Food for thought

Blue­ber­ries, man­goes, bush tucker and more – Belmont City Col­lege's brand new food for­est is set to flour­ish un­der the watch­ful eyes of its In­clu­sive Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre stu­dents.

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica War­riner

THE fruits of Belmont City Col­lege stu­dents’ labour have paid off, with their brand new food for­est set to thrive.

The In­clu­sive Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre stu­dents planted, seeded, and built their own gar­den beds for the en­tire 1700sq m space near Aber­nethy Road.

Teacher Melissa Gray runs the hor­ti­cul­tural pro­gram at the school, and has been the driv­ing force be­hind the food for­est, a project two years in the mak­ing.

“We wanted to change the piece of land into some­thing use­able, so we de­cided to do some­thing about it,” Ms Gray said.

“We run sev­eral gar­dens but didn’t re­ally have any­where we could put fruit trees in. This was a place we could grow big fruit trees.”

The Col­lege’s In­clu­sive Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre runs from Years 7 to 12, cater­ing for stu­dents with a range of dis­abil­i­ties with some classes held in the Cen­tre and other lessons in­te­grated with the rest of the Col­lege.

Ms Gray said the ma­jor­ity of stu­dents in the Cer­tifi­cate I and II Hor­ti­cul­ture pro­gram thrive be­ing out­side and get­ting hands on with projects.

“The kids came up with the plan, they de­signed it all, they found all of the equip­ment and re­cy­cled it all from school,” she said.

“Down in the gar­den we’ve a cherry tree, man­goes, nec­tarines, plums, ap­ples, a whole range of veg­eta­bles, and the sec­ond half is a bush tucker gar­den with na­tive species from WA and all over Aus­tralia.”

Year 1`1 stu­dent Holly Pitham said she en­joyed ev­ery bit of the process.

“We’ve built ev­ery­thing from scratch, with do­nated stuff and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, and a lot of peo­ple have helped us out,” she said.

“Some days I was in lead­er­ship roles, other days it was other peo­ple in lead­er­ship roles, it’s been a bit of both. We had so much fun. It’s some­thing I want to show my kids and my grand­kids.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d473607

Stu­dents from Belmont City Col­lege’s In­clu­sive Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre.­mu­ni­ d473607 Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

See­ing the fruits of their labour: Belmont City Col­lege’s food for­est has been planted and is all set to grow.

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