Food Gardens in Schools grants awarded and project summaries

This program fostered the growing and harvesting of food in school gardens.

The Environmental Trust offered grants for the Food Gardens in Schools program from 2012 to 2014. 

In 2014 the program was incorporated into the Eco Schools program.

Project summaries

In the 2014 round the Environmental Trust approved 50 grants of $3500 each, totalling $175,000.


Organisation Project title

Albury North Public School

K-6 Crunch and sip garden

Argenton Public School

Lead safe food garden project

Arthur Phillip High School

Hands on garden nook of tranquillity and purpose

Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School courtyard food garden

Billabong High School

Billabong food garden

Black Mountain Public School

Black Mountain school garden

Blackheath Public School

Blackheath Public School 'cool school' kitchen garden project

Bobs Farm Public School

Pest patrol - teaching integrated pest management

Bonville Public School

Land to lunchbox garden - relocation and rejuvenation

Budawang SSP

The hanging gardens of Budawang

Casula High School

Hands on edible and native garden: Special Education Unit

Cooranbong Public School

Growing our future

Cundletown Public School

Cundle green thumbs

Dunoon Public School

Dunoon school diggers

Edgeworth Public School

Edgie's veggie garden

Gorokan High School

Gorokan High School support garden project

Greenacre Public School

Worming for food…here and there!

Holroyd School

Holroyd School food garden project - grow healthy, be healthy!

Hunter River High School

Our garden project

Iluka Public School

Three ‘S’: simple + sustainable = success

Inner Sydney Montessori School

Wicking worm grow beds

John Palmer Public School

Sensory organic food garden

Kadina High School

Sustainable living, healthy eating

Kurrambee School

Participation, engagement and understanding: Kurrambee food garden

Lake Munmorah Public School

Fresh is best

Manly West Public School

Manly West kitchen garden

Manning Valley Anglican College

Establishment of a food garden - garden to plate

Marayong Public School

Chives, chickens and children: an oasis in suburbia

Marks Point Public School

Marks Point market garden

Moorefield Girls High School

Promote sustainable and healthy living

Murwillumbah Public School

Lettuce grow

Orange High School

Vegetable garden

Queanbeyan West Public School

The not so secret garden

Rowland Hassall School

From garden to plate

Sapphire Coast Anglican College

Diggers patch - you can fix the world's problems in a vegie patch

Shoalhaven High School

School grown vegetables

Southern Cross School

The support centre K-6: food garden project

St Ives High School

St Ives High hospitality garden

St Joseph The Worker Auburn South

Kitchen garden

St Joseph's School Narrandera

Our sustainable garden

St Mary's Primary School Corowa

Sow to sustain

St Patrick's Primary School

St Patrick's kitchen garden

St Raphael’s Catholic School

St Raphael's vegetable garden project

Summerland Christian College

Growing good food

Tallowood School

Tallowood farm and gardens

Tomaree High School

Support playground food garden

Toormina High School

Support village garden

Wentworth Falls Public School

Carrots to catchment management from our organic kitchen garden

Woniora Road School

Horticulture program - growing for the future

Woodenbong Central School

Woodenbong Central School community food garden project

 

50 grants at $3,500 each, totalling $175,000

Albury North Public School

K–6 crunch and sip garden

We absolutely want to make a difference. This is the inspiration behind the Crunch and Sip Garden Project at Albury North Public School. Our plan is to develop a garden which engages all students, (including our multi-category disability class) in sustainable environmental practices and which allows them to design, plant, maintain, harvest and taste freshly grown, succulent fruits and vegetables. The garden will provide learning opportunities in Literacy, Numeracy, Creative Arts and Environmental Studies. Our hope is that these practices will educate students about their ability to make life-long decisions to benefit their own health and best promote a sustainable environment for future generations.

Argenton Public School

Lead-safe food garden project

Argenton Public School wants to build not only a best practice school food garden with chooks, worm farm, compost and rainwater tank, but also to set a precedent amongst sustainable schools by incorporating knowledge of the industrial history of our area (ex-lead smelter nearby) to overcome the potential for lead contamination of our soil and rainwater and by creating a lead-safe school food garden teaching unit as a model for other schools. Exposure to lead and other toxics will be reduced by lab testing soil and rainwater and avoiding products such as weed-mat and treated-pine.

Arthur Phillip High School

Hands-on garden nook of tranquillity and purpose

Transforming a small bland and under-used space into a functional growing oasis to promote ecological consciousness to the whole school. Edible plants and those with sanative benefits are chosen to both provide ingredients to the school kitchen and enhance the social wellbeing of students with disabilities. Benefits include engaging students in a welcoming environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture and work cooperatively. It reinforces classroom curriculum across subject areas and life skills. Kitchen and gardening experience will also promote health and pride. We want to create an oasis that provides food for the body, mind and spirit.

Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School courtyard food garden

Providing students with the opportunity to cultivate vegetables, fruits and herbs that represent the diverse cultural backgrounds of our community, this food garden will be unique in the way that it caters to the needs of the students with moderate learning disabilities. With a significant proportion of students living in multi-storey dwellings, the school grounds often represent the only opportunity for hands-on gardening experiences. The food garden will also provide a rich educational tool, providing students with an opportunity to explore how they can incorporate sustainable choices into their everyday lives, thereby multiplying environmental benefits throughout the local area.

Billabong High School

Billabong food garden

The students will work collaboratively with their peers, staff and the local community to establish and maintain a chicken pen and vegetable garden. Students will learn about how to be sustainable and care for their environment. Students involved will learn to be responsible for the project with supervision and motivation by staff. Students will learn the concept of being self-sufficient.

