Creating an edible garden for kids in a primary school is no easy task. The plan was to show them how easily it was to grow their own food. There was nothing in the beginning but tired old garden beds, lots of concrete and zero funding available.
The motto ‘If you build it, they will come’ and they did!
The more time we spent in the garden, the more the kids came to help. The garden at lunchtimes was full to the brim of students willing to give a hand and wanting to learn more. The school decided to create a garden club – we wrote a program to teach the kids to grow and cook food. It quickly outgrew lunchtimes and garden club became a weekly program within school hours as an extra curricular activity.
It didn’t take long for the school community to realize that a lot of the kids were driven by this program. It was eventually put on ‘hold’ after a year and half, leaving students without guidance in the garden. Students & parents continually asked ‘What happened?’ ‘Can I enrol for garden club?’ ‘No sorry you cannot’ was the answer for many months and a hard answer to give but there were only so many hours of your time you can give away.
We waited, waited and waited until the day came when we were told to write the garden program for grade 5/6 students under the science curriculum. Almost 4yrs of volunteering in the garden and we are now super excited to be joining the senior students in the garden 3 times a week. What a thrill for us! At first they thought ‘yeh yeh garden this and that’ after 5 mins of the first class, they now run out the door to get their workbooks and get stuck into it!
Half way through our term, the students have learnt how to ph test soil, manage water waste, food waste, plant life cycles, seed experiments, facts about worms, slaters, caterpillars, beans, peas, potatoes, build structures and so on……. each week gets more involved and informative for the kids and we wouldn’t have it any other way! They are growing food to cook later in the term, but first they must make sure everything is in it’s place and has everything it needs to do so.
None of this could have been possible without the sponsors who have been by our sides the whole time donating plants, dirt, seeds, gloves, gumboots, notebooks, and compost. Most importantly, the students for having such a passion for their garden space and helping to shape what it is today.
If you or a company you know are interested in financial sponsorship and want to help keep the dream alive for the kids at Bonbeach Primary School, please get in touch – there are over 300 hugs waiting for you.