ON THE LAND Schools ‘dig’ sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture

The Free Press (Corowa) - - REAL ESTATE -

Over the past two Wed­nes­days, five lo­cal pri­mary schools have par­tic­i­pated in ‘sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture’ work­shops at the Corowa Com­mu­nity Gar­dens.

The Ju­nior Land­care pro­gram is be­ing de­liv­ered by Corowa District Land­care.

Stu­dents from Corowa, Sav­er­nake, Lowes­dale, Rand Pub­lic Schools and St Xavier’s Pri­mary, Urana were en­gaged in learn­ing about sus­tain­abil­ity con­cepts through hands on learn­ing.

Stu­dents ro­tated around three hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties.

Corowa Com­mu­nity Gar­den Founder Joan Palmer guided each group through the process of mak­ing ‘hot’ com­post and shared her knowl­edge about how com­post en­hances soils.

Karen Re­tra, co-founder of the national pol­li­na­tor count, spoke about the vi­tal im­por­tance of pol­li­na­tors and showed the chil­dren how to iden­tify var­i­ous bees, wasps, flies and but­ter­flies.

Stu­dents were ex­cited to find na­tive blue banded bees in the gar­den.

Th­ese in­ter­est­ing bees have be­come ex­tremely im­por­tant in hot houses grow­ing toma­toes due to their unique style of ‘buzz pol­li­na­tion’.

Sally Hughes, Ju­nior Land­care Co-or­di­na­tor, dis­cussed the im­por­tance of healthy soils and guided the stu­dents in hands-on soil sam­pling to iden­tify the soil types that were brought in from their schools.

After the ac­tiv­i­ties a dis­cus­sion about ‘food miles’ proved very in­ter­est­ing with many chil­dren un­aware of where the fruit and veg­eta­bles they eat are grown.

Once they were in­formed the stu­dents could see that buy­ing lo­cally grown food in sea­son tastes bet­ter and is more sus­tain­able.

This was con­firmed when the chil­dren ate some lo­cally grown or­ganic or­anges.

Feed­back from a sur­vey un­der­taken by the chil­dren after the work­shop found that most stu­dents con­sid­ered ‘sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture’ to be a very im­por­tant is­sue.

Corowa Land­care hopes that top­ics raised at the work­shop will cre­ate valu­able con­ver- sa­tions by chil­dren in their homes and back at school.

Ju­nior Land­care Pro­gram is sup­ported by Mur­ray Lo­cal Land Ser­vices through fund­ing from the National Land­care Fund­ing.

Tammy Kuhne, Chloe Kuhne, Jaz Col­lier and Matilda Leitch from Rand Pub­lic School dur­ing one of the sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture work­shops.

Chloe Kuhne and Ed Kreutzberger from Rand Pub­lic School get­ting their hands dirty at the sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture work­shops.

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