BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation

  1. Programs
  2. Resources
  3. Celebrity Chef
  4. BC’s Agriculture
  5. Programs


The Pencil Patch at the Abbotsford Community Garden

The BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC) has partnered with the Abbotsford Community Garden Society and the City of Abbotsford to encourage people of all ages to participate in the growing of food. A large section of the garden was set aside for BCAITC to work with local schools.

Four Abbotsford Elementary Schools attend the 'Pencil Patch' garden throughout the school year. We currently work with eight teachers from the Abbotsford School District to include their students in the planning, planting, and growing of their gardens. On the first visit, they plant their garden and on the second visit they harvest early varieties of lettuce, green onions, radishes, Swiss chard and peas. As students are led through their many activities, throughout the garden area, raised beds and milk house, it is a perfect opportunity for learning through outdoor education.

Starting in the spring, all grade levels (K-12) are invited to attend the Pencil Patch and participate in self-guided tours facilitated by our staff.

“The tour is excellent, it was a big hit.” ~ Bonnie Cunningham, Langley Meadows Elementary


Program Goals

  • to give teachers and students the opportunity to experience an outdoor classroom where they can plant, grow, harvest and eat their own “crops” as well as engage in the food story.
  • To provide teachers with an opportunity to meet learning outcomes in multiple grades and across multiple subject areas using examples from agriculture in a real setting with hands on learning experiences.
  • To share ideas and concepts with others wanting to create their own Pencil Patch at their own locations.


Program in Action


"The community garden project has been an amazing experience for my students so far.  Most of my students live in complexes, so are not exposed to a backyard garden. They have little understanding of what it means to grow food and had no idea that everything from brussel sprouts to dill are grown right here in Abbotsford."

-Julie Loland, Teacher, Terry Fox Elementary



"I learned that planting is harder than it looks, because most people think you just have to water it. You actually have to check on it and tend to it by feeding it with water and fertilizer, and making sure it gets enough sunlight.” – Josh


“I learned that we shouldn’t be afraid to get dirty because that’s what happens in gardening.” – Kylie


“I learned that there are a lot of different bugs and pests that I didn’t know about, and different weeds that we learned to identify so we wouldn’t pull out a plant.” - Taya

For their October visit, students got to harvest carrots and participate in a pumpkin activity.