Calling all Gardeners!

Autumn’s the season to plan and prepare gardens for the following year, so we’re organizing a general meeting for an evening in early October. If you have ideas, know-how or would like to get your hands dirty, please email and we’ll make sure you’re in the loop.

Have you had a chance to check out the amazing school garden? With the help of parent and teacher volunteers, the garden was watered and weeded over the summer and as a result, we’ve enjoyed an amazing crop of tomatoes, herbs and fruit! Thanks to TD Friend of the Environment for financial support, and to Fiesta Gardens who donated valuable supplies.


Garden Update: Builders, Weeders and Waterers Needed Now and Later!

The classes have done an amazing job with planting seedlings in the garden. Summer is just around corner and the garden needs your help!


New Strawberry Bed

This Sunday morning the garden team and other Hawthorne volunteers will be building a new container bed to house a strawberry patch. You’re welcome to come join the effort to build and plant the bed on Sunday, starting around 9:30 am.

Weedy Wednesdays
Join us every Wednesday for Weedy Wednesdays from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. to have fun and maintain the garden! There is some equipment in the deck bin so, contact Irene at for the combination or BYOT (bring your own tools & yard waste bags). Thanks for pitching in!  
Summer Water Sign Up
Let’s work together to make sure the garden is watered over the summer! If you are around, please sign up for one of the weeks in the summer to water the garden (as needed every 2-3 days, depending on rain). Contact Charles at if you can help out! 

Here’s the link to the schedule:

Garden Re-opening Ceremony June 14th 1 pm

Please come and join us for the launch of the Hawthorne II and Essex Schools garden! There will be a special ceremony to officially reopen the garden on June 14th, held in the gym at 1 pm.

The garden is a collaborative effort of parents, teachers, administrators and school children. We have come together to create a space where students can engage with and learn about local and sustainable food, increase their environmental awareness and build a sense of community responsibility. Above all, we hope the garden is fun, beautiful and inspirational for all of us at the school and the surrounding community!

We hope you can join us for this celebratory occasion!

Hawthorne II and Essex Garden Update – We Did It!!

We had a great turn out for the Hawthorne II and Essex Garden Clean Up on Saturday, May 4th! The crew worked hard on clearing the beds, weeding the garden, building a new inground bed and setting up a new deck box to hold all the gardening tools. Great job, everyone!  Thanks goes to Fiesta Farms for their generous donation of 35 bags of compost and soil!

Sheila Grantham (Gr 1) and Catherine Cyr (Gr 2/3) will be organizing the planting schedule for the classes at Hawthorne II and Essex over the next couple of weeks.

Yard Waste: The bags of yard waste have been left in the school garden since there is no yard waste collection. If you live nearby, could bring a bag back to your house for collection on Garbage / Recycling Collection Day on Wednesday night of this week?

Found: There was a blue vest left at the clean up so, if this belongs to you,  please contact Irene Toye-Nakamura at

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Garden Update: Successful Grant for Garden and May 4 Family Clean-up!

Hawthorne II and Essex Community Garden News

Calling all families to come out and support the Hawthorne II and Essex Community Garden on Saturday, May 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Our task will be clean up the garden, dig out the existing beds and get the space ready for the students to start adding compost and planting seeds. Please bring your own gloves and gardening tools for the clean up. 

The Hawthorne II – Essex School Garden Committee is very excited to announce that the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) has donated $3,000 towards the development of garden. TD FEF is a charitable organization dedicated to providing funding for grassroots environmental projects across the country. The garden also received a generous donation of organic seeds from the Seeds of Change, an online retailer of certified organic seeds, organic seedlings, and gardening tools and supplies. Thanks to both organizations for their support and donations! Garden design and planning are going to be the key next steps for the committee. Join us for our next committee meeting! Contact Irene Toye-Nakamura at if you’re interested in joining.

Update from the Hawthorne II and Essex School Garden Committee

The extended glimpses of sun, warming weather and persistent rain mean only one thing . . . time to start planting seeds!

In response to the survey sent out in November, we received about 75 responses from both schools that gave overwhelming support for the idea of revitalizing the Hawthorne II and Essex School gardens. With that vote of confidence and support from the school’s teachers and administration, our renewed efforts have gotten underway.

As a first step, a number of classes at Hawthorne II and Essex will be planting seeds in their classes. Since there is still not enough sunlight and warmth to plant outdoors, starting seeds inside is a way to begin growing seedlings early to ensure they will be ready for outdoor planting in mid-May. The students will be planting tomatoes, edible flowers and a variety of other herbs and veggies.

The next step will be to hold a community cleanup in late April or early May to prepare the garden for planting. More info to come!

The Great Big Crunch on March 7th – morning apple transport support required for classes!

Hawthorne and Essex schools are taking part in a cross-country event sponsored by Foodshare called The Great Big Crunch, happening this Thursday, March 7. It’s a special day of good food education, ending with a massive, synchronized bite into a crunchy fruit (or vegetable) at 2:30.  More info here:
We need a parent volunteer from each class to pick up apples from Joan’s office on Thursday morning before 9 AM and deliver them to your child’s classroom. Please confirm with or your parent rep by Wednesday morning that there is a volunteer for your class (it could also be a student for senior grades).

Parent Council Election – Nominations Due Jan 21 for Election on Jan 28

The Hawthorne Parent Council Election will be held on January 28th, at the start of the Council Annual General Meeting.

This year we are introducing a new election process for Council Executive.

Candidates for positions will be nominated in advance of the meeting (due Jan 21) and information about them will be circulated to parents in advance of the election (by Jan 23). Read more

School Garden Survey due on Dec 21, 2012

Hello Hawthorne parents,

We have plans for a reinvigorated garden, and are looking for parent volunteers to help get things off the ground. We’ve also created a simple and brief survey intended to gauge initial interest in the project, gather some ideas, and to help us determine directions forward. Please click here to fill out the survey Read more