Project summaries - 2013 Food Gardens in School

Update: Additional funding awarded

Due to the high volume of high quality applications received in 2013, 32 addiitonal  Food Gardens in Schools projects have been approved for funding, in addition to the 20 grants awarded in November 2013.

The additional approved projects are highlighted blue in the table below.

2013 Food Gardens in Schools grants
Organisation Project title
Annandale Public School

The connected garden

Ashtonfield Public School

From kitchen to the chicken to the egg to the kitchen waste project

Bangalow Public School  Gardening to learn
Batlow Technology School  Batlow Technology School market garden
Berry Public School

An edible Berry - growing in knowledge and knowledge in growing

Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula School

The sustainable wholefood garden project

Bonnyrigg High School Medieval food garden
Bossley Park Public School

Organic vegetable bush tucker garden

Bowen Public School

Bowen's bounty - the garden that keeps on giving

Broken Hill Public School

BHPS vegetable garden

Bullimbal SSP

Bullimbal's eggcellent recyclers

Capertee Public School Capertee Public School: garden kitchen program

Chatswood Intensive English Centre

From the blue gum forest to the multicultural plate

Chrysalis School for Rudolf Steiner Education Ltd

Edible Chrysalis: growing, learning, eating and celebrating!

Colyton High School Trade School Greenworks food garden

Condell Park Public School

Vegetable patch

Coogee Public School The Coogee kitchen garden

Coonabarabran Public School

CPS food garden

Dubbo College Delroy Campus Delroy meeting place garden

Faulconbridge Public School

Munch 'n' mulch: growing together at Faulconbridge

Georges River College Hurstville Boys Campus

Student organic independent learning (SOIL)

Gorokan Public School

To contain run-off and to irrigate our vegetable garden

Grafton High School

Relish this - Grafton High School support unit gardens

Hebersham Public School

Hebersham Public School’s Pacifica/Maori food garden

Hurstville Public School

Hurstville Public School’s food and sensory garden

Karangi Public School Karangi 'wicking' kitchen garden
Kenthurst Public School

Kenthurst Public School food garden - from our paddock to our plate

Lakelands Public School Bush tucker everywhere
Lane Cove West Public School

Making sustainable connections with the curriculum in the garden

Lismore High School

Lismore High School aquaponics centre

Main Arm Upper Public School

Growing up green - seedlings and chicks

Mowbray Public School Greening our classrooms - living sustainably at school
Mullumbimby Christian School Hope for a sustainable future
Mulyan Public School Mulyan Public School veggie garden
Murrami Public School

Murrami Public School creating and sustaining a productive kitchen garden

North Gosford Learning Centre

Raised garden beds

North Nowra Public School The garden gate and forest of food
Nowra Christian School

Sustainable food garden rejuvenation project

Oxley High School

Oxley High sustainable organic food garden project

Parramatta North Public School

Parramatta North Public School's fabulous food garden

Rankin's Springs Public School The Spring's sustainable school garden
Rocky River Public School Rocky River school garden project
Shell Cove Public School Our garden, watch us grow

Shellharbour Public School

Food forest

Southside Montessori School Southside: sustainable solutions
St Brigid's Primary School Raymond Terrace

The cultivating food, enriching people and the environment project

St Fiacre's Catholic Primary School

Fiacre's food garden

St Francis Xavier Primary School

From little things, big things grow

Tambar Springs Public School

Healthy living and garden program

Tanja Public School Tanja's hens and harvests
The Pocket Public School  A pocket full of produce
Windang Public School Grow a healthy community
  52 grants at $3,500 each, totalling $182,000

Annandale Public School
The connected garden

The connected garden project will allow for the construction of three edible food gardens in raised beds over a prepared site built from recycled materials. This project will provide opportunities for hands-on environmental learning, integrated into the curriculum and will enable all members of the school community to share in the growing and harvesting of fresh produce. The garden will provide a focus for the teaching of environmental management and sustainability and provide a direct connection for the students between the natural environment and fresh food production. Students and the school community will be able to experience the connections between people, the land, plants, animals and insects through their applied planning, creation and management of the garden. The garden will also provide a central point to build connections between our school and community groups involved in gardening, permaculture and environmental sustainability within our local area.

