Posts Tagged ‘schools’

Posted on 8th July 2011

Community | Balmain High

By MEREDITH KIRTON

Recently Mark Morrison, owner of online plant supplier, Morrison’s Garden Centre, which sells plants and products and delivers to the Sydney Metropolitan Area, has been working not in cyber space but in reality, doing great work with disabled children from Sydney’s Inner West.

Like many people, Mark has become interested in home grown produce and now sells and installs corrugated tank veggie gardens. (pic attached of example).  He was also instrumental in developing a veggie garden at Balmain High and provide ongoing support there for the staff of the Support Unit for disabled children.  A few images of the delight these kids are feeling from their interaction with their crops are attached.

Mark Morrison is a member of the  Australian Institute of Horticulture and is a Certified Nursery Practitioner.

His contact details are:

Morrison’s Garden Centre
Phone: 0409 201 063
Email: info@morrisonsgardencentre.com.au
Web: www.morrisonsgardencentre.com.au

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Posted under community
Posted on 28th February 2011

community | MLC Sydney

By MEREDITH KIRTON

MLC Sydney junior kitchen garden

GrowHarvestCook’s Meredith Kirton has been working with MLC School Sydney to develop a kitchen garden in their junior school.

Head of Junior School, Diana Drummond, reflects “With the opening of MLC’s new Junior School precinct in 2009, students and staff set about creating a warm and engaging learning environment, reflective of our multi-cultural community.  A visit to the old Junior School site during the year confirmed that the students missed the plants and flowers and specifically, the vegetable garden that grew in their old playground.  And so the idea of creating a new Kitchen Garden was born.
Throughout 2010, the girls designed, raised money and started to learn about this new garden.”

Events such as a kitchen garden day with herb and vegetable packs for sale were very succesful for raising funds for this project.  Six year old gardener Elkie, seen here picking her veggies, says “The best bit was everything. I got some leeks and lettuce and radish which I pit in the vegie garden at home. My peas didn’t grow though and I don’t know why? All my friends liked it too”.

The school has some keen gardeners, including Adele Jackson, who has contributed to our ghc seed saving pages and Chloe Zurynski, who is the kids editor at Burkes Backyard magazine. ´ I like gardening because you really get a chance to see (and often taste!) the result of your work”, says Chloe. “It keeps you motivated. For me, gardening is something I’d just do for fun after a tiring day of school to relax and soak up a bit of afternoon sun. It takes the stress away and gives you space to think.”

“It’s great that my school, MLC Burwood, has also picked up a bit of gardening fever. Our Junior School has started a kitchen garden. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn about making their very own food. So far they’ve learnt valuable gardening skills such as transplanting veggies into larger pots and how to grow their own vegetables at home. Best of all, the girls seem to have a green thumb and are immensely enjoying their gardening!  It’s extremely rewarding when you taste your delicious home grown produce and realize that it is the result of a little effort and a few enjoyable, down to earth minutes of watering the garden each day.”

Work has finally finished now on a substantial, productive and aesthetically beautiful garden, accessible by the entire Junior School community.  With the help of Meredith  “our dream design was drawn up and is now constructed, ready for early Autumn planting!” says Diana Drummond.  The girls will begin planting heirloom vegetables from the end of 19th Century to help commemorate the school’s 125th anniversary, which it is celebrating this year.

stone bowl for kitchen garden

The gift to the School from the graduating junior school class, a beautiful Ishi Buki Sandstone Sculpture. info@ishibuki.com

Photography by MEREDITH KIRTON and CHRIS BENNETS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under community
Posted on 2nd November 2010

Community | Kendall

By ANDREW BAGNALL

Community gardening at Kendall Preschool

Children gardening at Kendall Preschool

Community gardening at Kendall Preschool

Kendall Preschool has been building ‘outdoor rooms’ for a number around 5 years, gradually gaining confidence and knowledge of native plants and vegetation. We consider ourselves to be innovative in terms of providing children and families with real opportunities for developing environmentally sustainable practices, and this will continue to evolve. I am working closely with Biripi elders to provide native vegetation, which, in turn has led to a massive increase in native birds in our spaces. Today we counted 26 Rainbow Lorikeets picking at the sunflower seeds and grasses, but we have many more smaller birds living around us too. We have a small but committed group of educators who bring meaning and enjoyment through outdoor exploration, and our families and the community are gradually seeing the light! This year we were part of the Camden Haven Open Gardens, and received a really positive response from people in the community who do not usually see the preschool.

Over the last few years, we have developed a great veggie garden, and at the moment we have: spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, broad beans, cauliflowers, sugar loaf cabbage, asparagus, potatoes, coriander, chives, kale, peas, beans, beetroot, carrot, zucchini and cucumbers growing! The children are the gardeners, who plant, water, feed and harvest the crops. In our orchard, we are watching the apples growing, and the guavas are flowering. We also have citrus trees, and a mulberry growing.

Our bushtucker and sensory plants include gingers, blueberries, sandpaper figs, lemon, cinnamon and aniseed myrtles. We have native gardinias, a
native frangipani and lots of bird and insect attracting plants. We have developed a number of small frog habitats, and we hope this will encourage
the frogs in time. The native stingless bees love the native gardenias when they flower, and are a great source of interest for the children. We have
lots of native grasses which we are beginning to use with weaving with Biripi people in the next few months.

Children compost food scraps that don’t go into the worm farm, and use water from rain-tanks for gardens and also for the use with the digging patch! Most children now send a low waste lunch, and we monitor the amount of packaging that is brought in. The chook house is now a couple of years old, and our assortment of chooks are well fed by the children and families, and well looked after! Again the compost is a great space for chook pooh, and old hay. Chicken collect eggs each day, and love to handle the chooks.

We are continuing to find new ways to provide children with meaningful, creative play, and we spend most of the day outside. To us, the preschool is a space for children to engage in meaningful, nature based play where they develop a sense of pride and enthusiasm through caring for the environment.

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Posted under community
Posted on 14th May 2010

Community | Putney

By MEREDITH KIRTON

Putney Public School Gardening Club

Yates Junior Landcare Pumpkin Challenge The Gardening Club at Putney Public School under the direction of Meredith Kirton entered the Yates Junior Landcare Pumpkin Challenge.  Seeds were sown in November and in February the pumpkin was weighed and measured for entry in the competition.  Whilst not the winners, which was a 175 kg whopper from Queensland, the kids were wrapped in the experience and proud “parents” of their enormous pumpkin.
For details on the competition see http://www.juniorlandcare.com/_blog/What%27s_New_in_Junior_Landcare/post/175kg

If your school or community group is interested in obtaining grant money for your project, these links may be useful:

http://eng-au.fiskars.com/Activities-Press/Orange-Thumb

http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/grants.shtml

http://www.opengarden.org.au/grants.html#grants

http://www.landcareonline.com.au/

http://www.juniorlandcare.com/coles

http://www.schoolsfirst.edu.au/docs/schools-first-application-guidelines_final_050510.pdf

http://iag.mktg.net.au/communityhelp/?src=nrma

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Posted under community