Thursday, 6 June 2013

Elmbank Children's Garden comes to Life!

Pact Grow To Learn's Elmbank JMA Children's Garden is beginning to really take shape! Over the past 3 weeks, the TDSB's Sustainability Office tilled the earth twice using a tractor in order to loosen the soil, kill any weeds and grass, and grade the earth to improve drainage of water on the site. The garden space measures 90 feet by 100 feet. The design for the garden came together in early April and was a collaboration between the TDSB Sustainability and PACT GTL teams.

 We measured and laid out a plumb line so we knew where to place our raised beds according to our garden design plan

 The PACT team carefully placed the raised beds by using measuring tapes to create 4 foot paths between each raised bed. The raised beds are 8 feet by 4 feet, and 8 inches deep, made of cedar. Cedar is the best kind of wood to use in the garden because it is rot resistant.

 We set to work filling the raised beds with the soil from the pathways between the beds. We will mulch with cardboard and wood chips along all of the paths.

 Hard work but we managed to fill all 29 raised beds in one afternoon! Way to go team! Thankfully we had some amazingly helpful Kindergarten and Grade 5 students help us after school!

Thanks to Al, Sonhita, Patti, and Sophia for all of their hard work. The teachers and students at Elmbank JMA are extremely excited to get planting the sprouts they've started in their classrooms. We'll be mixing mushroom compost into the beds to top them up and add some nutrients for the plants. Then classes will each get their own raised bed to plant and care for. Each grade will focus on a plant family, and its companions so the garden beds will be organized and we can maintain a crop rotation from year to year.

More to come soon!

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