Bundaberg North State School students have been given the opportunity to taste a range of fruit and vegetables in the classroom as well as grow their own as part of the Pick of the Crop initiative.
In partnership with Health and Wellbeing Queensland and the Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Bundaberg North State School received $5000 in funding to go towards increasing opportunities for children to consume and learn about vegetables and fruit.
Bundaberg North State School Teacher Dianne Philips said that the chance to educate students on fruit and vegetables was a fantastic opportunity.
“We went through the application program and we were lucky enough to get a $5000 grant,” Ms Philips said.
“Part of that grant is naturally building garden beds and growing fruit and vegetables and then having tasting days as well as visiting growers throughout the region.
“We have been out to the ginger farm to look at the process out there and then we went to one of the transport companies to see how the food is distributed around the country.”
The students were recently given the opportunity to try fresh produce donated by growers from the Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers group including cucumber, banana and snow peas.
As time goes on, Dianne said students would get the chance to eat the produce grown in the school grounds that they had planted themselves, including the digging of gold for sweet potatoes.
“Each year we plant sweet potatoes for the following years grade 6’s to come through and dig them up and plant some more,” Ms Philips said.
“This is a way that we get the students interested and encourage them to get involved.”
Student engaged in Bundaberg North Pick of the Crop
Bundaberg North State School Captain Kaden Reck said that it is great being involved in Pick of the Crop and growing fresh produce.
“It is fun getting your hands dirty, especially because I was raised on a farm,” he said.
“We grow sweet potatoes and we are growing some peas right now that we will be able to get out of the garden.”
The Bundaberg North Pick of the Crop program is looking to go further, made easier by a recent donation.
“Bunnings donated a worm farm and compost tumbler which is to help us use leftover food scraps from the children to start composting,” Ms Philips said.
“This ties into the school curriculum as at the beginning of the year, we do a microorganisms unit and we look at all the microorganisms within the compost and how they are broken down.”
Moving forward the school is looking to implement a close loop system, in which no organic waste leaves the school grounds.
“The idea is that we are developing a closed loop system so any of the trimmings from the trees or the garden or the food scraps from the children all stay here on the land and we are not just throwing away,” Ms Philips said.
“The idea is to eventually have bins out in the playgrounds and we will also be doing carbon so a lot of paper from the office we will be using that as you need the carbon to make the compost system work.”