The CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm
November 21, 2022
Chief Jimmy Bruneau School is proud to announce the official launch of a large-scale hydroponic farm – The CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm. In partnership with Agriculture Canada, Ttich9 Government – Lands Protection & Renewable Resources, and Ecology North, CJBS secured funding, training, and support to implement a project that will nourish students’ minds and bodies for years to come.
The main effort of the CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm is to promote healthy eating and living, provide access to quality produce, and improve science outcomes from K-12.
Providing opportunities for our youth to explore the culinary arts and become excited about fresh produce is of key importance at the farm. In working with the plants, from seed to sprout to plate, students will become excited about healthy eating. CJBS offers a foods program and local cafeteria service where some of the produce will be used. Those students can receive the same produce from the farm after harvesting to replicate the dishes at home. The remaining food is a by-product of educational outcomes and will be shared with the community.
The CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm has an enormous capacity for growing food. Operating at 100% capacity, 336 heads of lettuce could be harvested every 21 days. Other vegetables are planned but this highlights the sheer volume of quality food that will eventually be coming from the farm and going to families.
Hydroponics systems are ideal for education due to their ease of use and efficient use of space, time, and resources. The CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm is a set of 12 towers with supplemental lighting, nutrient solution reservoirs, and pumps. The farm has a capacity of 336 growing sites in a footprint of around 72sqft. As a hydroponic system operating indoors, we can grow crops throughout the school year even when temperatures dip below freezing. Components of the CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm are modular and portable; each can be rolled away to a classroom as needed.
The educational value of a farm can’t be overstated. It is a science class’s dream. Students from all grade levels will have access to a system that encourages them to troubleshoot, research, problem solve, collect data, make predictions, journal findings, and critically analyse situations. While all the amazing skills of scientific literacy are being developed, students working with the CJBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm will have a deeply personal connection to the topic through food for themselves and their community. Students will find the experience an engaging one. It is our hope by creating the conditions for engagement we may support student success.
In the coming months the farm will be constructed, and a subset of 4 towers will be operated as a pilot with the CJBS – Green Team as project leads with the support of Ecology North. As the Green Team develops their expertise, they will establish standard operating procedures, guides and troubleshooting tips. The Green Team will then act as the in-house experts following the pilot and will consult with other classrooms as they begin to use the systems as educational tools. This will be an excellent leadership opportunity for students.
The CBS – Knowledge and Nutrients Farm will be a cornerstone for healthy eating, educational outcomes, and engagement in the community. Students will lead the project and their peers, creating the conditions for success and community wellness. Stay tuned to the CBS FB page where you can check us out as we pump “Knowledge and Nutrients” from the system to student every day.