A FLOURISHING community garden at Gravesend Public School is serving up healthy fresh produce to local families, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $12,647 State Government grant to extend the greenery with an Indigenous ‘bush tucker’ component.
Mr Marshall said the community garden was one of the few beautiful things to sprout from the dust of drought. “During those terrible dry years teachers at Gravesend identified struggling families needed help to access fresh produce,” Mr Marshall said.
“Sprawling garden beds now cover the school grounds with students learning to grow all manner of edible and non-edible plants in an innovative ‘paddock to plate’ program. “Now a bush tucker track is being added to educate the community on the traditional uses of native plants in cooking, medicine and tool making.
“As part of their classroom education students will build the garden beds, plant, maintain and water seedlings and harvest the end product.
“Principal Jackie Todd hopes this new garden will also develop in the school community that important life skill of growing and caring for their own food source. “Already this garden has successfully encouraged a healthier diet amongst students, especially those that are fussy eaters.
The gardens are open to everyone from the mobile preschool to members of the general public.”
Principal Jackie Todd said the school community was very excited to be able to continue to build on its ‘Paddock to Plate’ Program. “Last year our P&C supported the building of an Outdoor Kitchen which we use for cooking lessons,” Mrs Todd said.
“By increasing our garden we will be able to grow more produce and support our community by sharing our facilities and building community mentorship opportunities.
“The Bush Tucker Track will also be part of our community initiative. It was devised in consultation with our AECG and our Local Aboriginal Education Ambassador. “The aim is to promote understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture.”