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In the garden at Mount Lockyer Primary School

Mya and Emma with carrots for crunch and sip. (Deanna Corrieri)

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At Mount Lockyer Primary School, with the sun shining and bees buzzing, students enjoy the fresh air as they go into the vegetable garden and start on their chores.  

With all hands on deck, the students go around the garden doing the watering, weeding, raking and snail hunting – to make sure the pesky molluscs don’t eat the leafy greens.

The garden, Our Place, boasts a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs and is a space for students to learn about where food produce comes from and how to care for a garden. It is a place of peace.

Curtis watering the sensory garden. (Deanna Corrieri)

Students learn where food comes from and how to take care of a garden

From carrots and beetroot to strawberries and herbs, whatever the season brings, they grow.

Education assistant Veronica Stanton-Halligan said the students enjoyed their gardening experience, learning where food came from and taking care of their garden.

“They love it,” she said.

“We grow everything in the garden, so the kids can pick the stuff and we’re teaching them what it is, how it’s grown and the benefits of it.”

“We grow everything in the garden, so the kids can pick the stuff and we’re teaching them what it is, how it’s grown and the benefits of it.”

As part of their Waste Wise program, each classroom has a food waste bucket which is emptied by the students into the compost, where the compost is then used as fertiliser on the veggie garden.

Mya doing some weeding. (Deanna Corrieri)

Produce grown by students used in the school’s canteen and cooking classes

The garden’s produce also goes towards the school’s canteen, as well as being used in cooking classes where students can enjoy picking vegetables and creating delicious dishes.

“Those children that do the cooking program come down here twice a week and learn how to propagate and plant seeds,” Ms Stanton-Halligan said. 

Among the veggie garden is a small area under the shade of a tall tree, with rosemary, lavender and other plants in bloom.

This little sanctuary is called the sensory garden, a place where students can go to and smell, taste and feel different plants.

“We’re learning about all the sense and stimulating the senses,” Ms Stanton-Halligan said.

“They can come down and if a child is a bit anxious about something, we can walk them around the garden and they become quite calm because they’re smelling or tasting and it’s taking away the anxiety.”

“They can come down and if a child is a bit anxious about something, we can walk them around the garden and they become quite calm because they’re smelling or tasting and it’s taking away the anxiety.”

At the end of the class, the students harvest their own carrots for a “Crunch and Sip” session, where they reflect on the day’s activities and enjoy a delicious snack.

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