Aquaponics in 4Pezz


By: Mathew
Aquaponics is a plant system that feeds the plants and it has fish and when the fish poo it gives the plants food. The plants cleans the dirty water for the fish. Having aquaponics is fun to have in the class. We planted peas, peppers, cucumber.
By: Jada
Aquaponics is fish and plants that help each other grow. There is two tubes. One of the tubes that goes up and one that goes down. The one that goes up come from fish. There is fish poop in that one. The goes down one is clean water. I planted cucumber. It is fun and I love it.
By: Cheyeanne
Aquaponics is a system that combines fish and plants together. It works with two tubes in there. The dirty water from the fishes goes to the plants they sucked it up and the clean water goes down to the fish. We planted spinach, peas, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and oregano. And I think it’s great to have plants in the classroom.

By: Adam
Aquaponics is a structure where fish help plants grow. Fish poo and the plants use it as fertilizer. We planted peas, cucumber, and spinach. It is good. I like having fish in the class.
By: Sofia
Aquaponics is something like having a plant and a fish together. The water is absorbed the clean water so fish can be alive. We planted tomatoes, and spinach. It is nice and fun to look at the garden.
By: Jhonerey
Aquaponics is a type of cycle that goes round and round. First the fishies pee or poop which makes the water dirty. So there are tubes that suck them up and rises up to the roots of the plant, the roots of the plane sucks it to the plant which help it grow, and clean the water then the water goes back down. We planted oregano, peas, and others. Aquaponics is awesome in our class. It’s incredible.
By Kyle:
Aquaponics is a garden with plants and fish. The seeds use the water from the fish to grow. The plants clean the water for the fish. We planted tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, and peas. I like having aquaponics in the class because I like plants.
By Yuan:
Aquaponics is a form of garden where you need fish and plants to work together to make the plants grow. First the fish poop and the poop goes up in a tube to the top and become fertilizer for the plants, the plants absorb it and grow. We planted peas, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, and oregano. It’s like having a garden inside.

By: Chigoa
Aquaponics is like growing plants and fish. The fish poo. The poo goes to the plants so the plants grow up and the plants clean the fish water. We planted tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, peas,
and oregano. I like having aquaponics because it helps us to learn science.
By: Aldrich
An aquaponic is a fish tank and a little garden that is together. How it works is the fish poops and it come on the top where is the garden so it could store more food, and the plants clean the water for the fish. We planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, oregano, peas, spinach, and other plants. I think it is a lot of fun!
By: Kevin
Aquaponics is a system that combines fish and plants to make the system work. First the fish poo then the tube sucks up the dirty water gets filtered and it makes the plant grow. The things we planted are tomatoes, cucumber, oregano, peas, spinach, pepper. It is good to have aquaponics because it helps the environment.

By Makayla:
Aquaponics has fish at the bottom and the plants are at the top. The fish poop goes to the plants for fertilizer and the plants clean the water for the fish. We planted peas, tomatoes, cucumber, oregano, spinach, and peppers. It’s cool to have one because we planted some food and its cool to see fish.


Learning About Roots


The Grade 4 class visited the garden in order to learn about root systems. The frost has ended our gardening plans early, but the grade 4’s were able to continue to learn after the plants had shrivelled up!


Here’s what some of the grade 4’s wrote about the garden:
About using the Learning Garden:
By: Kylen
The other day we went to the gardens at the school. We pulled some of the plants out of the garden and we found taproots. A garden is a good thing to care for.
By Nyriack:
We were pulling out roots. Also all kinds of plants, like zucchini plants. There were lots of roots. All of us pulled out roots. We saw roots. I learned that roots are important. It is nice and beautiful to have gardens at school.
By: Angel
A few days ago my class pulled out some plants from a bin full of dirt. When we pulled out the zucchini plants we noticed the roots were taproots. I learned that zucchini plants only have taproots, and not fibrous.
By: Neo
Me and my class went outside and we pulled and looked for different roots plants and we looked for tap and fibrous. Plants need a lot of care. I like having a learning garden at school because I can look at cool plants.





Community Support


When I approached the RMWB about the learning gardens, I was very enthusiastic. I figured I can do most of the work and that it would get done no matter what. I mentioned opportunities for partnership like the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc, etc. but I wasn’t sure how to get them in place. Suddenly, I looked at my summer schedule and realized I would only be in town for about two weeks of the summer. It was scary to realize that no matter how much I wanted to do the work, I wouldn’t physically be there.

This is the garden when I left for my summer vacation. One of the beds. You can see why it needed tender care. IMG_0021.JPG
I decided to try and use technology to help me find support. I signed up on and set up times for volunteers. I sent out requests in our school newsletters and made posters for the school. I happened to meet a member of the Board of Directors of Girls Inc and mentioned the garden to her as an opportunity for their summer camps. I also sit on the BoD for the Boys and Girls Club so I suggested the same to the camp counsellors.

As it came down to crunch time before I left I had enough volunteers. Between myself, Girls Inc, the Boys and Girls Club, and a volunteer family recruited through the Fort McMurray Gardening Enthusiasts page; there were enough volunteers to care for the garden.

We also had some guardian angels from the parks department at the RMWB and McMurray Aviation. These ladies made sure that the garden got ample water until our water tanks were delivered. A huge thank you to Crystal and Rai and anyone who came out and helped them.

The garden looked amazing. The care given ensured that it flourished and grew. It was so exciting to stop by and see campers from Girls Inc watering and harvesting. Getting pictures from families showing their harvests and how they cooked them was another highlight.

The garden when I returned from my first 2 week adventure. Looking fantastic and lush! IMG_0016.JPG
Beet salad from a Father Turcotte familyIMG_0028.JPG
I am so happy that the community took care of this garden. I had people come up to me and speak to me about it while I was there. An elderly woman visits the garden often and waters some of her own plants. She is a pleasure to speak with. I cannot wait to see what this year holds as we try out new gardening techniques. Thank you to everyone who has supported the garden by visiting it, sharing it on social media, and just going to the park and enjoying it to show that it is a public space.

Planting Day


Well, it is now September and planting day was about 2 months ago. It was an amazing day. The children were really excited to finally be planting their seedlings.

I carefully went outside before they came out and labeled the garden boxes with chalk to show them where to plant. Two months later it is obvious the excitement got to them and they planted wherever they wanted to :).

Some of the children were very apprehensive. They didn’t know how deep to dig the hole, how to get the plant out of the container, or how to plant it without getting their hands dirty. Quickly they learned that getting dirty was part of the program. With that caution out of the way they really opened up and started having fun with it. There were about 30 kids of varying ages working together to put their seedlings in the earth.

After the recess bell rang, there was still a lot of planting to be done. Some students graciously offered to be late for their end of the school year festivities and continue to help me plant. Together we made sure the potatoes were safely tucked into their tire planters.

The school year ended quickly after and I was very scared the garden wasn’t going to succeed. Vandalism, poor weather, lack of volunteers. These were all challenges the garden had going against it. The next post will outline what happened over July and August.

**please bear with me as I am trying a new app to make these posts. We received our iPad minis that are going to be used in the garden and I am hopeful that students will be able to write future entries. I am currently trying to figure out how to post photos with the entries. 🙂 I think I got it to add one photo. I will pursue gallery as an option. Thanks again for your patience while we are learning.