From fingerling to delicious fish dish
BARRAMUNDI production will not be slowing down at Kangaroo Island Community Education’s Parndana campus.
The school program, started a decade ago, gives students the opportunity to learn about the production of farmed barramundi — from fingerlings to plate standard.
And business is as good today as it was 10 years ago.
The Southern Ocean Lodge has a regular order with the school, while locals also buy the freshwater fish, which the school also smokes for sale.
The school also uses the water from the fish tanks, which goes through a stringent filtering process, to water its lettuce and herbs, which are also sold to the public.
The Kangaroo Island Skills’ Centre engages students in real life learning with transferable skills and visitors can see the learning which develops from it.
The centre hosted a visit by Italian gastronomy students and the school’s students acted as tour guides and prepared samples of smoked barramundi dishes for the visitors to sample.
The areas of “aquaponics” (aquaculture plus hydroponics) and sustainability are ex- plored by students through their learning programs. Agriculture teacher Barb Cooper said the school sold about 3000 fish each year and the vegetables were very popular with locals.
“Students are learning about the entire process, growing it from fingerling size to plate size, they fillet it and prepare it for sale and it’s all hands on,” she said.
“The animal husbandry side of things is also really important. To me, it’s a really cool class … the vegetables are my favourite part. To see that we can be really sustainable by using the water we’ve used to farm the fish is great.
“Plus all of the sales from the barramundi and vegies come back to the school.”
Kangaroo Island Community Education principal Ian Kent said the barramundi farm was part of the “paddock to plate” concept run by the school.
“We’ve got barramundi, chooks, sheep and vegetables that are all managed by our students … they see each process through from start to finish,” he said.
“We think it’s a great experience for the children to learn about all aspects of rural production and farming.”
To me it’s a really cool class … the vegetables are my favourite part.