This blog post is written by Morinville Community High School teacher Neil Korotash. This article is the first in a series that his students will be sharing over the school year. Follow their urban agriculture adventures here!
Over the next several months, Urban
Agriculture students from Morinville Community High School will be posting various articles in this space. These students will be sharing with you some
of the field trips and activities that they are participating in around the
County as part of the new course. You’ll be able to see through the student’s
eyes what they are learning about gardening, agriculture, local businesses, and
the sustainability of our food system.
The course, new to MCHS and the region, is
designed to teach students in a hands-on way some of the homesteading skills
that seem to be less and less commonplace these days. Students are learning how to grow food
including everything from raised vegetable beds and cold frames to hydroponics
and everything in between. These skills
are then connected to Foods credits where students learn to pickle, butcher,
cure, and make homemade pastas and breads.
Some of this year’s activities will
Chicken – We’re very fortunate to have several students who raise chickens in the County and a visit to the Krupa farm will allow students the opportunity to kill and butcher their own animal. Students will also be visiting Tri-West Poultry and a local egg farm to fully understand how these birds go from farm to our table.
Pork – Similar to the chicken experience, students will buy pigs from Ron & Karen Sobey’s Belle Valley Berkshires and visit to learn about pig farming. Nestor at Country Quality Meats will then dress and split the pigs so that students can butcher them, and learn to make their own bacon, ham and sausage.
Small scale crop production – Students will continue to learn how to grow indoor greenhouse crops such as basil and mint and sell those at local farmers markets and retail outlets. Currently, MCHS grown fresh basil & mint are available at Morinville Sobeys!
These are but a few examples and others
activities will include pressing apple cider at Sprout Farms or picking pumpkins and
enjoying some farm fresh ingredients at PrairieGardens!
This will be the second year for the course
and we have had tremendous support from businesses and farms in and around
Sturgeon County and Morinville. Major
sponsors include Sturgeon Valley Fertilizers,
Champion Petfoods, and MorinvilleSobeys while the County and the Town have been very supportive as well.
We hope you will check back often to see
some of the great things that are happening in the County and how MCHS students
are learning all about it!
This course continues to evolve and we are
always looking for new and exiting ways to teach the students about their food,
healthy eating, and sustainable living so if you have any ideas or suggestions,
please let us know! I can be reached at MCHS by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone
Sturgeon County Bounty is a Sturgeon County Economic Development initiative, aimed at providing local producers, chefs and processors with an opportunity to promote and expand value-added agriculture in the region. more
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Morinville, AB, T8R 1L9