Their school may be in the middle of the city, but Vic High students are about to get a lesson in farming.
“It just makes me happy to be outside and doing something positive, and seeing the results of plants growing,” explained student Kenni Apt.
Victoria’s first school farm will see students cultivate their own healthy, sustainable, and local food – all as part of an integrated curriculum.
“Firstly students need to understand where food comes from, how it grows and that relationship between themselves and the environment,” said Greg Kitchen, Associate Superintendent of the Greater Victoria School District.
But, it goes beyond that. Canada’s farmers are aging and the government is worried about who will grow our food in the future.
“We have a lot of farmers retiring in the next 10 years and we need to get young people really excited to in growing our food,” added Aaren Topley of Farm to Table B.C.
Both the province and the city of Victoria have made agricultural education available a priority. Through programs like Farm to School B.C. and the City Harvest Co-Op, their aim is to spark an in interest in the next generation.
And the students say it’s about time.
“I think it’s a really positive thing. In public schools, we don’t have opportunities like this a lot. I don’t think I’ve seen a gardening club at a school since I’ve been in grade 2,” mused Apt.