I’ve long looked at vast school grounds, wondering how much food could be produced if there was will. I’ve had friends try to climb that hill to no avail, primarily falling apart on concern for maintenance and who’s going to do the work. Like many things in the food world, perhaps it just took some scale – Jasper Place High School being one of, if not the biggest in western Canada at 2400 students. Maybe it’s just time.
I first noticed Dustin on Twitter, tweeting about permaculture projects at a local high school. After a few months, I figured I should get over there with a camera and see what he’s up to. So I did.
Turns out they’ve built themselves a food forest in a courtyard along with various setups of self watering raised beds, muck about with aquaponics, and have a greenhouse built a half century ago that may now be put to some good use [again?]. They’re producing food for students, engaging youth in food related issues and providing hands-on experience with plants. They’re sheet mulching and rainwater capturing their way to a more environmentally and socially responsible future generation. Permaculture in high school. I grew up in the wrong decade.