Ashtonfield Public School
From kitchen to the chicken to the egg to the kitchen waste project

This project is part of the school's waste management plan to reduce, reuse and recycle. It entails consulting and training the School Parliament Environment Ministers to contribute to, and establish (under teacher guidance) a student environment committee to instigate and regulate a food waste management initiative including the maintenance of a chicken coop, collecting eggs and using manure to fertilise a vegetable and bush tucker garden. A sustainable recycling program will be implemented where non-compostable food scraps will be collected from eating areas in clearly marked bins, to supplement the feed requirements of egg laying poultry. Each year stage will be taught how to care for and maintain the chickens. This ensures all students and teachers are actively engaged in this environmental issue and take responsibility for waste management whilst gaining experience in animal husbandry and gardening that our suburban students would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience.

Bangalow Public School
Gardening to learn

The school garden program is needed to create a culture of environmental stewardship and connection in school age children. The garden ensures a positive nature connection that develops confidence, knowledge of the natural world as well as skills in sustainable living. Healthy choices for personal and environmental well-being are the cornerstone of the program.

Batlow Technology School
Batlow Technology School market garden

The main goals of the Batlow food garden are to increase students' appreciation and understanding of agriculture, nutrition and the food system by getting students involved in food gardening at school and to create garden classrooms that provide authentic experiences and help teachers meet learning standards across the curriculum. Many of our students are from low socio-economic families and would benefit from access to producing and preparing their own food and reducing waste. The project could increase students’ ownership and pride in themselves, school and the environment.

Berry Public School
An edible Berry - growing in knowledge and knowledge in growing

Growing in knowledge and knowledge in growing is part of a larger community-wide movement to establish sustainable living through growing and harvesting food in local residential settings. Currently, there are two raised garden beds and a mini orchard at the school. Students' interaction with the garden is facilitated by parents and teachers who are also involved in this broader community movement. At present, this is an ad hoc arrangement. Discussions are underway with Berry Landcare and local food producers about how to create a productive food garden through which students can experience the well-documented health and welfare benefits associated with school gardens. The school is able to capitalise on existing community support by developing this formal project to design, resource and implement a fully integrated food garden/learning experience for its students. Students will be able to participate in a full design to harvest process; teachers will be offered professional learning opportunities; and the whole school community will gain practical skills and 'grow knowledge' about food gardens.

Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula School
The sustainable wholefood garden project

The sustainable wholefood garden project comprises an organic grains garden, live snacks veggie garden and fruits forever orchard. Students collaborate across the school to design the gardens and implement their plans under the guidance of local permaculture experts and organic farmers. Core syllabus objectives are achieved by all year levels while supporting the integration of Live Life Well Initiative which focuses on a holistic diet in conjunction with sustainable living.

Bonnyrigg High School
Medieval food garden

The Medieval food garden will exist within the context of the Australian History Curriculum, Food Technology, Hospitality and Welfare initiatives within the school. This garden will supplement learning about medieval food practices and address Learning Across the Curriculum Sustainability content. Students will participate in a kinaesthetic approach to learning outside the traditional classroom environment. The garden will also act a venue for our Boys Welfare Groups and Construction class to build upon construction, landscaping and gardening skills which will benefit them. Overall we are aiming to encourage active participation in sustaining and promoting a positive and healthy school environment.

Bossley Park Public School
Organic vegetable bush tucker garden

Staff and parents at Bossley Park Public School have raised concerns about students bringing high-fat, high-calorie junk food for recess and lunch. As a school, in collaboration with the local community, we have decided to create an organic vegetable bush tucker garden to teach students about healthy living. The garden aims to educate students and the wider community about healthy eating, planting and harvesting crops, caring for the environment and to create strong links between the school and the local community. This collaborative project will make a difference to our community by promoting the importance of healthy living.

Bowen Public School
Bowen's bounty - the garden that keeps on giving

Bowen's bounty - the garden that keeps on giving is a student, welfare worker and teacher driven project. It will be developed and maintained by all school members with assistance from the local community. Bowen's bounty will be an important aspect within the whole school because the designing and maintenance will be incorporated into classroom programs; it will teach students responsibility, assist in developing relationships among the students and community members and teach the different stages of food development. It will make a difference within the environment because the students will learn about sustainability and be active members.

