The Durham College Whitby campus is opening a garden this spring and it’s more than just a garden, it’s a teaching tool.
They will break ground at the garden late April with the help of the agricultural students who will help prepare the space and plant the garden. The horticulture students will take care of the garden and harvest it at the end of the season.
The garden will have an apple orchard, green houses, berries, vegetables and a variety of plants for the horticulture students to use in their studies.
Not only will agricultural and horticulture students get a chance to reap the benefits, so will the culinary students at the Centre for Food at the Whitby campus.
The Centre for Food offers several different programs such as culinary management, horticulture food and farming, agriculture as well as hospitality management.
According to Dave Hawey, culinary co-ordinator at the Centre for Food, the students from both programs will be introduced to the “Field to Fork” concept, which is the process in how the food gets to the plate.
They will be integrating the food from the garden into the culinary labs, the Pantry which is the Centre for Food store and Bistro 67, the student restaurant.
The restaurant will be providing information on where each of the locally grown food on the menu have come from as a way of promoting their ‘field to fork’ concept.
The Centre for Food holds a green restaurant certificate given by the Green Restaurant Association obtained by using the school’s own produce in their facility.
“We are proud to have this certification in all food production labs and both food retail service areas in the Centre for Food,” said Hawey.
In order to receive the certificate, the school had to qualify in specific areas such as water efficiency, food sustainability and pollution reduction.
The school must go above and beyond to make sure it runs efficiently and with the environment in mind to be certified.
Once the garden is up and running, Hawey says it will serve as a way to take the students out of the classroom and see how to do different aspects of the garden such as planting, harvesting and keeping the garden maintained.