Black Mountain Public School

Black Mountain school garden

Black Mountain Public School is a small rural school with 23 students, located 11 kilometres from Guyra, NSW. The purpose of our gardening project is to establish and improve the knowledge, health and well-being of children in our community of kitchen garden preparation, planting and harvesting. It will allow for the construction of 4 edible food gardens in raised garden beds and will enable the school community to share in the growing and harvesting of fresh produce. Food produce from the garden will be for the children. This project will ensure a positive and supportive environment whilst providing hands-on learning for our students.

Blackheath Public School

Blackheath Public School ‘cool school’ kitchen-garden project

This project will revitalise and enhance our existing food garden and breathe new life into the sustainable food ethos of our ‘cool school’. We will develop a garden plan to help guide the project for years to come; we will rejuvenate our composting program and undertake a waste and resource use audit; we will continue to maintain our existing garden beds throughout the year (even when it is cold); we will build a high quality greenhouse to allow propagation during the cold winter months; we will plant a cool climate orchard; we will build a chook run to help recycle food scraps and provide our canteen with fresh eggs; and we will create an outdoor learning space for all to enjoy. Our students, teaching staff and school community will be intimately involved in every aspect and will learn about selecting the right plants and animals, creating the right conditions for them to grow and nurturing and harvesting and most importantly eating all that we produce. This will provide a healthy lifestyle incorporating exercise, healthy eating and understanding of the environment.

Bobs Farm Public School

Pest patrol – teaching integrated pest management

The school has recently constructed a number of vegetable gardens and introduced chickens to the school. We would like to prevent any destruction from pests such as noxious weeds, rabbits, snakes, foxes, and rodents. Furthermore, we would like to introduce and encourage beneficial organisms into the garden. We believe our existing gardens and chicken enclosure offer a wonderful learning opportunity to teach all the school children (K–6) about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – a holistic approach to identifying, monitoring and curbing pest damage. They will learn fundamental principles of IPM such as pest identification, prevention, monitoring, least risk pest control, record keeping and review. We believe that teaching IPM will connect students to nature, teach them how humans can manage their environments sustainably and responsible stewardship.

Bonville Public School

Land to lunchbox garden – relocation and rejuvenation

Our existing school garden has been chosen as the site of a new classroom and it needs to be re-located, re-established and rejuvenated. It is used as a whole-of-school teaching resource on recycling and living sustainably. The children maintain a worm farm from lunchbox waste, collect seed and grow seedlings, learn about mulch, soil biology, composting, good and bad bugs and for some students ‘tasting a fresh bean for the very first time’. With produce on sale to parents of students on a weekly basis, the new garden will further promote healthy living choices from ‘Land to lunchbox’.

Budawang SSP

The hanging gardens of Budawang

This garden project will be located in a section of the school that is currently not used. It will enhance the appearance of the school from the street and will complement our ‘Live life Well at School’ program. The students will participate in designing, planting, shopping, building, planting and harvesting the garden. The garden will provide a practical foundation from which to conduct a number of programs, including ones in Science, Technology, English, Mathematics, and Human Society and its Environment (HSIE). Harvested food can be used in the Crunch and Sip program. The local community will be involved in the construction and planting of the garden and already 3 fathers have offered their support in the maintenance and care of the resource. These men are keen to see the students at our school develop a love of the outdoors and the skills to possibly set up a business or recreation later in life.

Casula High School

Hands-on edible and native garden: special education unit

Casula High School established a special education unit in 2014. The unit, consisting of 3 classes, has quickly become a vibrant and energetic part of our school community. The school has a productive farm and environment centre frequently accessed by the mainstream students; however, the distance and security reasons make it difficult for students with special needs to access. It is envisaged that this grant would enable the school to transform an unused and secure area adjacent to the support classrooms to create an outdoor learning space and quiet area that would cater for the needs of students

Cooranbong Public School

Growing our future

To create a kitchen garden that will support the Stephanie Alexander kitchen-garden program. The garden will demonstrate first-hand how one can reduce their footprint by growing food locally and reduce waste by recycling organic matter, making compost and in turn enhancing food production. 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. By incorporating a working greenhouse into our wider gardening program, we 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. Chickens will allow students to understand the role that animals play in food production and healthy gardens.

Cundletown Public School

Cundle green thumbs

Cundletown Public School is a mid-sized primary school located in an area north of Taree. It is a small community in a semi-rural setting. The school is presently establishing vegetable gardens that will supply the canteen with healthy eating options. A gardening club with 55 Kindergarten to Year 6 children actively involved. Senior students have taken on leadership roles in this. The aim is to expand these environmental projects to include a composting area, worm farming, fruit tree planting, mulching of existing garden areas and empowering the children to educate others.

Dunoon Public School

Dunoon school diggers

Within this project Dunoon Public School will develop food gardens enabling students to grow and harvest sustainable food year-round within a broader 3-year kitchen-garden program. Dunoon lies within a productive farming district yet most student food is packaged and highly processed. Supported by local horticultural expertise the project will design, plan and construct 6 large food garden beds and establish a closed-loop system utilising organic waste through composting and worm farming. A key goal is to engage students to participate in the design, planning and development of a creative, integrated food garden that delivers environmentally sustainable outcomes.

Edgeworth Public School

Edgie’s veggie garden

We aim to establish a sustainable produce garden, including a vegetable patch, herb garden, fruit trees, bush tucker, compost bins and a worm farm. At Edgeworth Public School there is high demand for establishing a produce garden to further enhance students’ involvement within environmental education. Our project will provide opportunities for hands-on environmental learning. Members of the whole school community will share in the planting, growing, harvesting and selling of produce. The environment will benefit from our produce garden through reducing waste products from eating times by contributing the waste to the compost bins. Reusing and recycling materials will be used to construct elements in our garden.

