“And This is My Garden”: the documentary

As a relatively new veggie gardener, I completely understand the way that a home-grown cucumber or tomato or bean can make its grower well up with a ridiculous amount of pride. I want to show the fruits of my labour to every hapless passerby on our downtown street. (I mostly restrain myself but it’s not always easy.)

So it makes a lot of sense to me when Northern Manitoba school teacher Eleanor Woitowicz explains in the new documentary And This Is My Garden that pride is one of unexpected side effects of school-based gardening.

Woitowicz says that food comes so easily for most of us—especially children who often don’t know what a tomato or cucumber plant looks like— that having to work for it really alters the way a person sees what they eat.

The doc, made by Katharina Stieffenhofer, is a story about what happens when Woitowicz and her fellow teacher, Bonnie Monias, start using gardens as an educational tool, especially linking it to the science curriculum. It follows the kids as they create and maintain backyard plots of their own so the learning continues outside the classroom.

The film won the “Most Inspirational” award at last year’s EcoFocus Film Festival in Athens, Georgia. Check out the trailer here, or you can buy the DVD from Stieffenhofer’s site. For Toronto-based school gardeners, there will be a screening during FoodShare’s upcoming school garden conference. See the schedule for details.

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