Abbotsford School pupils Lewis Kennedy (back) and Jaydean Washington (both 8) prepare the soil for the school's new vegetable gardens. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A piece of land 10m x 24m. You could play a game of tennis on
that, park a truck on it, even build a small holiday house.
Or you could do what Abbotsford School has done - build what
is believed to be one of the largest school vegetable gardens
Teacher in charge of the garden John Willemsen said the
school was replacing its former, smaller vegetable garden
with several large plots and a greenhouse in which it hoped
to grow a feast of vegetables.
Mr Willemsen said the new gardens were established to help
teach pupils at the school about sustainable living.
He said the programme would not only teach pupils about the
growing process, it would give them ''real life'' maths,
statistics, technology and design lessons.
''It's hands-on learning where kids can learn about things
like mathematics in a real-life context.''
Pupils would grow carrots, cabbage, silverbeet, runner beans,
corn and potatoes in garden plots, and in their greenhouse
they would grow tomatoes and cucumbers.
''There is a competitive aspect to this as well. Each class
will use vegetables from the garden to make soups, and there
will be an award for the best soup.''
Mr Willemsen said the majority of the vegetables would be
sold at the school's market day, which would help pay for
next year's compost and seeds.
''It'll help continue the sustainable process.''