Cauliflowers and broccoli as big as basketballs may be some kids worst nightmares, but not
the green-fingered garden crew at Warrawong Primary. Students from K-6 have been
exploring the bountiful and beautiful Permaculture garden at their school, getting their hands
in the soil, harvesting the produce and even selling it to staff and parents.
This diverse 600m2 garden had become overgrown and weed infested, so the students have
been investigating methods of weed removal, pruning techniques, appropriate planting and
harvesting. At the end of each session, something is picked and shared amongst the class, who
have delighted in mandarins, oranges, pomegranate, panama berries and ice-cream beans
over the winter months.
Students from the support unit also harvest the vegetables grown and learn how to cook with
them. Bountiful broccoli has resulted in ‘Shrek Soup’ and similarly cauliflower has created
‘Snow White Soup’. Herbs are picked and added to dishes or sold to teachers when they are in
abundance – which seems to be most of the time in this wonderfully productive garden.
During the warmer months when things are really growing fast, support unit students make
lists of what is available in the garden, take orders from teachers, manage money and sell
surplus to parents at a stand in the playground. They are learning valuable life skills and they
absolutely love it!
The garden is becoming a key part of a student’s experiential learning at Warrawong Primary
and judging by the smiling faces, enthusiasm to help and excellent results, it is also one of
their favourite aspects of school life.