Vancouver’s The World in a Garden plants seeds of food security with bee school for kids

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      Bees shouldn’t be seen as scary creatures, according to Tricia Sedgwick.

      The founder and executive director of The World in a Garden told the Georgia Straight that these pollinators play an essential role in the growing of many foods, such as almonds and blueberries.

      “We can plant seeds, but if we don’t have pollinators, then a big percentage of our food is not available to us any longer,” Sedgwick said by phone.

      Sedgwick’s Vancouver-based nonprofit will share this message with kids during its upcoming bee school, which takes place at its communal garden in Kerrisdale.

      There are morning and afternoon sessions, and hands-on classes are scheduled for July 13, 14, and 15. The cost is $60 per kid for the four-day sessions.

      According to Sedgwick, who’s a registered holistic nutritionist, kids ages 5 to 12 will learn about the life cycle of bees, how to take care of a beehive (with beekeeper Markus Storhas), and why honey is an important food for both bees and humans.

      “I think it’s important for them to understand how our food system works on a deeper level than what they experience in a grocery store,” Sedgwick said. “I think it’s important for them to grow their own food. Without pollinators and without water, we can’t have food.”

      The bee school wraps up with a market day on July 16, which teaches participants about “responsible entrepreneurship”.

      Sedgwick noted that the kids will harvest honey from the beehives, package it in jars, label them, and sell the fresh product to the public as a fundraiser for The World in a Garden. They’ll also sell produce grown in the garden.

      “The kids just love it,” Sedgwick said. “We’ve gotten great responses. One of the biggest things is that they are very interactive and engaged. So, for me and I think for all of us that are working on the project, it’s just so rewarding.”

      The nonprofit's garden is located in Kerrisdale.
      Stephen Hui

      Since the garden hosting the bee school lies in the Arbutus corridor, it lost a strip to CP Rail’s demolition crews earlier this year.

      “It’s important to have biodiversity,” Sedgwick said. “Even with the train coming in and clearing out all of those plants, we lost so much biodiversity because of that.”

      Sedgwick noted The World in a Garden is focused on expanding internationally. Last November, the nonprofit built a garden in Costa Rica.

      “We are working to not just increase access for kids in Vancouver, but kids that are in developing areas,” Sedgwick said. “So the proceeds from our garden market will go to a project in a developing country after this. I think it’s important for kids to understand how to give back.”