Constructing Cold Frames


Teaching a course like Green Industries can be tricky in the fall season, headed into a cold Canadian winter, as a big emphasis of the course involves growing plants. This presented a perfect opportunity to introduce the concept of “cold frames”, which allow gardeners to keep growing crops outside even in Canadian winters. What’s more, we were able to upcycle the pallets that we had our soil delivered on, and use them as the material to construct our cold frame. Waste management is another emphasis of the course, and learning about reusing materials to build something practical and productive, as opposed to sending them to a landfill is a win-win-win. Stay tuned to see how our crops flourish in the next month!

Planting Native Species With the TRCA


After being put to work outside in the cold rain and ice, during many of our Green Industries classes, I was hoping that Mother Nature would make it up to us for our trip to a natural area in Etobicoke to team up with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Fortunately, we were treated to a sunny day and 18*C weather. The sun energized our group as we spent 2 hours of hours planting a variety of different native plant species, while learning the importance of establishing and propagating such species for ecosystem health and improving biodiversity. The students worked hard, and were rewarded with leftover halloween candy and lunch at the Sherway Gardens food court. The TRCA crew was so impressed with our effort and attitude that they are eager to maintain a partnership with our school and excited to invite us back out to a variety of different efforts and initiatives that they’re working on around the city.

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Halloween: Pumpkin Carving


For the spirit of fall and Halloween, Reinman’s green industries class ventured to Loblaws to buy pumpkins to carve, but as we learnt whilst in the course we have to be prepared for the unexpected. They were out of pumpkins! So in replacement we all got different sorts of squashes, gourds, and pink pumpkins. A few students even got kombucha (a healthy kind of soda!) another important lesson we learnt that day was to always check the receipt to make sure they charge you correctly and that they add the sale prices.

As we returned to school we had to make some changes to the carvings so they could fit on the various vegetables.

Than the final step began. The carving. We went on the terrace and carved some spooky, creative designs! Overall it was a fun day with many lessons along the way.

Student blog by: Krys M

Team Unbreakable Virtual 5K!

Students participate in last years Team Unbreakable running event
Photo from last years Team Unbreakable event

Well, while this whole pandemic has put a damper on our training it can’t keep determined athletes from keeping fit! The YMCA Academy’s Healthy Active Living classes hit the ground running when the lock down struck and spent the first couple of weeks researching the best ways to keep active during this predicament and constructing plans to keep fit at home. And If I have been led to believe correctly, all of my Healthy Active Living students have been doing just that.

Now it’s time to put our money where our feet are and cap off the year by taking on the Team Unbreakable Virtual 5K. This year, we won’t be gathering in a large group to complete the distance, but rather participants can run or walk 5 km on their own, at their leisure, at any point between 9 am and 9 pm on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21st. It happens to be the perfect way to celebrate your dad! If you feel like joining the team please check out the Team Fundraising Page of YMCA Academy where you can sign up.

I hope to see you all out there! … virtually, of course.

Green Our Homes With Green Industries

 

When Green Industries had to make the shift to online learning, it was a bit of a bummer, as it meant we weren’t going to be able to do all of the hands-on learning and field trips that we had planned. But I like to look at the opportunities that situations like this can present us. Now that we had to learn at home, why not use this opportunity to improve our homes, indoors and out, by greening them!

Students Green Their Homes With Green IndustriesWe began by learning all about the benefits that immersing ourselves in nature can have, and how adding a few plants into our living spaces, and participating in gardening can improve our mental health in trying times. We practiced propagating plants from ones that we already had growing in our home as well as growing our own food from kitchen scraps, getting artsy while making plant labels from upcycled materials found around the house, and preparing garden beds outdoors.

 

Now that it is warm and sunny out, the students are moving their growing from the indoors to the outdoors, and we are continuing the greening process from the comfort of our own yards!