Gorokan High School

Gorokan High School support garden project

The newly developed special education unit at Gorokan High School aims to engage students with disabilities and those disengaged in the learning process with life related skills. As part of this focus on developing independent students ready for post-school, we aim to develop sustainable vegetable gardens in our outdoor learning area. The goal of this space is to provide a cross-curriculum educational approach around the subject areas of Science, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Food Technology and Mathematics. The skills gained through this garden project by students with disabilities will include, but are not limited to, learning about life cycle, changing seasonal patterns, healthy eating, food preparation and skills around budgeting, money, time and measurement. This project will focus on enhancing social skills, team work and the ability to plan into the future – all skills fundamental to post school success.

Greenacre Public School

Worming for food – here and there!

Currently we have a food garden that classes maintain and cultivate to then prepare dishes in the kitchen. We would like to introduce a worm farm that students in the support unit would look after by collecting compost from classes to feed the worms and then use the liquid and solid fertiliser in both the existing food garden as well as a new ‘Here and there’ food garden. Working closely with an Aboriginal community liaison officer and expert in Asian cooking, these students will learn the history of the local area; explore the selection of bush tucker and Asian plants to plant in their sustainable garden as well as looking after the garden. They will thus be a part of the whole sustainable food cycle as they use the plants in their weekly cooking sessions. Students will develop confidence, ownership and pride as well as increasing their integration with other students and team work skills. These qualities will benefit them for life. The bush tucker garden will be in 2 locations with a worm farm at each to cater to the support class locations.

Holroyd School

Holroyd School food garden project – grow healthy, be healthy!

All students at Holroyd School have significant intellectual disabilities, and many also have physical disabilities and autism. Our school recently had major building works and some previously existing gardens were demolished. The school garden project will enable our students to engage in across-curriculum lessons about the environment and healthy lifestyle in a practical and meaningful way. Through planning and tending the garden and using the produce in a variety of lessons, our students will be able to learn about and experience environmentally sustainable gardening practices and develop their interest and knowledge about healthy eating and healthy physical activity. Produce from the gardens will be used in cooking and sensory programs, allowing students to touch, taste and smell a range of healthy foods. The project will provide opportunities for many students who do not have access to gardens at home to learn in a new environment. Our students and their parents will be able to see the positive effect they can have on the environment and on their lifestyle.

Hunter River High School

Our garden project

The aim of our participation in the Food Gardens in Schools program is to assist students in gaining an understanding of the relationship between daily activities and the health of the environment, our impact on the Earth and our need to utilise resources efficiently for them to be sustainable. Through the development of teaching programs, a school garden will be enormously beneficial in providing increased opportunities for special needs students to achieve outcomes across subject areas in the life skills curriculum. Participation will provide tangible experiences in a high interest physical activity. A garden will make a positive contribution to students developing work skills and enable their transition from school to community. Students will have the opportunity to achieve goals specified in their individual transition plans. Work in a garden and the related activities will address the different learning styles of students, ensure the learning is relevant and promote a transfer of knowledge between school and home and a lifelong interest in gardening.

Iluka Public School

Three ‘S’: simple + sustainable = success

The purpose of this project is to establish a bush tucker grove within the newly established food zone area within Iluka Public School. This grant would enable the students, staff and school community to enhance their knowledge about the cultural significance of the local environment for Aboriginal people, to celebrate Aboriginal heritage and gain a deeper knowledge about indigenous foods. Students will learn about the value of bush foods, what is edible and useful about certain bush plants, understand that bush plants were used for medicines, and gain knowledge about the legal and environmental issues associated with collecting bush tucker.

Inner Sydney Montessori School

Wicking worm grow beds

Our wicking worm grow bed project is one element of a larger project to convert our school grounds into a demonstration/learning living classroom that will showcase how food can be grown in small spaces, transforming a fully paved urban space into a diverse green and healthy community environment. We need this project because our school currently has almost no green space. We would like our green space to include a food garden because food and meal production is such an important part of our curriculum that almost every classroom has a kitchen. The children participate in meal preparation and allowing them to use fresh seasonal produce will enhance the appreciation of how and when varieties of plants grow in natural conditions.

John Palmer Public School

Sensory organic food garden

The sensory organic food garden will encourage the students with special needs in the Early Intervention class to explore their sensory needs and address their anxiety with touch, taste and smell of different plants in their environment. The program will allow the students to increase their self-confidence and self-esteem in understanding their personal identity, their place in the school environment and encourages them to work alongside other students in the school. All the students will learn to make healthy eating choices, understand where their food comes from, with a direct connection to the current Live Life Well at School Policy.

Kadina High School

Sustainable living, healthy eating

To educate students about the ease of producing healthy and tasty food in a fashion that supports sustainable living. Many of our students are from low socio-economic status and/or Aboriginal backgrounds and do not have access to a healthy diet or a home life that is based on healthy and sustainable living. This project will give students the skills to design and create food gardens that supply nutritious produce, which students will then use to cook healthy meals. A significant portion of our carbon footprint comes from the transportation of goods. Local small-scale production reduces our carbon footprint and decreases the need for large monocultures and their associated problems including, for example, the need for the use of pesticides.

Kurrambee School

Participation, engagement and understanding: Kurrambee food garden

Kurrambee caters to students with varied and significant disabilities. Our project draws together a number of current school environmental programs to help students understand how healthy food is produced sustainably, through programs that are linked to curriculum K–12. In 2014, Kurrambee moved to a new site, which has an existing garden that we will make more productive and accessible to students through development of an accessible orchard. We aim to create an environment that is meaningful and welcoming, catering to the specific learning and participation needs of our students, through creating an Aboriginal food garden and food cycle mural.

Lake Munmorah Public School

Fresh is best

Our school food garden is established within the support unit gardens at our school. The aim of the garden is to not only grow and harvest fruit and vegetables, but to use the garden as a way of teaching science and environmental studies to students with special needs and behaviour difficulties. We also plan to establish a herb market, with the support of our senior students. After the establishment of the garden we will be introducing cooking lessons into our curriculum. We have been approached by a local chef who is very keen to be involved.