Broken Hill Public School
BHPS vegetable garden

Broken Hill Public School Environmental Club will develop a food garden with a range of vegetables and herbs to teach children how to grow healthy food and the nutritional benefits of eating these foods. Due to the mining history of Broken Hill there are high lead levels in the soils, and it is known that a healthy diet of fresh vegetables helps reduce the absorption of lead into the body. This is an important factor to teach the children of Broken Hill, to help reduce the risk of lead in the body, and links with other regular lead safe activities (e.g. washing hands before eating/drinking). Children will also sell their produce to the school canteen providing valuable lessons in managing money and making business decisions.

Bullimbal SSP
Bullimbal's eggcellent recyclers

Bullimbal School is a school for specific purposes for children from Kindergarten to Year 12 with significant intellectual and/or physical needs. Bullimbal's eggcellent recycler’s project will involve the students in constructing a straw bale rendered chook house with two covered runs for free ranging of hens. The eggs will supplement our kitchen garden program, while care of the hens and maintenance of the yard will engage students of all ages in learning experiences and achievement of life skills across all key learning areas. The installation of a composting system incorporating chicken manure, lawn clippings and everyday food scraps, will reduce waste and improve production.

Capertee Public School
Capertee Public School - garden kitchen program

Capertee PS is a small school of seven students, who live in a semi-isolated, low socio-economic community of less than 100. Our students have limited gardening-cooking experiences and life opportunities. The school’s evaluation process identified a need to increase student engagement through a life skills program, which is embedded into the students’ individual learning plans, to ultimately increase student literacy and numeracy outcomes. We have embedded the Live Life Well and Crunch and Sip Programs into our school plan to educate staff, students and the local community about healthier eating and lifestyles, as well as sustainability. In order to continue this learning process, the school needs to focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Through the acquisition of this grant we hope to make a significant difference to the students' lives. We aim to develop the students’ life skills and increase their self-sufficiency. The success of this will be measured in the students’ ability to establish their own vegetable plot, grow and cultivate a crop, then create and cook a healthy meal utilising their produce for our school or family.

Chatswood Intensive English Centre
From the blue gum forest to the multicultural plate

The food garden forms part of a plan for the rehabilitation and development of the blue gum bushland behind the classrooms of the school which teaches English to migrant, refugee and international students before they enter high school. The plan includes an amphitheatre teaching space, a regenerated native bushland and a food garden. The food garden initiative will transform an unused north facing grass area of app 500 square metres into themed garden beds surrounded by fruit trees and native plants and trees to demonstrate the environment of the original inhabitants and to reflect the food cultures of the newly arrived migrant students. The garden will provide the opportunity for members of the school community to share in the growing, harvesting and cooking of the fresh produce in programs across the curriculum with the aim of learning about biodiversity, sustainability and healthy living.

Chrysalis School for Rudolf Steiner Education Ltd
Edible Chrysalis; growing, learning, eating and celebrating!

Chrysalis School is located in a unique but challenging location; on a steep slope above the Bellinger River surrounded by natural bushland. Challenges include rocky/poor soils, limited flat areas, erosion and various birds and bush creatures that share our grounds. 'Edible Chrysalis; growing, learning, eating and celebrating', aims to design, establish and maintain food growing that utilises the niches around classrooms, so students can easily care for and utilise food plants. The grant will allow the purchasing of materials required to overcome the barriers to the establishment of successful food gardens. This project will have the support of the local community gardens and Biodynamic Australia.

Colyton High School Trade School
Greenworks food garden

The intention of our Greenworks food garden project is to educate students and staff about living within a healthy ecological school environment. There will be a major emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling as well as cultivating a food garden, compost and worm farm that will educate students and staff about sustainable healthy living. We hope to improve our students Environmental Education and to focus on sustainability considerations in regards to the Schools Environmental Management Plan. Teachers will promote healthy eating and organic food growth as part of the school curriculum, in particular Science, Food Technology, Personal Development and Health subjects. Teachers will educate students about the Sustainability initiative and incorporate the food garden, compost and worm farm into their lessons. The school aims to improve student welfare and health by showing students healthy eating alternatives and improve dietary habits.

Condell Park Public School
Vegetable patch

Condell Park Public School is situated in Bankstown and comprises of students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Food is not only a necessity for the survival of all living things but it can also be used as a catalyst to break down cultural and socio-economic barriers. The establishment of a food garden and implementation of subsequent learning activities will provide students, staff and the local community with the knowledge, skills and ethical awareness that will equip all individuals to choose a lifestyle fit for a sustainable world. The purpose of the project is to arouse a sense of appreciation and respect for the environment within our local community through inquiry-based learning experiences that enhance collaborative learning skills and provide opportunities to deepen student knowledge of sustainability. Furthermore, it will promote the idea that our actions as human beings are based on value systems and can either have a destructive or productive impact on the world we share now and for future generations.

