Green Apple School Program - A Metro Initiative

Worms make a Garden Grow!

  • Project Leader: Amber Bowen/Jen Houston
  • School Principal: Mike Reimer
  • Number of students 450
  • School Macklin Public School 136Ingleton Boulevard, Toronto
Project Photos
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The Healthy Idea Post Mortem

Please note the information found below has been published by project leaders and has not been edited by the Metro Team.

The project:

We are going to use a Verma compost system to make healthy soil.In order to feed the worms, we will need huge amounts of compost...which we will be gaining from fruit, veg and wheat compost....so the more the kids eat healthy, the more apple cores, banana peels etc we will have to feed our worm friends! Thus creating healthy rich soil to create a school garden.

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How we'll spend the $1,000 grant:

The vermacompost kit and worms is expensive. We would use the grant to purchase the worms.

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How did you hear about us?

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Summary Report

Have you changed the specific nutritional behavior?

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How many students participated?

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How did you spend the $1,000?

Our school used the grant money to fund the purchase of worm compost chalets. As well as the chalets, our school benefited from an eco awareness presentation on how to care for and cultivate our worm supply. Our first year objectives were to learn about the worms, begin the process of housing/caring for them, and hopefully begin to benefit from the rich soil provided by the compost to grow our own edible garden.

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What activities to change students’ social environment did you do?

Our whole junior division took part in the presentation (aprox 300 students). The ongoing care of the chalets was the responsibility of 2 of the classes who also partnered with kindergarten classes to feed and check on the worms. We had an eco team of 9 students who educated lunch classed on appropriate food (as waste, appropriate to feed the worms) altogether our whole school of aprox 650 students will benefit from the worms, as their by-product (nutrient rich soil) will be used to garden with.

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What activities to change students’ physical environment did you do?

Students were encouraged to make healthy food choices for their lunches because leftovers could be fed to the worms! Kids were eager to bring fresh fruit and vegetables to school in the hopes of feeding scraps (apple cores,peels,etc.)to the worms. processed sweet treats are not worm edible, therefore we saw less of those types of things coming to school. We have yet to start the community garden,but hope that having ownership of our food from start to finish, will encourage healthy eating.

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What other activities did you do?

Our school plans to continue the composting process with the hopes to start a garden. We have been able to get some soil from the worms and have started a few seedling plants indoors. It is definitely an ongoing project and requires a big commitment to succeed.

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What opportunities for feedback did you put in place?

"Cathy's composters" came to our school to do the educational presentation to students and was a pleasure to have because of her enthusiasm and eagerness to teach kids about making better sustainable choices. The biggest highlight was by far seeing some of the students go from being completely afraid of touching the worms ,to showing others how to put compost into the bins with their bare hands! Listening to the feedback of the students was very encouraging.

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