The Lacombe Composite High School Ecovision Club launched an online store to sell their product. (BLACK PRESS file photo)

Lacombe Composite’s Ecovision Club launched online store to sell their products

Student-led initiative helps find home for excess produce, honey

Lacombe Composite High School’s Ecovision Club was forced to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating an online store to sell the produce they normally would grow for their school and local farmers markets.

Launched in April, the Ecovision Microbusiness sells a variety of vegetables and potted plants that Lacombe residents would recognize from the summer markets.

Ecovision instructor Steve Schultz said the microbusiness began three years ago when David Jeffrey from Burman University began teaching LCHS students about creating business plans and business accounting.

“We then connected with Alberta Online, which is business promotion company. They came in and taught my agriculture and beekeeping students how to implement a business plan and put it online. I didn’t fully understand how important that was until COVID-19 hit,” Schultz said.

From there, students in the Ecovision club began hosting beekeeping workshops and selling their product at local farmers markets. That lead to interest from Cilantro and Chive, who began purchasing herbs and honey from Ecovision.

Once COVID-19, the closure of business throughout town and the LCHS foods courses meant Ecovision also lost their market for their products.

“Our Ecovision students came together and said what are we going to do? We decided to reach out and see if there was a desire for an online store. At the beginning of April we launched our store and we are now approaching 25 individuals who have used that store,” Schultz said.

Part of Ecovision’s mandate is to also support the community that supports them. In the past, students have made donations to local food banks and set aside 10 per cent of their product to be donated. With this project, a portion of everything sold is being donated to the Lacombe and District Food Ban.

“We had always taught our students that there had to be an element of our business that gives back. That came from our learning from Burman University,” Schultz said.

Schultz said the store will continue as long as their is produce to sell and this year, produce production has more than tripled due to the efforts of community volunteers who stepped in to plant the garden that normally would have been planted by students in class.

Despite not being able to be hands-on, Schultz said their projects continue to be student-led.

“Number one is the design and implementation of the online store,” he said. “That was done by students with my assistance. The second way is where we continue to have weekly virtual meetings where our students meet and make decisions.

The third way is through our community volunteer group that went through sanitation training and agreed to volunteer to take care of the gardens with social distancing policies in place. Some students families were interested to be involved, with the understanding that it is not a school initiative and it does not have curricular expectations.”

Schultz thanked those who have logged on to the online store and also the businesses like Peavey Mart, Busy Beaver Sewing, Cilantro and Chive, Nowco Home Hardware and Healthfitters who have support the club.

He added, “Without our community volunteers, this would be impossible. If someone has something they want to sell and would like to have a partnership — give us a call and we will look to see how we can promote your project”



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Red Deer down to one confirmed active case of COVID-19

18 new cases were confirmed across the province Saturday

Lacombe’s museums change summer operations due to COVID-19

Lacombe & District Historical Society hoping for pre-booked, members of the same household tours

Lacombe’s Midway Centre looking to attract tenants

Albertan economy, COVID-19 leading to difficulty finding suitors

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Lacombe Express covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Central Alberta woman recognized by province for making hospital gowns

Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program honours Christine Engel

Most Read