Princess Margaret School - Feeding Our Kids and Our Community In The Garden
Our Impact Why We Exist
This is the absolutely beautiful space we have for our garden. It's in a secure spot, safely fenced, and is ready for the improvements we hope to achieve. With the desired grant money, we are hoping to add raised beds, as well as permanent irrigation.
While the space is fantastic, this site previously was home to grass for several years and with each season there is just more and more and more crabgrass growing throughout. Underneath is hard clay, not rich soil.
With the addition of raised beds, we will be able to easily invite our community seniors, as well as our physically challenged citizens, (both of whom may face mobility issues) to take part in seeding, growing, and harvesting with us all season!
Our Story What We Do
Every single school day, all year, we run a cafeteria program at Princess Margaret. We feed everyone who lines up - even those who don't have money to pay. (Sadly, we have a number of children who come to school hungry each day. Happily, we endeavor to make sure they get a great lunch!) Clearly, with the costs of rising food in the valley, it would be immeasurable to be able to grow more of our own food to serve.
One of our goals that we strive for is to have a Salad Bar Day once a week all year long. People may not believe it, but kids line up for Salad Bar Day as often as they line up for any of our other delicious choices.
We do our best to provide as many of the veggies on the salad bar from our very own garden. This past year that has primarily been tomatoes, herbs, shallots, and some lettuce. Our goal with our improved garden will be to add many more crops, such as a variety of lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, way more tomatoes, peppers, beans, carrots and more.
In turn, with a better space, less weeds, better irrigation, and raised beds, we will have crops abundant enough to share our wealth - and we'll be happy to give to our neighbors - be it the Salvation Army, Soupeteria, local families - whoever has a need. As well as this, we'll be inviting those people and groups to come and get their hands dirty themselves, thereby connecting with our community, and enhancing the social and mental health of all involved.
Our Programs How We Do It
Every day is a challenge! We run 4 Cafeteria classes and 4 Foods and Nutrition classes concurrently each day. It can be very fast paced, but it's a program we're proud of. Our students learn so many valuable skills that are used in all the aspects of their lives. Healthy eating, basic food preservation, local choices, First Nations perspective and history, cuisine from different cultures, safe food handling, inventory control, baking, pricing and much more.
We run on a very tight budget and strive to do our best with what we have. This is one of the most important reasons we are asking for a financial grant from The South Okanagan Community Foundation. An improved and higher yielding garden would drastically reduce our grocery bills when it comes to healthy vegetables.
What You Can Do
Here's our space. It's secure with a great fence, gets good sun in the day. It's peaceful and serene, but it's in terrible shape. The soil is clay-ridden. The irrigation leaks and pools. The crabgrass has taken over.
With raised beds, we'll have a fresh slate. A beautiful and comfortable space where we can plant brand new crops and tenderly see to them all season long. We know that with new soil, complete with new irrigation and the comfort and ease of new raised beds we'll have a garden that absolutely flourishes.
With our new landscape, we'll be so happy and proud to invite community members in to our space. We look forward to approaching The Concorde and The Regency here in the south end of Penticton and inviting any interested seniors to come and join us, and we will learn and share all we can. We will also put the word out to local Maggie families that interested parties are welcome to come and help maintain the garden, and then take what they can use.
Along with feeding our own hungry kids and teaching about growing and preserving, that we will have more produce than we know what to do with. We will be able to share that food with agencies such as the Salvation Army and Soupeteria.