Sowing Seeds of Climate Action
Edible Garden Project (EGP)
Related Course Concepts
Food justice, Food security, Asset based community development, Cultural identities, Colonialism
Edible Garden Project (EGP)
Mission and Vision of Organization
To work together to meet the grassroots needs of our neighbours, especially our most vulnerable residents, to build a safe, healthy, and strong community.
Our vision is an inspired culture that celebrates and experiences growing and sharing fresh, healthy food for all in the North Shore community.
Guiding Principles + Values
- To cultivate a network of people growing and sharing local food on the North Shore
- To increase access to fruits, vegetables, and garden space for those most in need on the North Shore
- To increase land used for fruit and vegetable production on the North Shore
- To increase knowledge and skills relating to food gardening, thereby increasing community capacity to grow and share locally grown fruits and vegetables
- To advise on and support policy development around urban agriculture
- Primary Contact Person(s): Stephanie Korolyk (she/her/hers)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 250-891-1098 (cell) or 604-987-8138 ext 231 (office)
- Address: Office: 225 2nd St E, North Vancouver, BC, V7L1C4
- Website: http://ediblegardenproject.com/
Preferred Method of Contact
- Best method(s) to contact: Email
- Best day(s) to contact:Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
- Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons
Context: What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?
The Edible Garden Project (EGP) is a program based within the North Shore Neighbourhood House focused on food security and sustainability. We connect people with fresh, healthy food by cultivating a network that grows and shares food while supporting sustainable regional agriculture. Urban green spaces (i.e. gardens and farms) provide multifunctional solutions based in nature for cities to help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Additionally, they create a sense of belonging, cultural identity and social cohesion for community members.
Food systems have been (and will continue to be) greatly affected by climate change. And over the last century, 94% of seed biodiversity has been lost. The loss of genetic diversity and regionally adapted seed varieties makes it more difficult to adapt to changing weather patterns, pests, and diseases. The EGP has started building a seed field at Loutet Farm in North Vancouver, where a culture of seed cultivation, saving, and exchanging is growing. Through educational workshops and hands-on opportunities, a community engaged in the entire seed cycle can emerge. The seed field is an essential component to teaching elementary-aged students the importance of resilience, biodiversity, and regional adaptations in empowering local food systems and fighting climate change on a larger scale. It’s both a demonstration, and somewhere to experientially engage with the topic.
Main Project Activities
The seed field was designed to be a hands-on tool to engage the community in a seed’s life cycle, and demonstrate how growing, saving, and sharing seeds is of vital importance during the climate crisis. The EGP has not yet designed and implemented educational programming for this area of the farm. We are looking for lessons to be linked to the BC elementary curriculum and provide opportunities to engage for young learners of various backgrounds and abilities.
Thus far, school groups have used the seed field to build hands-on gardening skills but have not participated in any aspects of seed saving and cultivation. The EGP currently partners with six local elementary schools to deliver hands-on garden-based education throughout the school year. One of the schools, Brooksbank Elementary, is next door to Loutet Farm; thus, their sessions are entirely based at the farm.
Students from LFS 350 will develop curriculum-based lesson plans for the seed field and help introduce the lessons to Brooksbank elementary students in late March. The lessons will eventually be integrated into our wider educational programming schedule, such as summer camps.
Expected Project Deliverable(s)
- Students create 2 curriculum-based lesson plans, fitting thematically into seed field activities (sourcing local seeds, growing seeds, crop observations, saving seeds, seed sharing, etc.). One lesson will be for younger elementary students (Kindergarten to grade 3) and one will be for older students (grades 4-7).
- Lessons plans should include learning outcomes, activities, materials needed, curriculum connections, and any other relevant parameters (e.g. seasonal restrictions);
- Students participate in one session with elementary students from Brooksbank Elementary School on March 30th, 2019, helping introduce the activities. This involves 4 classes visiting for 40 min each, running from 9am-12pm.
- NOTE: We do not expect UBC LFS students to be leading the groups in activities. Staff from EGP and trained volunteers will mainly facilitate, with UBC LFS able to give input and participate as they are comfortable.
Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)
- Research: Selecting age-appropriate, hands-on activities for kids and relating them to a local, regionally-specific landscape
- Communication: Creating lesson plans for students aged 5-13 and ability to present information to various participants (EGP staff, teachers, volunteers, elementary students)
- Organization: Able to stick to timelines, and present information in a clear, concise lesson plan format for use in a variety of formats (school field trips, summer camps, etc.)
- Some knowledge of the BC Curriculum, or willingness to navigate that educational structure and apply to chosen activities
Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)
- An ability to translate large-scale, global issues (climate change, loss of biodiversity, food insecurity) into fun and engaging age-appropriate lessons for elementary school students with a focus on seed cultivation and saving
- Relating BC school curriculum to activities that create hands-on learning experiences at the Loutet Farm seed saving field
- A holistic and “systems” approach to tackling globally relevant problems on a local scale (food security on the North Shore)
- Knowledge of climate change effects including biodiversity loss, and the importance of seed saving, regional adaptations, food security, and urban farming
Are there any mandatory attendance dates (e.g. special event)?
- Yes: Monday, March 30th – working with Brooksbank elementary students at Loutet Farm.
Is a criminal record check required?
If a criminal record check is required, when should the process be initiated?
Before the first community partner meeting. The student team must collect all group members' full names and addresses in one email. This list should be sent to the community partner as soon as possible to initiate the necessary paperwork.
Preferred Days of Week and Hours
Regular business hours during weekdays, but this is flexible. There are specific days that the Education Coordinator is unavailable due to working in regional schools, but this can be discussed with the group as the need arises.
Related Community Service Opportunities for Students
- Students can continue helping with our educational programming in schools and at Loutet Farm throughout the school year
- Hands-on farming experience can be gained by helping with farming activities through harvest or regular drop-in shifts (starting around April and running through late fall)
- Volunteer at our annual Seedy Saturday event: March 7th, 2020
- More info here: https://ediblegardenproject.com/get-involved/
Project/Partner Orientation Materials
Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:
- Amazing Seeds - why local, diverse, resilient seeds matter (BC Eco Seed Co-op)
Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials
The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:
- On-site visit to seed field at Loutet Farm during first meeting (Jan 22)
I hope students will learn about...
- The global climate crisis presents a multitude of issues that require creative problem-solving and a systems-thinking approach. It spans many disciplines and demands collaboration to address the complexities. This project will direct students to focus on just one issue, informed within the larger context of climate change. The global loss of seed biodiversity has real implications on food security, and agriculture in general.
I think students will come to appreciate...
- the impact of sharing knowledge about local diversity and regional adaptations on a community’s resilience, thereby helping mitigate local effects of climate change. The aspect of later sharing physical seeds, such as through seed libraries or Seedy Saturday events, creates a sense of agency over local issues; food security was listed as a key priority issue on the North Shore after extensive community consultation by Vancouver Coastal Health in 2006.
Through this project, students will develop...
- Lesson plans that help students learn about the entire life cycle of a seed, thereby participating in an initiative that engages the local community through both educational opportunities and hands-on activities. These initiatives must be accessible and inclusive, and LFS 350 students will appreciate that need after developing resources and clearly communicating their results in lesson plans to be used by EGP education staff and volunteers.
Intended Project Outcome (short-term outcome)
EGP staff will use the lesson plans developed by UBC LFS students to present well-researched and developed educational programs on seed cultivation/saving that are locally relevant and age appropriate for elementary school students on the North Shore. The seed field will be utilized more effectively as an educational tool, and students will be participating in a larger initiative within the EGP related to seed saving. Elementary school students will be more engaged in programming based on the life cycle of seeds, learning from lessons based on the BC curriculum. These lessons will be situated on land dedicated exclusively to the initiative, resulting in a memorable and lasting learning experience.
How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?
EGP is striving to create a food culture on the North Shore that celebrates and experiences growing and sharing fresh, healthy food for all – especially our most vulnerable residents. One of the three pillars of our organization involves teaching others of all ages, with a major focus on elementary-aged students.
With the seed field at Loutet Farm still in its infancy, the students of LFS 350 have a chance to develop lesson plans and create new educational opportunities that connect our participants with the entire life cycle of a seed.
Learning about seed saving can be an incredibly powerful tool in the face of climate change: it builds local resilience, increases biodiversity and regional adaptations, and grows community through learning and sharing opportunities. Building food security on the North Shore is at the heart of our organization, and this project informs one more facet of that.