Local and Seasonal
Fresh food, close to home
In school food gardens we have the opportunity to grow a diversity of organic foods. Fresh foods don’t need transportation, taste better and have more nutrients than food that has been shipped over long distances. In Toronto, much of the food available in supermarkets is grown in California and travels to us by truck. The fuel used in transportation and refrigeration means that in a typical household, the fridge and its contents are the biggest energy-guzzler in the house. To improve the imported food’s ability to be shipped and stored for a long time, increased application of chemical pesticides is required. Emphasis on long-distance travel and shelf life tend to compromise other characteristics such as food diversity, good flavour and nutrient value. We’re proud to provide a source of delicious local food on our school grounds that travels zero food miles from garden to table. Besides the fresh produce we contribute to the school food program, kids love to eat fresh fruits and veggies right there in the garden.
Locally grown seed
When we save our own seed from one year to the next, we select the plants that are most productive and healthy in our school garden. Gradually, the plants we grow become adapted to local conditions of soil and climate. As a result, they’re more healthy and productive in our organic gardens. Kids have fun collecting seeds and re-planting them.
Eating in-season food
The school food garden is a great place for learning about when different foods are in season. Children and their families can put their knowledge of seasonal foods to use when shopping at the grocery store, saving money and food miles by purchasing locally grown food when it’s in season. When kids start to understand that some foods are only available at certain times of the year, harvest time takes on a new meaning. If children have the opportunity to experience the taste of fresh foods associated with special times of the year, their appreciation and enjoyment of whole foods grown in the garden is likely to increase.