by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville Community High School’s Urban Agriculture program grows a considerable amount of vegetables and berries around the school each year. While they have always been happy to share their rhubarb, mint, and chives, they ask people to leave the rest of the produce for students.
“There has definitely been an uptick last year and this year,” said MCHS Teacher Neil Korotash. “Probably the same couple of people that think they’ve discovered their own private garden and can get away with it.”
The produce, harvested during the summer and fall, is used to teach students how to make jams and other items.
“Normally students would meet me there during summer to harvest raspberries, saskatoons, haskaps, etc., but not this year. I’m doing it all myself due to COVID.”
Korotash said the harvested berries are frozen and used in the fall to make jams, pies, sauces, and other recipes taught in his class, adding potatoes wind up as French fries and tomatoes get used for salsa.
“We are happy to share some stuff and regularly post on our social media when people can help themselves,” Korotash said. “Right now, people can help themselves to mint, chives, rhubarb, and remaining haskaps if there are any left.”