Manly West Public School

Manly West kitchen garden

The project will provide an organic food growing garden and outdoor classroom, accessible to all students. The garden program will equip teachers and students with the knowledge and practice to sustainably grow, prepare and eat fresh, healthy and seasonal food both in school and beyond. It will also facilitate integrated teaching across the curriculum. The garden, built over 2 previously neglected zones, will be planned and built with sustainable environmental organic principles involving students in composting, planting, maintenance, and harvesting in seasonal rotation and will leave them with lifelong garden skills, an understanding of environmental sustainability and positive relationships with fresh healthy food. The garden will call on the wider school and local community for support and involvement.

Manning Valley Anglican College

Establishment of a food garden – garden to plate

We are seeking to build a food garden at the entrance to our school. All students will walk past the garden each day and will engage with the garden through sight, smell and visual impact. We will have our secondary school art, wood and technology design involved in making murals, archways and colourful insects to place in the garden. Parents will have an opportunity to engage with the garden: we will build the garden in stages and engage with the school community throughout the development. The garden is being established next to the canteen.

Marayong Public School

Chives, chickens and children: an oasis in suburbia

Marayong Public School will:

  • create 4 large vegetable plots (one for each of the 7 support classes at the school)
  • plant, care for and maintain each plot and; harvest, prepare and serve the garden produce
  • maximise educational opportunities and students, staff and parents/caregivers will recognise the benefits of outdoor/environmental experiences
  • encourage our community to grow and produce their own vegetables at home and emphasise the role of fresh vegetables in maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • create an outdoor environment that will encourage local birds and other small native animals
  • align our activities with the expectations of the new science curriculum
  • align this program with our ‘Living Skills Protocols.’

Marks Point Public School

Marks Point market garden

To establish a vegetable garden on the old library area which presents as a vacant place without use and aesthetic appeal to our community. Our garden will turn an eyesore into a productive, student focussed and hands-on learning environment. The garden will use rainwater gathered from a nearby gutter. Our school wants to lower its carbon footprint further by creating both an environmentally and financially sustainable vegetable market garden. Our garden area will create a model for our community, a productive garden that produces ample crops for our canteen as well as to sell produce to the local community and enable cooking activities to eventuate. We use produce funds to keep the garden running. The project will provide life skills in establishing gardens then growing fresh produce for our students. The project will have direct links to various aspects of the curriculum and enable our school to become a model for sustainable living in the community.

Moorefield Girls High School

Promote sustainable and healthy living

Our sustainable food garden will engage students in an appreciation for the importance of living a sustainable and healthy life. It will provide students with a tranquil outdoor learning environment where they can maintain and harvest their own produce. All students will have equal access to enjoy and learn about the environment. This will build an appreciation for local produce and an understanding of food miles in our urban school community.

Murwillumbah Public School

Lettuce grow

The extension of our small veggie garden will support the high levels of interest shown by the students in our current garden club. We aim to build additional garden beds and provide tools and materials for its continued development and maintenance. Our students love to be involved in hands-on learning activities and work in the garden in class groups and small groups. The learning that occurs in our veggie garden links with science, environmental education, English and maths. The opportunities are endless and the learning is invaluable!

Orange High School

Vegetable garden

Students establish class vegetable gardens in corrugated iron containers to demonstrate that a large portion of an average family’s vegetable requirements can be produced in their own yard. Recycled kitchen vegetable matter from the home economics department, canteen and poultry manure from the agriculture plot will be composted and used to maintain nutrient levels and reduce water usage.

Queanbeyan West Public School

The not-so-secret garden

As part of our continued commitment to our students and the local community we would like to establish a no-dig food garden. The not so secret garden will transform a debilitated area of the school playground into a delight for the senses. In the beginning 3 raised garden beds will be developed to provide students within the support classes an opportunity to grow, harvest, prepare and share their produce. Student participation in the garden will improve social skills and learning outcomes. The garden will be a sanctuary to those students who find the demands of school life too hard.

Rowland Hassall School

From garden to plate

We currently utilise our vegetable garden as a crucial part of our teaching and learning activities. The garden is a hands-on way to engage our students who are more able to achieve learning outcomes in flexible learning environments. The goal we have been working towards is for students to be able to cultivate fresh fruit and vegetables from seed all the way through to maturation so that the produce can be used in our Food Technology program and our Crunch and Sip program. To achieve this we need to develop a miniature greenhouse to cultivate seedlings and conduct improvements on our existing vegetable garden beds. Our aim is for students to increase their understanding of sustainability through the cultivation and beautification of the school environment.

Sapphire Coast Anglican College

Diggers’ patch: you can fix the world’s problems in a vegie patch

Twenty-five per cent of students at our small rural school present with special needs. The special education department’s modest, much-loved veggie and chook patch can provide only limited space for students in need of positive physical outlet, a break from structured classroom environment, and help in anxiety reduction. The expanded food garden will become a sanctuary, the heart of enrichment, utilised for gardening, socialising, language, mathematics and science. Students awareness of food values, sustainability and carbon footprint will improve as a result of supplying their kitchen with chemical-free produce, increasing carbon storage, and by locating the garden in an area that will reduce run-off from a disused road into wetland area.

Shoalhaven High School

School-grown vegetables

Garden design will make all aspects of horticulture and olericulture accessible to children with physical impairments such as being wheelchair bound and other mobility issues. It will also serve as a place where children with anxiety and mental-health issues may visit, as the area is contained within but isolated from an existing school farm environment. The current surroundings are of an agricultural plot where farm animals can be seen from the area designated for this purpose. The garden will allow for living skills to be practiced and all components of horticultural/olericultural enterprise to be explored in a safe, accessible and contained setting.

