Sustainable St Aidan’s

St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ Junior School, QLD

Planting seedlings in the raised vegetable gardens

St Aiden’s Junior School in New South Wales was ecstatic on receiving a Westpac grant to aid their year 5-7 Environmental Club or ‘Earth Angels’ on their sustainability project. The objective was to give fellow classmates an improved environmental awareness and create a vibrant veggie patch for everyone to enjoy.

Through careful planning, the Earth Angels divided the chosen area into patches for a herb garden, containing parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme, and a seasonal vegetable patch including onions, carrots and spinach. Before planting, the students added manure, fertilisers and sugar cane mulch to improve the soil for the new plants and, with the kind help of a local fruit retailer, the girls set to work growing the seedlings from polystyrene boxes before transferring them into their new home.

As the edible plants and trees grew, St Aiden’s gave rosemary cuttings to parents as Christmas presents and cooked yummy pizzas, bruschetta and savoury muffins in the Junior School Cooking club. To complete the garden-cycle, the students then took responsibility for the food waste, disposing of it in their worm farm which will go on to produce more fertiliser for the vegetable and herb patch.

Fulfilling their roles as Junior Landcarers, the Earth Angels gave assembly presentations on the sustainability of their project sparking further class discussions towards the appropriate planting, growing and care of plants and trees.

Not only has the school been able to enjoy the fruits of their labour but food waste in the rubbish bins has significantly reduced and the children show a much broader understanding of garden eco-systems, telling of similar projects being undertaken at home.

The spirit of Junior Landcare encourages environmental awareness in young people and this Westpac grant has ensured that the great work in the classroom spreads across the whole community!