How do we make students aware of the links between healthy soils, healthy food and healthy bodies? To support this awareness from a young age the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) started the Organic School Gardens Program (OSGP) in 2010. More than 1100 primary schools across the country are now participating.
To further promote the concept, Maarten was interested in capturing on film a dialogue with city students about ‘what they do and learn in their garden’. He talks with students about nutritional food, healthy soil, plant health, pest and disease control, soil fertility, compost, the worm farm, saving water, biodiversity, role of chooks, their kitchen experience, avoidance of man-made chemicals and fertilisers etc.
The experiences of the school principal and teachers about the impact of the garden and gardening experiences on students and school environment are also recorded. How the ‘class room in the garden’ is used for learning at all levels: literacy, numeracy, science, technology and the arts. Learning about food production has encouraged healthier eating choices and far less appearance of unhealthy snacks and associated wrappers. Waste bins could be removed from the school yard!
Year 3-4 students have activities in the garden and pairs of Year 5-6 students are at their favourite spots responding to questions like: What have you learned most in the garden? What do you like doing most in the garden? What has been the biggest surprise of your learning? A salad lunch is picked and prepared in the kitchen….
Farming Secrets filmed the visit and will produce a 15 minute DVD on YouTube and a 1 hour DVD reporting the OSGP outcomes for Clayton North Public School.