Southern Cross School

The support centre K–6: food garden project

The support centre K–6: food garden project will provide an opportunity to develop a food gardening system that educates students with disabilities (6 classes of students with disabilities) about the relationship between the environment and clean, healthy food. Once produce is harvested the students can learn how to cook with their fruit and vegetables. The students will learn first-hand about the benefits of recycling organic waste and the skills needed to produce and prepare healthy meals. The project will provide the necessary resources including materials and training to create a fully functioning and sustainable food garden. Activities in the garden will be integrated into the curriculum for Mathematics, English and Science as well as part of the school’s Personal Development and Health program about living a healthy lifestyle. This program will also serve to foster positive relationships between parents, school staff members and community members.

St Ives High School

St Ives High hospitality garden

Building on the success of our new Hospitality Trade Training Centre (TTC), the school is seeking to establish a working food garden designed to raise student awareness of plant growth, food production and the impact of this practice on the environment. Located next to the TTC, the garden will teach students how to sustainably grow, harvest and cook delicious and healthy food. Australia’s cultural diversity will be explored through the growing and cooking of Aboriginal bush foods; Asian; Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food representative of the cultural background of the students enrolled at our school. The garden will also provide further learning and sensory opportunities for hearing support unit students by encouraging them to become involved with growing their own food and providing an environment that maximises food production. A bare, post-construction site will be transformed into a sustainable, productive learning area that will be a feature of the TTC and school. This project will be included in a number of teaching programs across the school.

St Joseph The Worker Auburn South

Kitchen garden

At the moment, the food garden project we have is in a small area with some vegetables growing. Students are showing enthusiasm and dedication to the project which started last year. We started implementation again this year, from scratch. So far, the broccoli, onions, potato, chilli, capsicum, asparagus, rhubarb, celery, and strawberries are growing very well. Students also require some shelter when maintaining the garden: at present this is minimal. Students who are in the garden club meet once a week to look after the garden and never miss a day. Students are always thinking of new ways to grow vegetables and look after the ecosystem.

St Joseph’s School Narrandera

Our sustainable garden

Children will understand the use of energy and water to produce food in a sustainable way. They will understand how biodiversity in nature can assist in providing what we need, by:

  • recognising the garden as a learning experience and a learning tool
  • involving pupils in planning, decision making, organisation and publicity
  • matching garden work and classroom work one for one
  • linking the garden to the school curriculum
  • encouraging observation, experimentation and record keeping
  • learning about healthy eating.

St Mary’s Primary School Corowa

Sow to sustain

St Mary’s Sow to Sustain project aligns with the school’s charter priority of sustainability. It will incorporate organic fruit and vegetable gardens and a whole school recycling system. The garden area will be a centrepiece for cross-curriculum outdoor learning with an emphasis on sustainable living with each stage group responsible for a particular area. Funds will be used to train staff in organic food production, composting and rotational gardening. Members of the Corowa Community Garden are also volunteering to share their time and knowledge with staff and students. The user-friendly recycling system will enhance efforts being made already to recycle in the school. Children will be responsible for its management with an environment group teaching their peers about recycling and waste reduction strategies. The Sow to sustain project enhances the schools’ strong resolve to minimise waste and seeks to empower the children to be the drivers of sustainability in their community.

St Patrick’s Primary School

St Patrick’s kitchen garden

The school is about to relocate to a greenfields site. We had 2 established garden beds on the current site in 2012. This was part of a Year-2 inquiry learning project. It is hoped that the school will be able to establish 7 garden beds allowing for the growing of vegetables, herbs and other plants. The current arrangement has enabled some younger classes the opportunity to appreciate how living things grow, explore healthy eating options and look at sustainability. These directly link to personal development, health and physical education, science and technology and human society and its environment units of work. By expanding the number of garden beds, all classes will be able to engage with the project. Produce will be sold to the canteen, staff and students, with proceeds used to purchase new plants and materials.

St Raphael’s Catholic School

St Raphael’s vegetable garden project

Our school has a small playground area with most of the K–6 playgrounds consisting of bitumen surface. In 2012 a plan was developed with the purpose of making the play areas more injury-free, child-friendly and stimulating. The school’s vegetable garden project is part of this overall playground plan. It has these scaffolds: (1) create 7 vegetable gardens (one for each K–6 grade); (2) place the vegetable gardens in the students’ playgrounds (students can readily see and tend to the vegetables); and (3) provide an aesthetically pleasing and stimulating environment.

Summerland Christian College

Growing good food

The Growing Good Food project aims to provide a learning environment for students to develop the interest, knowledge and skills to produce healthy organic food. The focus group will be infants and primary students and the garden will be very close to the infants’ area. Students and staff have shown an interest in food growing and parents are encouraging us to develop their children’s skills and understanding of food growing. Small scale garden projects have been carried out in the past, but this funding will enable the school to establish a more substantial, better coordinated and enduring project, one that will be part of the school program each year. This project will make a difference to the environment as it will enable us to recycle organics in the school, provide vegetables for use in the canteen and for class food activities as needed as well as enabling students to graze on fresh vegetables. It will, most importantly, instil life skills which they will carry throughout their lives.

Tallowood School

Tallowood farm and gardens

Tallowood School is a school for students K–12 with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities. Our project aims to extend our current vegetable garden to include a farm component consisting initially of chickens. Students will be engaged in the care and maintenance of the chickens with the eggs being used in a variety of cooking programs across the school. The chickens will allow students to explore the role of animals in food production. Our current composting system will be expanded to incorporate chicken manure and food scraps to reduce waste and fertilise school fruit and vegetable crops.

Tomaree High School

Support playground food garden

The proposed food garden will complement a small existing set of raised gardens in the support playground area and build on Tomaree High School’s participation as a rising star in the Newcastle City Council’s Climate Cam Program. The area will consist of raised garden beds, a worm farm and compost bins and will complement work students carry out weekly at the local Ngioka Horticulture Centre and engage students in classes linked to the curriculum areas of Mathematics, English, Science, Creative Arts and Food Technology. Mainstream and support students have been actively involved in the planning of this area as part of their learning cycle in the higher school certificate construction course and science junior and senior life skills courses. It is envisaged that greater engagement in the curriculum through the expansion of this facility will enable students with disabilities and students without disabilities to work in partnership for improved environmental and educational outcomes.