Coogee Public School
The Coogee kitchen garden

The Coogee kitchen garden will create an inner city school kitchen garden comprising of six raised no dig garden beds on a currently unused area of bitumen and converts it to a sustainable outdoor learning space for teachers and students. The project will teach students about growing food, where food actually comes from, and how an under utilised space can be transformed into a food producing garden. Additionally, it will show how compost is used as fertiliser in gardens, how crop rotation works, and enforce the idea of healthy eating teaching the principles of the seed to plate concept through integration with our school canteen menu. The project will provide life skills in growing fresh food, for our students and will have direct links to various aspects of the curriculum. The garden will also demonstrate first hand how one can reduce their footprint by growing food locally and reduce waste by recycling organic matter and making compost which in turn enhances food production.

Coonabarabran Public School
CPS food garden

Our food garden project will involve all staff and students at Coonabarabran Public School, as well as volunteer community members. The project will allow students to get out into the environment on a daily basis and to learn to care for a food garden. At Coonabarabran Public School we have a high number of Aboriginal students and students from low socio-economic standings, so it is important that we give these students a well-rounded education. Having a food garden at our school would lead to stronger connections between classroom learning and the environment.

Dubbo College Delroy Campus
Delroy meeting place garden

The Delroy Meeting Place Garden surrounds an outdoor learnscape with ironbark log seating, sawdust/mulch pathways, a traditional Aboriginal fire pit and timber sleeper garden edging. The garden includes plants traditionally used for food and craft by the local Wiradjuri people. The plants will be tended to by staff, students and community representatives with produce gathered in season and prepared for eating using traditional methods, or for craft making. Comprehensive ongoing collaboration with Aboriginal groups will ensure long-term sustainability of the project. The meeting place will be used for curriculum and community activities.

Faulconbridge Public School
Munch ‘n’ mulch: growing together at Faulconbridge

We will create specific food gardens that align with key areas of the school curriculum. Bush tucker and Asian food gardens will augment traditional vegetable and small fruit gardens. The school’s Green Team collect leftover food scraps from lunchboxes. Purchasing worm farms and compost bins will allow our Green Thumbs workers to convert these scraps into compost for our existing kitchen garden, increasing self-sufficiency and reducing waste going to landfill. The local community will be invited to "Mulch Fests", where the gardens are mulched and demonstrations held, to learn ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint and produce healthy food.

Georges River College Hurstville Boys Campus
Student organic independent learning (SOIL)

Georges River College Hurstville Boys Campus is a middle school (Years 7-10) campus serving a diversified multicultural community. Many students live in residential accommodation that is medium to high density living with no backyards. Our aim is to educate our boys about healthy lifestyles by connecting them to the land through organic vegetable and herb production and marketing. We aim to make links with the local primary school, multicultural communities, match hands-on learning styles to boys' learning needs, improve self-esteem and student engagement, and apply scientific methods to organic food production.

Gorokan Public School
To contain run-off and to irrigate our vegetable garden

Gorokan Public School has a large vegetable garden which needs to be upgraded and made environmentally friendly. The soil has clay substrata which allows a lot of run off into the storm water system when it rains or when the garden is watered. We are therefore endeavouring to install raised garden beds which will be easily maintained and from which there will be less runoff. The water from the garden and hence the nutrient in the water runs into the nearby Tuggerah Lake. Proper drainage and an efficient watering system will ensure that the lake is not being degraded by our vegetable garden.

Grafton High School
Relish this - Grafton High School support unit gardens

'Relish this' herb and vegetable garden will be developed and maintained by the students of the Support Unit at Grafton High School. We currently grow herbs and some vegetables in tyre gardens in an area next to our classrooms and use the produce of this small garden to supply herbs for our own cooking lessons and for the Home Economics Department. We have also grown pumpkins which we harvested and used to produce ‘Portuguese pumpkin jam’ to sell to staff here at school. Our project proposal is to convert our small ground level garden to four above ground garden beds that all students in the support unit can access. We plan to increase the variety of herbs and vegetables grown in our garden and extend our variety of jams, relishes and chutneys produced from the vegetables grown. Our students demonstrate a variety of abilities and we are committed to ensuring that all students and staff are engaged in the development of the garden and the production of ‘Relish this’ product.

