Windermere Garden Cafeteria Community Dinner

Windermere Garden Club

Windermere Community Secondary
  • Mixed Secondary School Grades
Video Project (1 video)

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To move forward with food and sustainability, we need to rethink our relationship with food and notice how when we understand what we eat, we begin to see how through eating, we bring our needs, wants, values and stories of who we are, from gender, ethnicity, history, class, to worldview with us. To understand what we’re losing -- so that we might know what needs to be reclaimed. As students of Windermere Secondary School, we believe that to accomplish this, engagement is key, so our project was to host a community dinner to encourage and showcase the impact that the garden and orchard spaces at Windermere has, and continues to have on our community and the relationships within it. Supporting student initiative through the process of food, from farm to table, creates a multidimensional space in which students, teachers, and the outside community can learn about one another and the environment around them. Planting, growing and harvesting food from our greenhouse, garden and orchard spaces through our garden club was a way to provide a local, healthy source of food for our event and was aimed to encourage sustainable food production. Additionally, working with students in the cafeteria program, the food grown was then used to create unique, homemade dishes to share with the attendees of the event. Understanding where our food comes from can be established through physical interaction with space, so hosting an event that includes a tour and meal was a good way to display the abundance of the harvest, both in the produce and the relationships formed through the club. Furthermore, we broadened our community relationships by inviting members of both the neighborhood and school; this event aimed to connect the whole community to their food system. Connecting an aspect of storytelling and art to the community dinner allowed a safe space to share and learn about one another alongside a meaningful meal. Amidst challenges to grow enough food, create an engaging event and add educational value to the tour, we managed to accomplish our goals to recognize our connection with our food. After a successful event with plenty of positive feedback, we are planning another Community Dinner this upcoming June. To add to the environmental aspect of the dinner, we plan to raise butterflies to coincide with our participation in the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway project. Additionally, we hope this will inspire creative and critical thinking towards our relationship not only with food, but also with nature, space, and each other. As a finale on the eve of our upcoming dinner, we plan to release the butterflies that we raised, to celebrate the end of a season and the start of a new one.