Toormina High School

Support village garden

The aim of the project is twofold: (1) develop an outdoor area in which the students can be encouraged to gain opportunities in both practical and educational skills in a calming environment, and (2) educate the students on making good informed nutritional food choices and sharing those choices with families. The development of a vegetable garden from the propagation of plants through to harvesting allows the students opportunities to participate in a variety of activities which they may not have experienced before. The establishment of an outdoor workspace would be created by the making of planter boxes on wheels that could be wheeled into position that was accessible to wheelchair students. These would contain plants which would cater for their sensory needs. Other uses of these boxes would be to create an environment for coffee-shop days (a work-education incentive) that is open to the community, and developing a frog pond that would be integrated into the science curriculum and enhance the overall environment within the garden.

Wentworth Falls Public School

Carrots to catchment management from our organic kitchen garden

Wentworth Falls Public School aims to create an organic kitchen garden, orchard and Aboriginal food garden to enable our students to learn through key areas of the school curriculum, including best practices for growing their own food and how this benefits us, our school, our community and the environment. Students will learn principles of organic recycling and sustainable living. They will learn the importance and techniques of chemical free gardening to protect local flora and fauna, including 3 endangered species, as all runoff from the school and local properties ends up in local creeks and nearby Blue Mountains National Park.

Woniora Road School

Horticulture program – growing for the future

The purpose of the project is to expand the existing food garden areas, which in turn will ‘soften’ the appearance of the school buildings. The goals of the project are to install additional raised food gardens, introduce fruit trees (native and commercial) to attract more native wild life and create working compost and install a water tank. Students will increase their knowledge on simple, easy to implement sustainable practices including the recycle, reuse and reduce concept. The project aims to engage students by physical, mental and social means. The project will give the students a sense of belonging and ownership. Students will gain basic construction/gardening skills useful beyond school. The food garden will be used by all. Foods produced will be used for practical cooking and for personal needs.

Woodenbong Central School

Woodenbong Central School community food garden project

The Woodenbong Central School community food garden aims to provide authentic learning opportunities for our students, staff and community about healthy sustainable living through the development of our project, growing and harvesting food in our garden. Our students need to develop relevant knowledge, positive attitudes and practical skills in developing healthy lifestyles, through active participation in gardening and access to fresh, healthy eating alternatives to reduce obesity, improve long term health outcomes, develop cultural awareness about bush tucker, sustainable living and caring for the environment. By learning how to grow and care for a food garden and using the produce to prepare healthy food, the students will learn life skills that will improve their health and quality of life. The connectedness to the land and culture through Indigenous perspectives and caring for the environment will be significant in students’ learning, and for our school and community.


In the 2013 round the Environmental Trust approved 52 grants of $3500 each, totalling $182,000.


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 forestof 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 3 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 2 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 can 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 Recyclers project will involve the students in constructing a rendered straw-bale chook house with 2 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 7 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. 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 about 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 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 our focus on the sustainability considerations in the school’s Environmental Management Plan. Teachers will promote healthy eating and organic food growth as part of the school curriculum, particularly the subject areas of Science, Food Technology, Personal Development and Health. 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 6 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-used 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 4 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 6 to 8 ‘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 complement 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 food 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 6 raised garden beds. Students can 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 learnscape.

North Nowra Public School

The garden gate and forest of food

There are 6 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% 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 2 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

This project is to regenerate an existing garden in the school grounds to support school programs (for example, the Crunch and Sip, Live Life Well and Fresh Fruit programs) 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 be to set 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 complement 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

One hundred and fifty-four 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 4 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. 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 3 years; and run a restaurant once every 3 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 uses plants that are native not only to Australia but to this local area, and which in the past would have 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 showpiece for all who attend or visit the school.


In the 2012 round the Environmental Trust approved 25 grants of $3500 each, totalling $87,500.


Organisation Project title
Barker College

Soil-less food production - overcoming land degradation issues

Bega Valley Public School

Bega Valley School grows: fruit, vegetable and traditional bush tucker

Bellambi Public School

Bellambi living classroom

Drummoyne Public School

Veg-U-Cation

Glenvale School

Glenvale veggie patch

Hanwood Public School

Hanwood's market school garden

Hilltop Road Public School

Smart sprouts in the secret garden

Jilliby Public School

Jilliby food garden

Kentucky Public School

Kentucky Public School food garden program

Mount St Patrick Primary School - Murwillumbah

Mount St Patrick Primary School food gardens for education

Mullaley Public School

Mullaley Public School food garden

Narwee Public School

From seed to feed

Newcastle High School

The i.D.I.G. project - i Dig, I grow

Nundle Primary School

Small schools Kitchen to Garden Expo

Peakhurst South Public School

Peakhurst South community sustainability garden

Peel High School

Sustainable kitchen garden project

Plumpton High School

Food for thought

St James Primary School

Vegetable and sensory garden extension and development

St Patrick's Catholic Primary School

Growing healthy kids in our food garden

St Pius X High School Adamstown

Learning to grow and growing to learn

St Therese Catholic Primary School

Happy little veggie patch

Stella Maris College

Stella Maris food garden

Taverners Hill Infants School

Taverners Hill from source to table vegetable garden and chicken coop

Wauchope High School

Wauchope High School special needs food garden project

Young Public School

Growing Young health and sustainability

25 grants at $3,500 each,totalling $87,500

Barker College

Soil-less food production – overcoming land-degradation issues

With an increase in soil degradation and decrease in arable land occurring throughout the world, students will undertake a project to source, build and operate a soil-less growing environment for food production using a hydroponic setup. Equipment is needed to construct the setup, which will give students an alternative production technique for food and allow them to implement and improve sustainability in their food units.

