Many Feathers' Junior Gardeners Program
EVERY SATURDAY 10AM - 12PM
JUNE 2 - AUGUST 25* 11-WEEK PROGRAM
1407 DERRY RD E. MILTON
(South side of Derry Rd and west of the 407)
*excluding long weekends
Seed: The Program
What is the Junior Gardeners Club?
The Junior Gardeners Program, also known as Mini Feathers, aims to introduce gardening, farming and sustainability to children aged 4-12 to enhance learning outside of the conventional classroom.
Every Saturday, from June 2nd to August 25th (except for long weekends), Mini Feathers will meet outdoors at one of our three community gardens to learn about growing our own food and gardening. Each week, we will tackle a different topic followed by a craft activity that the children can take home.
The Junior Gardeners program follows up on our Winter Explorer’s club and builds on the topics that were covered during the walks. However, children don’t have to attend the Winter Explorer’s club to be able to participate or understand the concepts that will be covered in Mini Feathers.
Planting: Our Team
Led by education professional Lorraine Fiset, environmental studies graduate Anika Tahsin, and with the help of generational farmer Ian Break, the Junior Gardeners program will teach all varieties of gardening and farming during its duration.
With their unique perspectives and experience in modern agriculture techniques, education, and traditional farming methods, they aim to offer an enjoyable and holistic learning experience.
Germinate: Where & Why
Mini Feathers takes place at our community garden located on the property of Cross of Life Ministry Centre. Though it is located on the outskirts of Mississauga and falls in Milton, this garden is the ideal location for the Junior Gardeners to meet as it is surrounded by agricultural lands. The agricultural land provides a stark contrast to our local community garden to show that no two farms are alike and that food can be grown in different places. Investing in our communities allows for us to keep close ties to our agricultural roots while remaining close to home. Food doesn’t have to only be grown on farms, they can be grown at home, in community gardens and community plots. What better place to learn than one that’s close to home.
Tend: Nourishing Young Minds
It is important for children to learn where their food comes from. Currently, we are four generations away from the farm: a lot of our food is purchased from supermarkets and our connection to our food is weaker than it ever has been before. A lot of hard work goes into food production: from tilling, planting, tending and even harvesting and much of that process is foreign to us. Agriculture has been a part of our lives for so many centuries and will continue to be a part for years to come. Children aren’t often taught in schools about how food gets from the farm to their plate. We want to change that.
Grow: What They'll Learn
We’re fortunate to be able to buy fruits and vegetables from all over the world and try new things. But a lot of work goes into producing what we find in supermarkets. We want our future generations to understand the value of locally grown food, and show that we can do it too! That’s what the Junior Gardeners program is about! With a little bit of hard work and fun activities involved, it’s possible to learn how to grow our own food.We want to make it fun for children to garden and inspire them to interact with their food on a whole other level.
Here’s what the program covers:
- We’ll start with the basics: soil, sunlight, and water and why plants need them. We’ll do a little planting of our own too
- Seeds are important, we can’t grow our food without them. We’ll learn about the different stages that a seed goes through before it becomes a plant and learn where to find seeds as well
- Small gardens are great because you can do everything by hand, but what about farms? How can you do all that work? Tractors, that’s how! We’ll learn about tractors, why they’re used and learn how to ride one!
- Why do farmers plant their vegetables in a row? Is it important? We’ll look at traditional planting methods and compare it to other common planting methods you can see in our garden
- Plants grow in different ways, some grow underground and some up above. We’ll look at different types of vegetables and compare how they grow and even make some ice cream
- Animals are important! We’ll learn about different types of small animals you can see in your garden and if we’re lucky, we might see some too!
- Insects might be yucky but they’re very important for plants - especially worms! We’ll learn about how worms break down our food and turn it into compost
- We’ve worked so hard, it's time for us to reap the rewards! We’ll be harvesting some of our locally grown produce
- We know that seeds are important, so we’ll be saving some seeds so we can plant again next year!
We’ll learn a lot, but we’ll also have some fun too! Each week, we’ll be making some pretty cool crafts: from growing our own plant to making ice cream, we’ll try to do a little bit of everything.