High school students in Morell are growing a garden right in the school's backyard. It's called Good Food, Good Health, The Morell Garden Project.
The students and their co-ordinator, Kara Cousins, spend their days in the vegetable and fruit garden behind Morell Regional High School. They're growing a variety of items including corn, cucumbers, and butternut squash.
It's a full-time summer job for four students. They've been working on the garden since early July.
"We come out here every day and we weed and we water and we maintain, and so, I think for each of us it's been incredibly rewarding just to see the rewards of our work," said Cousins.
Learning about gardening plus budgeting, healthy living
This is a pilot project for the school. It received provincial funding to hire the students for the summer and got support from the Adventure Group and the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island.
Not only does this project teach the students about growing and maintaining a garden, it also teaches them about budgeting their money and about eating more healthy food.
"I've learned that gardening does take a lot of maintenance, there's so many bugs and weeds that could grow in the garden and you have to do a lot of gardening. So learning that, I realized that gardening is a lot harder than it looks," said 15-year-old student Madelyn O'Hanley.
This experience is part of a bigger picture for 15-year-old Carson Myers.
"[I'm] thinking about starting my own business at the farmer's market. I'm going to need time management and money management," he said — all skills he's learning through this summer's project.
'The importance of putting in the time'
The crops will be harvested and served in the school's cafeteria in the fall. Organizers hope that as the garden expands over the years, eventually they'll be able to deliver food to community groups as well.
"I've been just amazed to see the growth of the students too, and I think the amazing thing about working in a garden is just all of the metaphors maybe that they are with life, and so, as a group, we've been learning so much about the importance of putting in the time to maintain the garden and when you do that, you will see results," said Cousins.
The high school will host a celebration day at the school this Friday to honour the achievements of the students.
Cousins will help maintain the garden into the fall, to make sure that everything is harvested and prepared before the winter comes.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Before and after: 'Quite a transformation' for St. Peters lighthouse
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Dry spell: Island farmers desperate for more rain