Bega Valley Public School

Bega Valley Public School grows: fruit, vegetable and traditional bush tucker

This project will establish a small food garden, in raised beds built from recycled materials, including a small number of fruit trees and an Indigenous bush tucker garden. This will provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and will enable all members of the school community to share in the growing and harvesting of fresh food, teaching them about the benefits of fresh food and the importance of processing green waste and food scraps through composting and worm farms. This project has the full support of Bega Valley Shire Council, who is providing community-wide education and resources to supplement any grant funding.

Bellambi Public School

Bellambi living classroom

The living classroom will allow students (Preschool – Year 6) and teachers to be involved in meaningful, hands-on experiences that link to curriculum expectations and provide lifelong learning skills. The initiative proposes to transform an existing unused, north facing grass area of approximately 12 square metres into a 9-metre-diameter circular outdoor teaching area. This area will consist of a vegetable garden bed with surrounding fruit trees and 3 existing worm farms and rainwater tank. This will be the first step in developing a series of permaculture based no-dig organic garden beds where students will be able to take ownership and stewardship of their garden.

Drummoyne Public School

Veg-U-Cation

‘Veg-u-cation’ is the creation of an inner-city school vegetable garden as a sustainable learning environment. Veg-u-cation is about our teaching our future generation to understand the environmental issues society now faces. The project will be embracing the need for a more sustainable approach to land management and inspiring young minds to think differently to past generations. However, still recognise the need to produce food within an ever-changing and challenging environment and economy.

Glenvale School

Glenvale’s veggie patch

Glenvale School is a school for specific purposes. It has 2 campuses and caters for 128 students with an intellectual disability and/or multiple disabilities. The Glenvale veggie patch project will involve our students at the North Entrance campus and will involve the students setting up and maintaining 3 vegetable gardens and then using them in cooking programs. The specific objectives of the program will be to engage students with disabilities in the life skill activity of gardening, increase the access for students with wheelchairs to gardening programs and improve health and wellbeing in all students by eating fresh vegetables.

Hanwood Public School

Hanwood’s market school garden

We have a small existing vegetable garden that currently uses town water. Our school wants to lower its carbon footprint further by creating both an environmentally and financially sustainable vegetable market garden. We need to expand our garden area by at least double to create a productive garden that produces ample crops to sell produce to the local community to then use those funds to keep the garden running. The project will provide life skills in growing fresh produce for our students and have direct links to various aspects of the curriculum.

Hilltop Road Public School

Smart sprouts in the secret garden

Smart Sprouts in the Secret Garden is a school- and parent-run project that offers students in Kindergarten – Year 2 the opportunity to dig, plant, grow and harvest vegetables. This will promote sustainability and health to our diverse western suburbs community. The Smart Sprouts pilot has been a great success and we now would like to roll it out to the school at large. To make smart sprouts available to a wider student body we would like to run the program during release from face to face time. Funding will allow us to train teachers to support the project and purchase equipment.

Jilliby Public School

Jilliby food garden

This project will (1) provide environmental leadership opportunities for students that allow students to work with peers, teachers and the wider school community; (2) harness community spirit to build partnerships in sustainable practices and healthy living choices; (3) develop positive student, school and community attitudes and behaviours for healthy, sustainable living practices; (4) educate students in the process of how food is produced and the environmental and health benefits of home produced foods; (5) provide indigenous education; and (6) develop understanding of the importance of native vegetation as a traditional food source and its importance for fauna.

Kentucky Public School

Kentucky Public School food garden program

We will establish a kitchen garden in the school’s grounds to supplement existing fresh fruit and crunch and sip programs currently running at the school. The garden will be made up of 4 beds, each 3 metres by 1.5 metres and 400 millimetres deep. An extensive orchard and vine trellis area will also be established in the school’s grounds. As part of the project, an existing brick shelter will be renovated and remodelled to create a chicken coop which will provide eggs for the food side of the program as well as manure for the garden component.

Mount St Patrick Primary School – Murwillumbah

Mount St Patrick Primary School food gardens for education

We will purchase at least 2 more small food gardens to allow each stage group at our school access to food gardens for learning activities. We will also install a shade system using dwarf fruit trees to give the gardens more shade in the summer months. The project would also include the use of local community resources such as local nurseries to help with education programs and making appropriate choices for the garden’s composition. Having access to the food gardens will enable teachers to achieve aspects within the school management plan which relate to environmental issues and best practice teaching and learning strategies. We will also engage a local organic-gardening expert to provide professional development for the teachers.

Mullaley Public School

Mullaley Public School food garden

We are hoping to construct a sustainable food garden, a chicken coop and a compost bin that will allow the school to encourage and teach students about growing food and developing sustainability. Our current small food garden is in a shade house in an inappropriate shaded area and is not producing the food we require to show any quantifiable results. Four new beds (2 metres by one metre by 400 millimetres high), plus a compost bin for soil preparation and a chicken coop would create a fantastic food garden which would inspire our students on many levels. A more substantial food garden would encourage the wider community to be involved with the school and could be used as a resource for gaining increased knowledge on food, weather, climate change, carbon, soil and growing conditions alongside the traditional school based subjects of literacy and numeracy.

Narwee Public School

From seed to feed

The Narwee Public School food garden project will become a pivotal component of our recently established school/community garden and consolidate our current environmental initiatives such as recycling, composting and vermiculture. The project will engage the whole school community in designing, establishing and sustaining a series of themed food gardens. Each class will become custodians of their food garden and be responsible for sharing their knowledge with the whole school. The project will actively involve students and teachers to carry out the whole school environment management plan in addition to creating viable and valuable links with the local community.

