Friday, May 15, 2009

If You Build it, They Will Come...

This statement rang true today, for the breaking of ground on our Edible School Yard. There was a lot of planning, preparation, and many hours that went into this particular adventure. Today though was only the beginning of the journey.

A few months ago I was watching a DVD, today I forget the name, but at the end they talked about an edible school yard project that some inner city schools had done to "pretty up" their schools as well as give the teachers and students an amazing learning environment. The seed was planted, so to speak. From then I was devising how we would begin such an adventure in our school's courtyard, which has long since overgrown from its original beauty.

Then a few weeks later I received an email from a co worker mentioning that a past student was interested in doing some gardening with the students at our school. She put us in touch and what a blessing he's been! He came in and did about six hour long presentations about where our food comes from and this was the springboard to our Klub Kway activity day.

Students choose activities they'd like to be involved in and they get to have an afternoon doing something different from the ordinary. Students were playing a ball hockey tournament, others were enjoying a spa day, some played chess, while others scrapbooked, or did digital photography. Our group of 25 helped us embark on our gardening journey.

We showed them a clip from the "Edible School Yard" video, and the great thing was that it was from two schools in B.C. that had begun their gardens a couple of years ago. Then they decorated some pots that will be part of the herb garden.

Kyle, the great volunteer made us some garden boxes in which to grow our veggies. Our principal, Bryan made sure the soil got delivered. Sam, a fellow teacher was everywhere I could not be and the teamwork really paid off. We now have three boxes planted with various veggies, a whole box full of potatoes, and others full of greens. We can't wait to see the results.

It was SO energizing to be a part of this. I had numerous individuals, students and teachers come up to me and say what a great idea this was. Students that were involved today want to hang out in the courtyard to be sure that none of their hard work gets destroyed by other students. This was my suggestion:

Invite students over to take a look, don't make it out of bounds, but draw them in...get them involved! I bet if they started talking gardening to those individuals that may be a problem, those students would be out of there so quick they wouldn't have time to do any damage. But I have faith in our students that when they see what a cool project this is turning into instead of wanting to damage the area they will be drawn in and become the ambassadors of the garden!

I still have the excited feeling in my tummy that I used to get as a child when I knew that something cool was about to happen that day. The seed has been planted. We built it and the students will come.

Eat raw, Live Well
Create a Garden, Connect to the Earth!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Health and Wellness Conference at Moody Middle

I had such a great time presenting to three groups of 20 students at Moody Middle's first ever Health and Wellness Conference. The students were keen, interested and listened intently to everything I had to say. I began with a power point presentation illustrating my journey into raw and living foods. I spoke to them about what these foods were and were not, what I ate and choose not to eat anymore.

In the first session, the students were very attentive, and had lots of great questions. The second session was good, the group had a lot of energy, but were willing participants in the tastings. During the third session two students made a very good impression on me. Later my husband (who teaches computers at the school) told me that these two students were part of the Student Council and that they'd commented about how they are very intrigued with the whole idea of raw food and want to look into it more.

What I loved is that later, students were coming back to ask if there were any extras that they could eat. Some asked for the recipe sheet even though they had not been in my session. Others were asking how they could find more information on this way of eating and the lifestyle. I'd created some handouts with recipes, as well as websites that were great for learning more about this way of life.

Of course I told them about the blog - Hello Moody Middle - if you're reading this! Thanks for coming by. Thanks for a great experience at your school. I really enjoyed this and my energy levels were very high the rest of the day. When something feels right, it just flows and this is how this whole event felt like! There are more middle schools in our district that are going to do the same type of event. I know that I want to be a part of those now as well. Also, it's such a great thing for the kids to be a part of, I'd like to get one going at my middle school next year!

The best thing is, I've exposed another 60 kids to raw foods and got them talking and that's what it's all about!

Until next time,
Eat Raw, Live Well!

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