Hebersham Public School
Hebersham Public School’s Pacifica/Maori food garden

The new garden space will adjoin to the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) and existing gardens. The new area will consist of one large area totalling 65 square metres. The garden will represent the Pacifica/Maori school community through a designated garden space as per the SAKG plan. The school has a proactive Pacifica/Maori school community and employs a full time Pacifica/Maori community worker to help support the needs of the local community. This garden will provide an additional 'sustainable' avenue for strengthening and building bonds with our local community. School staff members will develop the garden with the participation of our school students and community members.

Hurstville Public School
Hurstville Public School food and sensory garden

Hurstville Public School's Special Needs Unit wants to extend our existing small eco food garden project to incorporate additional garden plots and a sensory garden within our school grounds. This will enable greater access for increased numbers of students to participate in our food garden project as well as provide benefits for our special needs students to participate in outdoor activities and sensory stimulation. Our students will discover the benefits of sustainability and healthy eating in an enjoyable way. Funding will allow us to train teachers to support the project and purchase equipment.

Karangi Public School
Karangi 'wicking' kitchen garden

Our school has been accepted into the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) Program. To ensure we get the most out of the program we plan to build a ‘wicking kitchen garden’. Once set up our garden will be environmentally, socially and financially sustainable. Students will grow chemical free produce; reduce our carbon footprint by supplying fresh produce to our SAKG program and canteen; reduce our reliance on tank water and diminish our water consumption by using the water saving 'wicking' garden technique; raised bed design for easy access; excess produce sold to parents at our Karangi Kitchen Friday Market which will fund future gardening; promote healthy eating at school and to our community; finally direct educational links to various aspects of the curriculum through the SAKG program. Our ‘wicking kitchen garden’ will be a large food garden that has six to eight ‘wicking beds’ and an abundance of fresh healthy food.

Kenthurst Public School
Kenthurst Public School food garden - from our paddock to our plate

Kenthurst Public School will re-invigorate our 'veggie patch', including a shaded area with bench seating to enable an outdoor learning environment to be utilised by teachers and students across our school. We will also erect a permanent sign displaying the types of vegetables and herbs to plant in which months and seasons; ensuring the longevity of the food garden beyond the current team of volunteers and teachers, and to help maximise our harvest by planting and growing the right types of food in the year. The fresh fruit and vegetables and herbs will be used to prepare food in our canteen, used by the students to make healthy and delicious meals and sold to the local school community. Funds raised from selling produce will be reinvested back into the school. A worm farm and compost bin will take scraps from our classrooms, and canteen diverting waste from landfill and adding vital nutrients and compost back to our soil. The food garden will compliment the School Environment Management Plan and builds an ecologically sustainable learning environment for students now and in the future.

Lakelands Public School
Bush tucker everywhere

Lakelands Public School is set on beautiful grounds with a variety of native plants growing in the gardens which mesh with the learning spaces throughout the school. As the school supports a significant number of Indigenous students as well as trying to celebrate Indigenous traditions and experience, Lakelands Public School aims to infuse the existing landscape with bush tucker plants that are predominantly native to the local area. This bush tucker landscape teaches an alternative to exotic landscaping and home food production while supporting the local ecosystem.

Lane Cove West Public School
Making sustainable connections with the curriculum in the garden

Our school has a small existing food garden. However, our school has experienced an 83 percent increase in student enrolments, and more classrooms are needed. The existing food garden area has been earmarked as the site of a new demountable classroom and thus our garden needs to be re-established in another area. A major priority focus of the new Australian curriculum is sustainability. Our new garden will serve as an integral learning hub by enabling students to acquire knowledge, skills, values, views and behaviours about sustainable practices which will enable them to interact and engage sustainability with their world.

Lismore High School
Lismore High School aquaponics centre

Staff at Lismore High School are developing an Aquaponics System to show students the importance of sustainable living and how it can help us as a community. Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics (plants growing in nutrient rich water, no soil) and aquaculture (fish farming). The benefits of Aquaponics are that it only requires a small area (one cubic metre of water can support 100 fish growing to 500-600 grams) with trays or grow beds for the plants, placed on top or around the fish tank. This system does not need any extra water as it is recycled and filtered by the plants making it a great example of sustainable living.

