News & Events
Sep 16, 2015
St Joseph's Elementary school really digs its spuds
It wasn't quite what they expected on their second day of class, but last Wednesday, September 9, 2015, students at St Joseph’s Elementary on Burnside Road got to ‘dig the spuds’ they’d planted last Spring.
In April the entire population of the school was inspired to plant potatoes by Bishop Gary Gordon of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria, and Fr William Hann, then-pastor of St Joseph the Worker parish, after hearing them talk about putting faith into action. With the help of Doug and Nancy Kowbell, parents of a grade one student, the children put seed potatoes into the newly turned earth, and waited all summer for the result.
Thanks to the attention of several volunteers over the summer, including Karen and Brian Douglas from the parish, the garden survived the drought, and last Wednesday students enthusiastically harvested buckets full of potatoes, unearthing several worms and liberating one ladybug in the process.
“This works directly with Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Laudato Si’, or ‘On Care for our Common Home,” said Bishop Gordon. “We have to take care of the earth, and really, that means taking care of people. These kids have done a small thing in the grand scheme of the world, but it is a vital component of teaching a sustainable ecology right in our own back yard. The children have learned what it is to ‘get your hands dirty’ taking care of others.”
Some of the potatoes have been donated to the 9-10 Club Serving Soup to the Hungry at St. Andrew’s Cathedral; the remainder will be included in the annual Saint Vincent de Paul food drive which will be held on October 16, 2015.
Plans are underway for an even larger crop in 2016, but for now, the children at St Joseph’s Elementary are happy to see the results of their labours, and even more, to have put their faith in action.
Photo credits: Connie Dunwoody