This season, the 17th Annual Flower Power Garden Tour is heading back to school by raising funds for Growing Chefs, a classroom gardening and cooking programme in Kelowna’s elementary schools.
This self-guided tour of nine private gardens includes an urban farm, a sprawling half-acre garden perfect for a wedding backdrop, a garden that looks like it could have been transplanted from Tuscany, a resort-like property complete with pool and koi pond and even a community garden where a neighbourhood gathers and shares their green-thumb knowledge.
Gardening experts Ken Salvail of AM1150’s ‘The Garden Show, Xeriscape guru Gwen Steele, Square foot gardener Toni Boot and the Okanagan Master Gardeners are available to help answer questions along with artists, demonstrations and tastings throughout these gardens located around the city.
Proceeds from this year’s Flower Power Garden Tour are earmarked as ‘seed’ money for Growing Chefs. This programme launched 9 years ago in Vancouver with the chef community working with the schools to get kids excited about good, healthy food. This exciting programme moved to the Okanagan last year with a pilot project of 30 children at Glenmore Elementary. This year, 16 chefs from the Okanagan Chefs Association are working with 100 children in classrooms at Glenmore Elementary and AS Matheson.
Over the course of three months, these chef volunteers visit the classroom every two weeks, helping students plant and tend to indoor vegetable gardens. The chefs engage the students in games, lessons, and activities focusing on plant growth, local and urban agriculture, sustainability and nutrition. The students harvest their vegetables and the chefs teach them to cook delicious, healthy meals with what they have grown.
On behalf of Flower Power, Harmony Honda, Art Knapp, Bylands, Telus and the Okanagan Chefs Association have already made a financial commitment to ensure the healthy growth of the Growing Chefs initiative in the Okanagan.
Tickets for Flower Power are available at Bylands, Art Knapp, Green & Bear It, The Greenery, Dogwood Nursery, Rick’s Garden World or online at www.flowerpowerylw.ca