Head to Keshen Goodman Library Sunday (Nov. 15, 2:30pm) for a screening of Slow Food Nova Scotia's new documentary, The Edible Schoolyard.
The film tells the story of a group of Summerville students with green thumbs. Dr. Arthur Hines' elementary students have been tending a vegetable garden at school for nearly six years, as part of a healthy-living initiative with Hants Shore Health Centre.
Gardening increases students' physical activity, consumption of vegetables and fosters community. Students prepare a banquet each October during the Harvest Festival, with the help of Michael Howell, chef and leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia.
"It's madcap mayhem from dirt to plate in about three hours," says Howell. "We always throw some curveballs and some strange and new food at the children." Last year, they made a Thai red curry.
Dr. Arthur Hines' teachers see gardening as educational, working it into the curriculum for most subjects.
Garity Chapman, urban garden coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, says children can learn a lot in the garden, including patience and ethics of care and responsibility.
Halifax Independent School and St. Catherine's Elementary School both have student-tended gardens. Chapman says the trend is growing.
"I get approached by a lot of schools interested in starting gardens, looking for funding or advice," she says.
At Sunday's event, Chapman will share stories of urban farms, collective garden markets and community compost projects she encountered on her latest research trip at Sunday's event. She'll be joined by speaker Kathy Aldous, project coordinator for Dr. Arthur Hines Elementary's gardening program.
Those who can't make the event can borrow the DVD of The Edible Schoolyard, which is now available at public libraries across the province.