Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry and travelling strangers use a stone to persuade villagers to each share whatever contribution of food they had to make a soup so that everyone could enjoy a hearty meal. The lessons of this story are the values of sharing, giving and working together.

Like the wise travelers of the Stone Soup story, Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation funds gardens to help provide food and, works together with the willing, to create those moments to inspire a generation. The Foundation achieves this with its corporate partners such as Whole, Earth & Sea and by working with natural health retailers to support their local communities and align their shared values of health, wellbeing and environmental stewardship of the planet.

Examples of these valuable retailer partnerships that have been forged include:

  • The Granary Bulk & Natural Foods signed its first 4-year partnership agreement with the Foundation in support of The Carleton Place & District Youth Centre. The centre runs activities that introduces kids and youth to the fun of gardening, learning to grow various foods used in their food programs and teaches participants valuable life skills.

Below are stories from these gardens and how their harvests bring more than meals.

Port Weller School, The Peanut Mill Natural Foods & the Foundation School Garden Project, St-Catharines, ON

Photo Caption (from left to right): Teachers Carrissa Gracey, Registered Early Childhood Educator; Katie Wood with Jason Sebeslav, owner of The Peanut Mill Natural Foods Market in the school garden.

With our shared values of the promotion of health, education through seed-to-table experiences and community building, The Peanut Mill Natural Foods Market continued their support to the school garden at Port Weller Public School, St-Catharines, ON.

Promotion of Health

From September to late October, students snack in the garden on tomatoes, peas, kale, and sometimes peppers. They look for insects, dig for worms, watch the strawberry flowers form tiny green immature strawberries, and sample the mint and chives. They enjoy being out there and seeing the changes throughout the weeks.

The students learned that composted manure has vitamins and minerals that the dirt/soil needs. One student connected that to the vitamins that she takes to make her body healthy and strong.

Education through Seed-to-table Experiences

In October, the kindergarten class dug up the sweet potatoes. One student thought they were carrots because they were orange and under the soil. This led to a discussion about how carrots can be many colours, and sweet potatoes could be as well. The students found white and purple carrots in the garden and did a taste test to compare what the colours “tasted” like. They found they were all very similar, even though they looked so different!


The kindergarten class planted garlic. The senior kindergarten students remembered that the clove needed to go in the right way up, so they showed their junior kindergarten friends how to plant it properly. During the activity, one of the students asked what had happened to the garlic from the year before. Ms. Gracey said, “It was taken in the summertime, when it was ready” (unfortunately, we had someone helping themselves from the garden who took all the garlic). Another student suggested that “maybe a homeless person took it and that’s okay because they needed it more.” This led to a discussion on food security and growing food in our school yard.”

Photo Caption: Young students from Port Weller Public School brought the harvest from their garden to their local food bank.
They even made a handwritten note.

Community Building

The school garden is gaining more interest from its own community members. So much so that their Parent Council purchased seven picnic tables for the garden site, arranged around the garden beds. The picnic tables encourage people to gather and sit together during the gardening activities, helping to build a sense of community among the students and their families.

In addition, the Port Weller school has gained recent recognition for their school garden project from the District School Board of Niagara  – they even featured the garden in their 2022 Earth Day celebrations.


Carlton Place Youth Centre, The Granary Bulk & Natural Foods & the Foundation Community Garden Project, Carleton Place, ON

Thanks to the combined support of The Granary Bulk & Natural Foods and the Foundation, the Carleton Place & District Youth Centre’s community garden was able to sustain their food programs during their summer camp. Together with their summer camp counselors and gardener volunteers, they planted approximately 30 tomato plants including Roma, Beefsteak and Cherry varieties. They also planted lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini and potatoes. The participants were able to harvest over 300 tomatoes and 100 pounds of potatoes that they shared with the Lanark County Food Bank, ON. They used the produce in their various cooking programs and froze many of the tomatoes to use in soups and sauces during the winter.

The Carleton Place & District Youth Centre, in Carleton Place, ON is a local not-for-profit organization has been providing services and programs for youth aged 8-18 for over 25 years. Their mission is “to inspire, engage and celebrate youth through social, educational recreational activities and community participation encouraging a youth base invested in their local community.” One of the core components of their successful programming is the provision of education and training to prepare and cook healthy nutritious meals and snacks, following Canada’s Food Guide.

Photo Caption: The budding gardeners at the Carlton Youth Centre planted, harvested and shared their bounty with their families and their local food bank.

I don’t think we realized just how much a small space like our community garden would provide. They enjoyed seeing what they called, magic. We enjoyed seeing the magic of the harvest, filling of boxes and boxes of produce to give to the food bank, handing it off to the drivers, putting all the boxes into the car going to the food bank. We were providing food for the food bank to people in need, through our programs, we even had enough to share with the kids to take home to their families. Our staff really appreciated not spending so much on food, going to the grocery store, and especially during COVID, when we were providing modified program delivery, we really appreciated not going to the store.” – Ryan Sanders, program coordinator, Carlton Place Youth Centre

“Our centre’s community garden certainly helped our young participants appreciate the seed-to-table cycle. In fact, many of the kids had never grown any produce from plants and were delighted with the results.” – Gail Logan, Executive Director, Carleton Place & District Youth Centre 

Because of The Granary Bulk & Natural Foods’s connection with their community through the Carleton Place Youth Centre and the continued success of the youth centre’s food programs, The Granary signed a four-year agreement with the Foundation to help sustain Carleton Place’s community youth garden.

“I was excited to work with the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation to help bring sustainable food education and opportunities to our local youth. As both the owner of a health food store, and the Chair of the board of directors of the Carleton Place Youth Centre, it was easy to identify the benefits the Foundation could provide to our community. By expanding our community garden, the Youth Centre is  able to involve more people and reach more youth with both healthy, locally grown food options and the opportunity to expand their knowledge in the kitchen and the garden. I have always looked for ways to support both youth and healthy food education through my business. From teaching cooking classes to supporting foraging walks, food and kids have been priority (priorities) for my business for a long time. When presented with the opportunity to support the See What Grows Foundation for a longer period, I was happy to do so as I could see the benefit the Foundation could provide to communities.” Dena Comley, owner of The Granary Bulk & Natural Foods in Carleton Place, ON.

So just as the wise person from Stone Soup said in the ending of the folk tale, “It was not the stone that performed the magic. It was all of us together.” – we invite you to join us to make some soup.

Together with our many partners, let’s explore ways to support your community, please email, call toll free in Canada 1-855-440-7333 or 604-612-8881 or Become a Friend of the Foundation now. 

Stone Soup, anyone?

Earth Day 2021 Livestreams

Our videos with Mark Cullen and Brian Minter

Growing Mindful Children

Our Video clip from the 2020 Celebration of Greath Health (9 min)


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