ECO Club News
Busy busy month for the Eco Team. We have been busy cleaning outside, planting, fundraising and a trip to the Bluffton Landfill. The race is on to get everything in place for the end of June. I'm always amazed and sad at how
quickly a year seems to fly by.
Thank you to everyone who supported our plant sale. Profits will go back into the Eco Team fund to help buy tools, plants etc. The raised beds have been planted with carrots, beans, onions, potatoes, beets, and pumpkins and we are once again hopeful for a good year. As always the heart of a farmer beats strong praying for no hail storms and the right amount of rain.
Our trip to the landfill was enlightening for kids and adults. Our goal was to bring awareness to our kids about the amount and type of material that goes into our landfills. We are such a throw away society! I sincerely hope that we caused some of the kids to stop, think and become a strong advocate for reduce, reuse,recycle program. Thank you to Evelyn and the Ponoka County for the tour and the treats afterwards.
I will be sending home a summer maintenance sheet next week. Please consider supporting our program by giving a couple hours one week out of the summer to maintain our veggie beds. It is very much appreciated! Next up is a trip to the Ellis Bird Farm on Tuesday, June 5. I love that place and they have such great programs. Finally I want to say a very big thank you to parents of Eco Team members. You have been such an exceptional help this year! Plant sale and helping outside has been a lot of work! I couldn't have done it without you! Also, thank you to DawnMarie Gillard for all your help pruning shrubs and looking after the front flowerbed. It looks great! Thank you!! “To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body but her soul.” Hands in the dirt and face in the sun...enjoy your garden!
Our Eco Team is off and running! There are 13 team members excited to learn and explore our environment.
We were very fortunate to take a field trip to a local potato farm. Sunny Crest Seed Farms is located 18 km south of Crestomere School on Lincoln Road. Sunnycrest Seed Potatoes Inc. was started in 2000, by John and Marlene Ekkel. Three out of four children help them on the farm bringing a different set of skills to help manage the business.
They started small with 2 varieties of potatoes but now incorporate greenhouses and raise 27 varieties to accommodate different requirements. They are also grain farmers growing canola, barley etc.
Our tour started in their greenhouses where they showed us the little fingerling potato starters that grow in a sugar medium. They grow in the greenhouses until July and then the very small potatoes are harvested and stored in a climate controlled room sorted by varieties. A simple timeline of the potatoes in the bag of chips or the french fries from a fast food restaurant to the bag of potatoes you buy is:
Year 1 - plant fingerlings, harvest and store
Year 2 - Plant small potatoes ( cost $1.00/potato) harvest and store
Year 3 - Plant year 2 potatoes, harvest and store
Year 4 - Ship off to different parts of Canada and USA. Plant potatoes on farms,
harvest and store.
Year 5 - Ship to grocery stores, and processing plants such as McCains, Old dutch etc.
Isn’t that amazing! The potato in that bag of chips you are eating is 5 years old!
We saw big equipment that is not very common in this area. Very unique and interesting! We were able to see potatoes being sorted and loaded onto a truck bound for Idaho. Kids were able to climb a potato mountain! So much fun!
Such a valuable learning experience! Thank you Jeff Ekkel for showing us around and sharing your passion for farming! We loved the treat too!
We have been learning about all the things that go into the landfill, plastics, metals, electronics, chemicals, etc. To further our understanding we are planning a trip to the Ponoka County Landfill on May 3, 2018 with the grade ¾ class. A trip to the landfill! Yikes! But I think the kids will it find it interesting how we have become a throwaway society. Together we can change society’s attitudes and start to preserve our earth by reusing instead of throwing it away.
We are gearing up to plant outside now that the white fluffy snow has left. Clean up day is on May 3 in the morning. Staff and students will be outside picking up garbage, raking leaves, and preparing raised beds for planting. Please send gloves with your child as we will NOT be supplying any.
“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” Janet Phillips
Looking forward to another year of growing!
Mrs. Bogath and the Eco Team