Cheryl Klassen’s Grade 4/5 class at Lady Grey Elementary School has had the opportunity to get out of the classroom over the last few weeks and enjoy the spring weather as part of the Golden Sprouts Garden Mentor project.
As part of the program, students take a short walk down the street to a garden on the property of Sige Liebmann, where they have planted a variety of vegetables including potatoes, peas, spinach and lettuce.
The United Church has also offered the use of their garden for the project, and are being cared for by Klassen’s students as well.
The students are mentored by local volunteers Jean Dakin, Joyce Nixon and Donna Attewell and the program is coordinated by Caroline Heim. Columbia Basin Trust and Wildsight helped with funding.
“It gets them outside and it gets them learning a life skill,” said Heim about the children that participate in the mentor project. “The goal is to have this keep going and to create a program that can self-sustain itself instead of having to get funding every year.”
Liebmann used to garden the property himself but has been too busy the last few summers.
“It’s great that I have found somebody who wants to garden it,” he said. “When they told me that it would be the kids out there gardening, it made it even more interesting because I think that’s important. That’s something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
The students will continue to plant vegetables over the rest of the school year and Heim hopes that the kids and their parents will help maintain and make use of the garden throughout the summer.
After the fall harvest, plans are in place to have a dinner at Lady Grey that will incorporate some of the food that was grown at the garden.