- Grade 1
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We would like to acknowledge that we learn, play and grow on the traditional lands of the Tla’amin Nation.
The story of our project is the story of Tommy Tomato. Just as Tommy Tomato learned how even the smallest tomato could make a difference we learned how small changes made by small children can make a difference. Our project was inspired by the First Peoples Principles of Learning. The creation of our class book titled “Tommy Tomato Jumps In” (see attached pdf. file) follows the principle that “learning is embedded in memory, history and story” (www.fnesc.ca). We chose to tell this story as a book so we can share our learning beyond our classroom. As grade 1 students we know that children love colourful books with fun characters so we created Tommy Tomato to teach others how easy it was for us to reduce our carbon footprint by growing, harvesting and cooking from our school garden.
In keeping with the First Peoples Principle that “learning takes time and patience” (www.fnesc.ca) our project started few years ago when Grade 5 students at Westview Elementary school in Powell River, BC created a composting program to reduce waste. In June of 2018 Farm to School BC visited our school and toured our garden with advice for improvements. In the fall of 2019 last year’s Grade 1 students planted garlic in our school garden. Over the Winter and Spring of 2018/2019 our teacher, our Vice Principal and the school district Food Literacy Coordinator worked with Farm to School BC to purchase garden supplies to make the most of our garden space and kitchen supplies to turn our harvest into yummy food. In spring of 2019 last year’s Grade 1 class eagerly used the wheelbarrows and shovels purchased with the help of Farm to School BC to move the compost from our composting program into our garden beds. As well in the spring of 2019 our school district 47 Landed Learning pilot project built additional garden spaces at our school which included a perennial herb garden. Last year’s Grade 1 class once again got to work and filled the herb garden with compost and planted oregano, basil, chives, thyme, and parsley. In June 2019 the garlic was harvested, dried and replaced with tomatoes grown from seeds from our local garden store Mother Nature. Thanks to the water timer and hose purchased with help from Farm to School BC and thanks to our school compost Tommy Tomato and his friends grew all summer until we started Grade 1 in September 2020. We picked tomatoes and mixed them with with garlic and herbs from the garden. We used blenders, food mills and crockpots purchased with help from Farm to School BC to make pizza sauce. We were surprised how yummy our home made sauce was so decided to compare sources of carbon dioxide emissions from packaged pizza and homemade pizza. When we learned how much growing our own food could reduce greenhouse gases we wanted to share what we learned with the rest of our school and community so we created artwork and wrote the story “Tommy Tomato Jumps In”. Our teacher then sent our artwork and story to Vistaprint who turned it into the book seen in our video. As Tommy Tomato learned how to reduce carbon dioxide emission by making pizza sauce so did we.
Even though we are submitting the project for judging it is far from over. Garlic is growing for next year’s Grade ones to once again make pizza sauce. We hope to expand the garden to grow more tomatoes so we can preserve sauce for pizza our school lunch program. Our book is now in our school library and we have plans to print more copies to share with other schools and our community library. Everyone who reads our book will learn how even small changes can make a difference.