Urban Gardening for Growth

There is a wonderful project blossoming in our grounds along Church Lane.

Mr Phillip Pain, HSIE Teacher, has created a kitchen garden with the helping hands of our Year 9 Geography students.

Mr Pain explains:

Our Geography program was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions on undertaking fieldwork.

One of the key focuses of the Year 9 Geography course is Environmental Management and Sustainable food production. We decided to create a kitchen garden, as a case study in adaptive reuse of an under utilised area of our Hurstville Campus.

The site was previously overgrown with weeds and was under utilised due to its location and being in shade for much of the day. A kitchen garden offered an opportunity to redevelop an area of the campus and also learn about food production.

We have focussed on growing seasonal staples such as tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, silver beet, salad greens in raised garden beds, and strawberries in hanging baskets. Permaculture principles such as companion planting of flowers to encourage beneficial insects and discourage pests has been embraced. We have also used lures to reduce the incidence of cabbage moths.

All green waste from the garden is composted within the garden to improve productivity of gardens. Café12 green waste is also being captured and composted.

The next phase will capture all green waste (lawn clippings, weeds from gardens and food scraps) created on the Hurstville Campus to be composted for use on the kitchen garden.

All three Geography classes are currently propagating their own seedlings, some will be planted into the gardens, and the balance will be taken home over summer holidays to allow students to apply what they have learnt by raising their own vegetables at home.