SUSTAINABLE GARDENING

Overview

In April 2012, our school was the lucky recipient of a Sustainable Garden with the purpose of using it as an outdoor classroom.

Because RCC have been a Waterwise School for 10 Years, we were recommended to Guru Productions who produce the Greenfingers program on channel 7. Trevor Cochrane had a vision to create four sustainable outdoor classrooms and the Water Corporation and other sponsors helped to make it all happen.

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The old bike rack was chosen as the best site and it all happened in a week or two. The Students of RCC went to Country Week and New Norcia Camp and when they came back after the Easter Holidays, we suddenly had our fabulous garden.

Because it all happened so fast, it was a steep learning curve for all the teachers and students involved. We suddenly had to become experts on Aquaponics and the Nitrogen Cycle, chickens, chicken coops and broody hens as well as trying to stake trees in solid rock! But we did it!

The Sustainable Garden at RCC is to be accessed by all students as well as the community. Parents and younger siblings often walk through the garden during drop-off and pickup times and the students love to share what they have done by showing their parents. The look on a younger siblings face when they can collect a egg is just priceless!

We are very lucky to have a very supportive community and ever since the first holiday and weekend we have had a group of very dedicated parent volunteers that helped to maintain the garden over those periods. They also worked at busy bees and organised a raffle to raise money towards a kitchen structure in the garden. Maintaining the garden at the current level would not be possible without our volunteers.

At RCC we aim to use the garden as much as possible. We are working very hard to establish cross curricular links to as many learning areas as possible.

We have Sustainable Horticulture as an elective subject for Year 8 students and also as a taster for year 7's. Our Horticulture students learn everything about gardening from seed raising, to harvesting, to cooking the food. They can tell you all about soil health, good compost, the value of a worm farm and organic pest control. We learn to prune, weed, water, plant, sow, clean chicken coops and the list goes on and on. We hope that it will at least give our students a life skill that will be valuable to them and ideally they can start thinking of possible careers in related fields.

Home Economics subjects use the garden on a daily basis. We never buy herbs or eggs anymore and often plan cooking sessions around what is available in the garden.

The primary classes help to collect lunch scraps for the chickens, worms and compost heap and many subjects like Science, Art and Indonesian use the garden as a teaching tool.

Staff

  • Mr William Gee

Greenfingers Sustainabilty Classrooms

Greenfingers Episode 1

Greenfingers Episode 2

Garden Gurus Visit