Main Arm Upper Public School
Growing up green - seedlings and chicks

By adding chickens and a greenhouse for growing seedlings and native edible plants to our eleven raised beds, the Main Arm Upper school garden will grow into a truly complete school garden that offers our students new and exciting hands on opportunities to learn important food growing lessons. Incorporating a working greenhouse into our wider gardening program will allow students to understand and participate in the entire life-cycle of food production as well creating a basis for a small student led enterprise. The chickens will allow students to understand the role that animals play in food production and healthy gardens.

Mowbray Public School
Greening our classrooms - living sustainably at school

The purpose of this project is to expand current food growing practices at Mowbray Public School by establishing class gardens closer to classrooms to improve student accessibility and engagement in sustainability practice. Teachers will integrate sustainability outcomes into their food growing programs such as bush tucker foods and composting. This will teach and empower students to lead sustainable and healthy lives and raise awareness of Indigenous sustainability and culture. A whole school approach will be used with students teaching students through video clips at assemblies and reaching the parent community through student-created sustainability tips and Indigenous sustainability practice in the Mowbray Newsletter. We will use other teaching and learning tools to support the program such as the school's Environmental Noticeboard, visiting guests to teach about sustainability, food quality and Indigenous use of food as medicine, and visiting guests to provide professional learning for teachers.

Mullumbimby Christian School
Hope for a sustainable future

The purpose of the ‘Hope for a sustainable future’ food garden project is applying permaculture principles to our food gardens. We will endeavour to showcase the relationships between edible plants and how the addition of one or many plants can influence the balance within our environment, and how plants are mutually beneficial, i.e. some plants can provide nitrogen and or carbon, silica, and micro-nutrients like selenium to sustain other plant species. Once operational, this method of food production paves the way for a vast array of learning outcomes. Students will take away from this experience, the knowledge and an understanding of how a sustainable environment, no matter how small can be achieved.

Mulyan Public School
Mulyan Public School veggie garden

We will design and plant a series of vegetable gardens that all students will be able to work with. It will allow students to see how and where their food comes from, to sample the ‘fruits of their labours’, and to see the importance of eating fresh and living sustainably.

Murrami Public School
Murrami Public School creating and sustaining a productive kitchen garden

Murrami Public School is a small bush school surrounded by farms on the outskirts of the village of Murrami. We are fortunate to have supportive parents who had the foresight to establish our vegetable garden. The vegetable garden ties in with our school's ethos of becoming a health promoting school with a sustainable living approach. We would like to increase the number of garden beds in our veggie patch as we hope to produce ample vegetables, fruit and herbs to supply our kitchen program. The garden will provide our students with opportunities to learn life skills in growing fresh produce and to learn in a practical setting the importance of sustainability for our environment.

North Gosford Learning Centre
Raised garden beds

North Gosford Learning Centre is a purpose built facility for students in Years 5-10 with a history of learning and behavioural difficulties. Our project aims to create an edible garden that allows us to promote healthy and sustainable living achieved by ‘The raised garden bed’ initiative. The initiative will allow us to build six raised garden beds. Students have the opportunity to be involved in the planning, construction and completion of the raised beds. In addition, students from disadvantaged backgrounds will develop knowledge, values and behaviour that support community and government concerns surrounding healthy sustainable living. The imitative will have a benefit to the environment through regeneration of bushland and removal of noxious weeds that surrounds the planned learn scape.

North Nowra Public School
The garden gate and forest of food

There are six raised accessible garden beds and a mini orchard at the school that were developed in cooperation with Havenlee Special School with whom we share the site. Plans are also being developed for an Australian bush food garden. Students' interaction with the garden is facilitated by teachers who are personally passionate about sustainable food production. Our student population has been identified as living within low socio-economic areas, approximately 15 per cent identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) and there is a high level of welfare needs within our school community. The health/welfare benefits clearly linked to school food gardens are of great need and relevance to our students. There are school families who produce food at home. By building students' skills and understanding in sustainable food production we may influence their family's growing practices. We may also reduce the community’s reliance on processed, highly-packaged foods, therefore, reducing waste. The school garden currently supplies some produce to the canteen to encourage healthy eating and connections with food production systems.

