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Monday, July 23, 2018

Garden Helpers Rock!

McLean Family Helping with garden tending!

Watering bags for the trees donated by Mackenzie and Lucian Dupras  

Finn and Gabe Stone tending to the gardens!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

First donation of the season to Parkdale Food Centre

July 5, 2018

We dropped off the first harvest of the season which included spinach, lettuce and basil to the Parkdale Food Centre today!  
The centre was hopping with activity as guests were awaiting lunch and volunteers were busy in the kitchen preparing fresh and tasty food.  

Such a fantastic community resource this centre is!  
It is a shining example of how all food banks could be operating.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Garden progress!

July 4, 2018 

The last day of school we had a few classes come out and harvest radishes and pick lettuce - thank you to the teachers for your effort to do this during a busy time!  We heard that some students went home with little take away packages and other students munched up their supply in class 😊

A huge thank you to all the parent volunteers that have already spent, or will be spending a lot of time weeding, watering and mowing the grass during the summer break.   This could not be possible without a tribe of helpers so thank you!


Monday, June 11, 2018

2018 School Gardens are Growing!

We're off to a decent start this year with most of our crops planted with students about 1 month ago.  We've had some hiccups again with our water source again which meant that some seeds didn't get the water they needed at the beginning - and I think we're seeing the evidence of that now.  The spinach, lettuce and carrots are having a hard time but other crops like potatoes, onions, garlic and radishes are doing well! 

When we did our planting day with students, we talked about three things that seeds need to grow into plants - soil, sun and WATER.  While mother nature has helped us out in the water department, this is proof that we really do need water to help our crops grow!

We'll hopefully be harvesting the radishes before the students leave in 12 days and we'll plant another round of corn to be ready in the fall when everyone returns.

We're doing an experiment with the potatoes again.  We're covering up some of the greens with soil to see if we can yield more potatoes that way - you'll see that in the picture below or if you check out the gardens in person. 

As a friendly reminder as the gardens continue to grow, the crops are not meant for community members to pick.  You are welcome to admire our work but please leave the crops there for students to learn from when they return in September.  Please pass this message along to your neighbours and friends.  Thank you 😊

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Gardens are opened for 2018 Season!

St Cecilia's School Gardens 
are now open for the 2018 growing season!  

We had our annual garden clean up on Saturday May 12.  Thank you to all the parents, students and teachers that came out to help us prep the gardens and clean up the school yard!  

We also have an amazing new garden sign thanks to parent volunteers Machelle and Paul and their creativity.  We love it and Thank You! 

On Tuesday May 12, we had 19 classes come through and plant a new crops for this year.  We have some returning favourites:  carrots, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, onions and beets and some new crops that we've never tried before:  corn, basil and spinach.  Thank you to Megan, Laura and Tina for helping me facilitate all the planting with so many students - it could not be done without you!  

If you are interested in helping maintain the gardens during the summer months, please email Brandy at StCeciliaSchoolGardens@  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Actually...One Last Hurrah Before Winter!

I had thought our school gardens were done for the 2017 season, however another St Cecilia parent (thank you Machelle Giovagnoli!) offered us garlic bulbs and rapini seeds.  I didn't know that both of these could be planted in the fall and then will start coming up in spring.  So we got a couple of classes together to do one final planting today.  We learned that garlic likes to be covered with hay as it rests for the winter but that the greens will start to push up in the spring.  We may even get lucky and have some garlic ready before school is out in June!  Rapini is quite interesting - it is a seed but likes to be planted in fall.  It may start to sprout before the first fall - but then gets covered with snow and will apparently keep going in the spring.  If all goes well, we'll be able to harvest the rapini before planting the next set of crops in the spring.

Now that is truly a wrap for the 2017 season...see you in the Spring!  

Grade 4's planting garlic
Kinders planting garlic
Grade 6's planting rapini

Monday, September 18, 2017

That's a Wrap for the Summer 2017 Season!

Last week, we had at least 16 classes come through the gardens to help harvest the crops that were grown and learn about them.  It is fantastic to see such great engagement and use of our school gardens to enhance and further our children's learning!

On Friday, we had 12 classes rotate through each garden and we talked about what makes a crop a root vegetable (something that grows in the ground like our beets, radishes, carrots and potatoes) versus one that is not (something that grows above the ground like our lettuce and kale and pumpkins).  Each class got to take a big bag full of various crops and we were happy to see many tweets of classes exploring them further in the classroom later that day.  It was so rewarding to see this whole project come full circle and to see the students engaged and interested in the process.  

We unfortunately did have some crops go missing (our entire carrot bed was taken home by someone in the public).  We will be officially making a sign for our gardens for the next growing season to indicate that the crops are for student learning (or for donation to Parkdale food centre when crops are ready over the summer season). Please pass on the news to our community that our school gardens are not open to the public for picking :)

We are also considering perhaps growing rapini and garlic over the winter months which would be ready come spring.  I had no idea that this was how they grew but we have a connection for seeds and may be able to make this happen if some classes/teachers are interested - so stay tuned for that!  


This entire gardening project could not be possible without the support of Mrs. Green, St Cecilia's teachers, Mr. Colin and the help of our great volunteer team.  I apologize if I miss anyone, but a special thanks for all that you did. We will be looking to recruit more people next year so if you have interest in gardening and ensuring this project continues to be successful, please don't hesitate to email Brandy McDevitt at

May 13th clean up day
Estelle Mendonca and family
Laura Villeneuve and family
Shannon Bradford and family
Sharon Qiao and family
Brahma and family
Heather Coghlin and family
Laura Stone and family
Fedja and Wendy Pejic
Sarah Yorke and family
Tina McLean and family
Terri Poole and family
Liam Bowman and Julie Dunphy
Myles McDevitt and family
Mrs Green
Mme Drouin
Mrs Smith

Garden Planting Days
Megan Kunsken, Heather Coghlin and Sharon Qiao

Summer Maintenance
Shannon Bradford
Elena Righetti
Estelle Mendonca
Laura Villeneuve
Laura Chisholm
Heather Coghlin
Fedja and Wendy Pejic
Megan Kunsken
Tara-Lynn White
Terri Poole
Tina MacLean

Harvesting day
Megan Kunsken