School community involvement in vegetable garden redevelopment
The Foodweb Education program gives children opportunities to explore and connect to Earth and its processes through gardening, cooking and eating. In the garden, students learn how plants capture and store light energy from the sun and convert it to chemical energy in our food. This chemical energy will eventually be converted to heat by our body’s metabolic processes and radiate back to space. Children learn that the energy we require to live and grow comes from food, so connect immediately on a personal and practical level through the processes of growing, harvesting and cooking.
The current location of the vegetable garden has been problematic for some time. The trees to the northern side of the current site have grown to the extent that they now shade the vegetable garden for much of the year. These trees also have incredibly invasive root systems which appreciate the water regularly applied to the garden. This has resulted in the root system growing into the vegetable garden beds despite efforts to install extensive barriers between the trees and the garden.
There are a number of exciting buildings and grounds projects planned for the 2017 school year. One of these involves the relocation of the vegetable garden to the open space adjacent to Wales Street on the western border of the school. This area down from the multipurpose room and play equipment, provides for an open space and close access to the water supply provided from the large tanks being connected to the roof of the multipurpose room. We are inviting interested parents, careers and staff to attend a community consultation meeting would be held on Saturday 29th April from 9.00 – 12.00. The process would be facilitated by FoodWeb garden educators involving interested community members participating in site analysis and contributing design ideas and options to the redesign plan. Community consultation will include presentation of background information on the garden redevelopment project by representatives from the Foodweb team. Project goals and vision will be outlined and previous site analysis and garden design ideas generated by BNWPS students will be highlighted. Design recommendations will be collected from this community consultation process with parents and carers able to contribute ideas and thoughts about how this site can be developed to achieve the objectives of the garden program and school curriculum. Our dream is that we not only develop a new school garden facility, but that new opportunities are created for parental involvement in the vegetable garden for those interested in permaculture and gardening.
For more information about the FoodWeb program see the article “Why are we learning about Earth?” by Megan Floris from FoodWeb on the school website.