Acknowledging sustainable practises is a focus at our school. Educating and preparing our children with sustainable methods is important to us. We are starting off simply so that we can be successful. By keeping things basic and manageable we will be successful.
We have had our 7 lovely hens for 1 year now. They all have names (Chicken Jo, Midnight, Twilight, Autumn, Molly, Comet and Co Co - named by the children). They are cared for and loved by the children. Parents/teachers also assist. They are laying quite well at the moment. The eggs are sold and the money collected goes towards purchasing their grain. The eggs are also used by the school canteen as well as for cooking. The straw under their roost gathers their droppings and goes into a compost bin. One half of the chicken coup has been planted with grass so they have this to graze on regularly. The children like having the hens in the school. They are a calming influence as well.
Each class has a raised bed in which they can plant vegetables. The vegetables are cared for by the children and used to cook with or some classes enjoy the freshness and goodness from eating them straight from the patch.
We relocated a number of fruit trees from around the school into one location- now our orchard. These established trees include: orange, lemon, lime, mandarin, avocado and custard apple. We also have a huge tree in the horticultural area. Through fundraising we have been able to purchase another orange, mandarin tree as well as a peach and custard apple. Recently paw paws have been planted. Compost is used to mulch and fertilise these trees.
Three compost bays were erected by dads. We are trying to utilise vegetation from around the school (over a period of time) to break down and thus be recycled into the horticultural area. This is a ‘work in progress’ and something that we can aim at improving.
A worm farm was also started with fruit scraps from the children feeding the worms. The worm ‘wee’ is used as a fertiliser in the garden. Castings from the worms will soon be able to be utilised.
We are conscious of how much paper can be wasted in a school. We have a large bag whereby unwanted paper/cardboard can be placed and it is recycled.
Different classes have had little stalls (home baked goodies, unwanted toys and books etc) whereby the children use a range of skills to organise the sale of items to earn money. This concept is developing the notion that to have a horticultural area operating finances are required and money has to come from somewhere(not just the school budget). The children then discuss how their funds can be spent. For example last year the 5/6 clas purchased watering cans, hand tools, large spade, liquid fertiliser, passionfruit vine and fruit trees.
Every so often working bees are organised so all children are working on gardens around the school. Parents have also been involved in joint efforts over the weekend (along with teachers and children).