Nowra Christian School
Sustainable food garden rejuvenation project

Improving and maintaining a food garden at Nowra Christian School will provide a rich educational context for students. The garden provides a place where students and the wider school community can observe food production: they are involved in preparing soil, sowing and harvesting produce. As they do this, they have opportunity to practise principles of sustainability including composting, re-using and recycling, seed-saving and plant propagation. Once they have produced a sustainably grown harvest, students will then be involved in preparing, cooking and eating the produce. Through this process they will learn ways to cook healthy fresh food.

Oxley High School
Oxley High sustainable organic food garden project

Students from years 7, 8 and 9 have been involved in the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of our sustainable food garden on the grounds at Oxley High for the past 12 months. We have been able to harvest two seasonal crops from the garden, the produce from which has been utilised in the school Food Technology kitchens and consumed by the students. The need to have a program that is student friendly and environmentally sustainable is why we have chosen to focus on this food garden. This project is allowing students with varying needs and backgrounds to gain experience and skills associated with simulated workplace, permaculture practices, recycling for composting purposes, soil health maintenance and sustainable accessible food production. The area our sustainable garden occupies was a degraded neglected site which has been revitalised and is potentially a productive regenerated area for whole school community access and enjoyment. Recycling practices and composting techniques will be encouraged in the garden design.

Parramatta North Public School
Parramatta North Public School's fabulous food garden

The students at our school live in units around Parramatta North and do not have an opportunity to be involved in and learn about gardening. Last year we were able to purchase a few raised garden beds where classes shared beds. This year we would like each class to have their own garden bed as staff have supported the program with their new skills and knowledge. Students enjoyed sharing a luncheon which links to class programs e.g. Living Things and Water Wise and directly with Sustainability which is a cross curricular element of the Australian Curriculum. Our whole school composting of organic waste forms the bases of our school garden beds therefore not having to continually import new materials into the garden beds.

Rankin's Springs Public School
The Springs sustainable school garden

The existing school vegetable garden is small and irrigated by town water.  Our aim is to create an environmentally and financially sustainable food garden by tripling the size of the garden, using the many existing rainwater tanks to water the gardens.  We would also provide fruit for students by way of an orchard, to eat in their daily 'Crunch and Sip' break. By having a large established food garden, our hope is to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to our community.   The construction of a chicken coop will provide a natural fertiliser for the garden and more produce to sell.

Rocky River Public School
Rocky River school garden project

To regenerate an existing garden in the school grounds to support school programs, for example Crunch and Sip, Live Life Well and Fresh Fruit Program plus the EnviroMentors Program which is sponsored by the Uralla Shire Council. The school already has established a chicken run and we intend to build a compost heap and worm farm, and establish raised garden beds, trees and vine trellises. This project will ensure a positive, sustainable and supportive project which will provide practical, hands-on learning for our students.

Shell Cove Public School
Our garden, watch us grow

Shell Cove Public School has embarked on a whole school sustainability project in conjunction with local community members. The main focus of the ‘Our garden, watch us grow’ project will include setting up a food garden within the school that can be used to enhance academic achievement, a healthy lifestyle and community and social development. The garden will also be used to supply the school canteen with organic, fresh produce that will be used to prepare healthy meals for members of our school community. The food garden will compliment the chicken coop which is already being successfully implemented in the school. Overall the ‘Our garden, watch us grow’ project will provide an understanding of sustainable living and recycling and how we as individuals can make a difference in the world.

Shellharbour Public School
Food forest

154 years ago, Shellharbour Public School established a vegetable garden that provided food for members of the school community. A garden was recreated on this site in 2009 as part of the school's sesquicentenary celebrations. Today, there is again a small vegetable garden that students and teachers frequently enjoy time in as they learn about how to care for their own health, the people around them, the plants and their local and global environment. This grant will enable the school to increase the size of the garden and subsequently the potential opportunities for students and teachers to become involved in the local production of fresh and healthy produce. Our garden has been built and continues to survive on (1) the goodwill of our community members who offer their labour; (2) staff who contribute huge discretionary hours to the project; and (3) school funding necessarily secured from other budget areas. Funding secured through this application is vital to the garden's ongoing success.

Southside Montessori School
Southside sustainable solutions

Southside Montessori School is a small, independent school at Riverwood, Sydney built on a strip of land leased from RailCorp. The school has been in existence since 1978 and settled at this site since 1985. We have a strong record of development and growth through parent fundraising, working bees and community involvement. Our current need to develop a working kitchen garden is our next essential step in our overall school management plan to: (1) promote environmental and sustainability learning opportunities; (2) connect our students with healthy food and lifestyles; (3) teach our children the value of waste reduction messages; and (4) develop positive attitudes towards the environment.

