Raymond Terrace Public School students reaping gardening rewards

Raymond Terrace Public School students are now reaping the rewards of their hard work in moving and re-establishing a garden on the grounds.

Eight months after centralising the schools two gardens to the one spot – near the community hall on the grounds – it has begun yielding healthy crops of potatoes, other vegetables and flowers for students to use in cooking programs.

The garden also provides a refreshing outlook for users of the hall, and inspiration for art projects.

“The kids moved the gardens we had to this one location and do most of the work in here,” Carmel Dunn, the community liaison officer at the school, said.

“We’re trying to promote healthier eating. The kids learn about growing their own food, sustainable produce and plants by looking after the school garden.”

Ms Dunn runs the Grow to Cook program, which was relocated to the community hall earlier this year.

The garden provides the ingredients required by students to cook in the program.

To make the garden more accessible and “cohesive” to students, it was moved closer to the community hall earlier this year.

The garden is also located next to the school’s orchard and near the chicken coop.

The hall is used by a number of groups each week, including the Thou Walla Family Centre, The Smith Family and playgroups.

Members of Thou Walla’s Monday art group have helped to create installations for the garden including a sign made out of milk bottle caps.

All students, big and small, pitch in with the garden.

Year 2 students take part in Grow to Cook on Tuesdays with Ms Dunn.

The class spends half their time in the garden, and the other half cooking in the hall.

“They also look after the compost and worms, and run a market day on Tuesday afternoon,” Ms Dunn said.

“They sell produce and plants that we pot up and sell them. The money goes back into the garden.”

Supporters of the garden including Charles Webster from the Chuck Duck Foundation, those that helped move and re-establish such as Bunnings and users of the hall joined together for a morning tea on November 12. The students cooked and served up morning tea.