Students from Captain Meares Elementary Secondary School at the Tahsis community garden on Monday. (Submitted picture)

Tahsis students step out for socially distanced farm to school activities

Students from Captain Meares Elementary Secondary school get productive with outdoor education amidst pandemic

Students from Captain Meares Elementary Secondary School in Tahsis carried out socially distanced food-farming activities in the community garden plot.

After COVID-19 disrupted school activities and weeks after staying indoors, 11 students from grade 7-12 stepped out to tend to their “mini- farms.”

Teacher Brooke Jones, along with a parent and organic master gardener, Terry Fassbender, were present to supervise the students on Monday.

In the community space, 10 garden beds have been allotted to the school by the Tahsis Community Garden Society in support of the Farm to School BC program run province wide to promote healthy, local and sustainable foods in schools.

Students are responsible for maintaining these beds and growing vegetables there, said Jones.

Since students attended in small numbers, social distancing was not a problem as they worked on individual beds spread across the garden. Jones also said that as a physical activity, it was a good way for students to do productive work outside their homes.

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Jones said that it was “refreshing” and a much needed mental break for the children who were craving some “social interaction” amidst the lockdown.

This activity will take place once every week, under proper social distancing protocols and students will be awarded school credits for the work they do in the garden.

Prior to the lockdown, the school children used the produce they grew in the community plot for their food class and prepared communal meals for school and community members once a week.

They handled all aspects of preparing meals on this particular day, right from deciding the menu to budgeting.

The school encourages such activities to teach the importance of food security to its students.

“Teaching children how to plant and care for their food is especially important in this remote part of the island where food security is very important due to high costs of vegetables and their accessibility,” said Jones.

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