St Brigid's Primary School Raymond Terrace
The cultivating food, enriching people and the environment project

The cultivating food, enriching people and the environment project expands the existing garden with additional vegetable beds, fencing and composting facilities with produce provided to the school canteen to enhance students healthy eating. It will include training opportunities to enable teachers to develop gardening skills, and involve and enthuse a greater number of students in environmental sustainability and the joy of growing their own food. The school garden had its beginning in 2012, starting small by utilising existing landscaped garden beds. Students and staff embraced this embryonic project consisting of raised beds constructed, planted and maintained by a small band of students and students' grandparents. All students deposit their fruit scraps into compost bins with the composted material nourishing the garden beds. Small scale recycling that reduces waste and improves the students environmental appreciation and the overall school environment.

St Fiacre's Catholic Primary School
Fiacre's food garden

St Fiacre's Kitchen Garden (named after the patron saint of gardeners) would involve the creation of four new garden beds, close to the school’s outdoor eating area and kitchen. The kitchen garden would add to our existing sustainability initiatives (compost bins, a rainwater tank, some fruit trees and herbs). The focus would be on the children learning to grow food that we enjoy every day - lettuce, tomatoes and other salad vegetables. The planning would be led by the senior students in our recently formed (and very enthusiastic!) Environmental Group. The project would provide a 'hands-on' experience for our inner-city children and allow them to experience the thrill of planting, growing and eating food they have grown themselves.

St Francis Xavier Primary School
From little things, big things grow

From little things big things grow. We are a little school with big ideas. Our project is designing and creating Indigenous themed animal shaped garden beds made from recycled materials with a focus on healthy sustainable living. This much needed project will create hands on activities highlighting lifelong skills and lessons. The main focus is on healthy sustainable living, which in turn will filter through the community. Constructing a fresh kitchen garden with a bush tucker element acts as an important source of education and is a tribute to the traditional owners of the land.

Tambar Springs Public School
Healthy living and garden program

The students at Tambar Springs Public School have been developing a school garden over the past three years; and run a restaurant once every three weeks for members of the community, we need to enlarge this garden to incorporate more vegetable beds, some fruit trees and more compost bins so we can further develop the students’ skills. The students at the school gain enviro points for bringing food that is not pre-packaged which is encouraging the students to eat healthier food and think about recycling. This is working extremely well as the students have already realised a reduction in waste at the school. There is no fresh food available within Tambar Springs, so our aim is to be able to provide fresh vegies and fruit to all school families. The students have been involved in a program about ways in which we can reduce, reuse and recycle material. We have introduced a composting bin, made of recycled material, but it is now not keeping up with demand. We also require some garden loam and compost to maintain the health of our beds and prepare new ones.

Tanja Public School
Tanja's hens and harvests

The project will enable us to raise chickens, produce eggs and create fertiliser for our garden. The program will also permit us to make preserves, jams and chutneys using produce from our existing garden and orchard. By doing so the school will become independent of commercially produced fertiliser, provide our own eggs for our cooking program, and have little or no wastage from our existing garden. The creation of a hot house will enable seed propagation and continuous cropping of some foods.

The Pocket Public School
A pocket full of produce

The Pocket Public School is set in a rural valley surrounded by farms and spectacular views. The school is establishing veggie gardens on land donated by our neighbouring farmer. We currently have veggie garden beds and some herb pots growing in the garden area. Our project will see the garden area extended, a sheltered area for potting and propagating activities, and netting protection to deter the birds from raiding our gardens. Sustainability through selling and cooking with our produce by increasing the production is our main objective.

Windang Public School
Grow a healthy community

Windang has a long, rich history. It has been a significant meeting place for Aboriginal people. Over the years, Windang has been recognised as a naturally beautiful and important area by many cultures. Windang's bush tucker garden does not only use Australian native plants but plants that are native to this local area that would have in the past provided nutrition and sustenance for people and animals that have made Windang such a significant place. This bush tucker garden gives an alternative to exotic landscaping and home food production while supporting the local Windang ecosystem as well as being a show piece for all who attend or visit the school.

Page last updated: 17 February 2014