Some of the great stuff that these schools have been getting up to this year include
Right from the beginning our students learn the basics of designing a permaculture garden, including how the elements interact with their space, functional analysis of the area and mapping skills. They can bring their ideas and dreams to life with garden plans and then see it happen in reality as their gardens takes shape. Market gardens, kitchen gardens, food forests, seating circles, waterways, its all there!
Building the most epic compost piles ever! Taller than the tallest student these mounds of rich manure, straw, minerals, and magic potion have been decomposing slowly over the last couple of months to provide the schools gardens with an abundance of organic compost.
There has also been worm farm designs and building to learn all about our wriggly garden helpers and divert food scraps from lunches into making garden soil goodness.
Students have loved growing in their no dig seasonal garden beds, focusing on cover crops and worm lasagnes to build soil right there on the beds, then planting an array of rainbow foods to eat!
Vibrant organic food
The list of amazing rainbow food grown in our school gardens certainly makes for a delicious biodiverse and interesting gardenscape, where students can graze on cherry tomatoes, snow peas, mint, nasturtiums and beans while they work or harvest Ethiopian Kale, Kohlrabi, Malabar Spinach, purple cauliflower, golden beetroot, lemon balm, tatsoy, rosella, purple cabbage, mustard greens, rainbow chard, silverbeet, kale, snow peas, cauliflower, chives, mulberries, bananas and sunflowers for the kitchen.
These garden goodies are then turned into delicious meals for the students to enjoy. How does pumpkin gnocchi, eggplant polpette, pesto, cabbage pancakes, calzones with roasted veg, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, ice teas, golden milk, daikon pancakes, banana scones, flatbread pizza with garden greens, banana oat cookies, lemonade, pickled daikon, bliss balls, cheese and spinach pull apart, vegetable fritters, spanakopita, mini quiches, coleslaw, cabbage pancakes, and mulberry muffin sound on the menu?
Our schools have all started seed banks this year, learning about the importance of food security through seed saving and how a sustainable food chain relies on keeping open pollinated seeds in the community.
Seed saver teams at each school have learnt to harvest, dry, collect and store their seeds, designing little seed packets for the excess seeds to go out to their school community and encouraging new seeds to be swapped in return to grow their seed banks.
Of cause the joy of growing this season’s vegetables from your very own saved seeds is also a big plus for our students! Nurturing tiny seeds as they sprout and grow into our next yummy vegetable stock is very exciting!
We have had an amazing year with volunteers from the community coming to our schools to assist with the weekly programs. It has been such an amazing opportunity for the students to welcome community members into their school and learn from them as well as sharing their learning as we grow the gardens together.
We are always happy to have more volunteers throughout the year in any of our schools so please get in touch if you think you would like to learn more about how you can be part of our school program.
We have had a wonderful year with all our schools and look forward to another interesting and enriching year in 2022. Some big projects to look out for are a waterways project at Cooran State School thanks to SE Qld Water, a bush tucker food forest walkabout at North Arm State School thanks to Jnr Landcare/Woolworths and a new kitchen garden at Mitchelton State High School to get them growing and harvesting delicious foods to share!