On-Foods

Store provides $1,000 worth of food, $600 in gift cards for families with sick children

Canada ranks among countries most impacted by severe weather

Canada has climbed from the 42nd spot to ninth on the Climate Risk Index

Brotherston sentenced to three years in prison for Sooke home invasion

Home invasion took place on Feb. 9 and left one man with face and head injuries

VIDEO: Andrew Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

RCMP take care when burying sex mannequins found this year in Manning Park

Police tasked with ensuring the mannequins were completely disposed

Mount Washington receives more than 30cm of snow

Last week, the resort announced they were pushing back opening day due to lack of snow.

B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

Home support down, day programs up in annual rating

RCMP rescue wounded raven on Vancouver Island highway

Bird expected to make full recovery

Be aware of ticks when chopping down Christmas trees

Potential for ticks to transfer to clothing

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

Most Read