Newcastle High School

The i.D.I.G. project – i Dig, I grow

The i.D.I.G project has been designed to incorporate active learning through curriculum contextualisation. The goal is to design, build, plant and cultivate vegetables. Vegetables grown will be used to produce meals linked to countries and cultures being studied in LOTE and HSIE. Students will work as a class to ready the garden for planting, before being assigned their individual plot and responsibilities. They will be given i.D.I.G diaries in which they will compose procedural reports regarding the tasks they are responsible for; and in which to record data of variables required for optimum plant growth and growth charts for their specific plot.

Nundle Primary School

Small Schools Kitchen to Garden Expo

Nundle Public School is well known in the district as having an established garden and successful kitchen garden program. The Small Schools Kitchen to Garden Expo will showcase the success of our Kitchen to Garden to Kitchen Again program, (initially set up in 2009 by funds from the Environmental Trust) and further promote garden-based learning to the staff within our school and other small schools within an hour’s travel of our school.

Peakhurst South Public School

Peakhurst South community sustainability garden

Peakhurst South community sustainability garden will turn land that is not being used into a large sustainable food garden for the school and community. Our school has solar power, water tanks and a gardening club but not enough funds to get a large food garden started. This grant will provide the funds needed to start and grow our food garden. It will provide students with more tangible links to the Key Learning Areas, and strengthen the connection between the school and local community.

Peel High School

Sustainable kitchen garden project

Following the completion of building work for a new trade training centre (commercial kitchen) we have a bare patch of ground adjoining the kitchen classroom, with good sunny aspect and slope for a garden. We would like to design and build a food garden on the site using sustainable agriculture principles, with student involvement in the development and maintenance of the garden project. We would like to grow herbs, vegetables and fruit for use in the school kitchens for food technology and hospitality classes, and set up a worm farm, compost heaps and recycling bins.

Plumpton High School

Food for thought

Food for Thought takes a whole-school approach to the construction of food gardens, with students involved in all aspects of the production cycle. To develop greater understanding of sustainability and environmental awareness, gardens are made from recycled materials, school organic wastes are incorporated, and heritage seeds are included. Numerous needs are addressed, primarily improving dietary habits and knowledge of healthy eating. Students will use fresh produce in cooking classes; excess food can be taken home to families where knowledge can be shared. Food for Thought addresses MindMatters health and wellbeing aspects that form a major focus of our School Management Plan.

St James Primary School

Vegetable and sensory garden extension and development

This project will 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. Additional growing areas will also give opportunity to increase the variety and volume of food products for students to harvest.

St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School

Growing healthy kids in our food garden

We will establish and run a food garden with the aim to provide students with access to the natural environment as part of our curriculum. We will work with parents, grandparents and community groups to set up and run the gardens which will give our students access to older people, disabled people, father and/or mother figures they might not have at home. The food gardens will be made out of recycled materials where possible, and grow heirloom varieties to represent the various cultural groups within the school. The food garden forms part of a new landscape plan for the school.

St Pius X High School Adamstown

Learning to grow and growing to learn

By constructing a kitchen garden with a bush-tucker element we will demonstrate closed-loop production to students, staff and stakeholders with a focus on healthy sustainable living. We will seed our own; nurture produce; harvest crops to cook; and dispose of food waste in worm farms. This project will provide a much-needed outdoor learning space for special needs, Indigenous and vocational hospitality students. The kitchen garden will create a hands-on experience for students to learn valuable skills and stewardship. It will make an enormous difference to their ability to replicate these practices in the community.

St Therese Catholic Primary School

Happy little veggie patch

St Therese would like to build a happy little veggie patch at the school as a continual project of our already established outdoor living classroom that was a project accomplished last year by our Year 6 students of 2011. We would like to continue the momentum and expand this project to include a veggie garden to further promote sustainability and environmental awareness at the school. We want this project to inspire the children to use the skills they have learned in the garden at school and promote this at home by sharing the outcome of their learning with their family and the wider community.

Stella Maris College

Stella Maris food garden

There is a distinct need for a healthy and sustainable food garden at Stella Maris College. As is the case in many urban areas, there is a real disconnect between food and where it comes from. The Stella Maris food garden will provide the students with first-hand experience, paired with realistic goals, on how to grow and harvest their own food. Much of the food grown will be used in the school canteen (making students aware of ‘food miles’), with scraps going to worm farms, further completing an awareness of the food cycle.

Taverners Hill Infants School

Taverners Hill from source to table vegetable garden and chicken coop

Taverners Hill Infants School is a small school that prides itself on being ‘a country school in the city’. Our classes only go up to Year 2 and we are currently in the process of reimagining our grounds as a native vegetation sanctuary that is designed for imaginative play and exploration of the natural environment. We have chooks and guinea pigs that the children have primary care of and we would like to bring vegetable gardens, growing our own food, sustainable gardening, waste management and recycling into our school community and curriculum. Our chook house is old and is located in the ideal spot for growing vegetables. We would like to relocate the chicken coop, create 4 vegetable plots, one for each class, and integrate the design, maintenance and harvesting of the eggs and vegetables into the children’s daily lives, lessons and play. The children will experience being conscious of reusing household waste through composting, plan for the seasons through planting choices, and realise that even the smallest actions can make a difference to the world.

Wauchope High School

Wauchope High School special needs food garden project

We wish to design and build a food garden that has wheelchair access and caters for students that have special needs and autism and mental/behavioural issues. This will allow our students to interact with mainstream agricultural and science classes to build an inclusive school community project that will allow all children to share in the joy and experience of growing their own healthy and nutritious food.

Young Public School

Growing Young health and sustainability

The Young Public School community consists of children from diverse social and economic backgrounds. Rising rates of obesity and the predominance of fast food chains in our town indicate there is a vital need for children to experience production and preparation of healthy food using sustainable methods. The project will extend the school’s existing vegetable garden to increase the access and experience of the vegetable garden to our whole school community. Worm farms will be established to reduce our waste and to provide the food garden with nourishment. Our students will discover the benefits of sustainability and healthy eating in an enjoyable way.