Over the past two Wednesdays, five local primary schools have participated in ‘sustainable agriculture’ workshops at the Corowa Community Gardens.
The Junior Landcare program is being delivered by Corowa District Landcare.
Students from Corowa, Savernake, Lowesdale, Rand Public Schools and St Xavier’s Primary, Urana were engaged in learning about sustainability concepts through hands on learning.
Students rotated around three hands-on activities.
Corowa Community Garden Founder Joan Palmer guided each group through the process of making ‘hot’ compost and shared her knowledge about how compost enhances soils.
Karen Retra, co-founder of the national pollinator count, spoke about the vital importance of pollinators and showed the children how to identify various bees, wasps, flies and butterflies.
Students were excited to find native blue banded bees in the garden.
These interesting bees have become extremely important in hot houses growing tomatoes due to their unique style of ‘buzz pollination’.
Sally Hughes, Junior Landcare Co-ordinator, discussed the importance of healthy soils and guided the students in hands-on soil sampling to identify the soil types that were brought in from their schools.
After the activities a discussion about ‘food miles’ proved very interesting with many children unaware of where the fruit and vegetables they eat are grown.
Once they were informed the students could see that buying locally grown food in season tastes better and is more sustainable.
This was confirmed when the children ate some locally grown organic oranges.
Feedback from a survey undertaken by the children after the workshop found that most students considered ‘sustainable agriculture’ to be a very important issue.
Corowa Landcare hopes that topics raised at the workshop will create valuable conversations by children in their homes and back at school.
Junior Landcare Program is supported by Murray Local Land Services through funding from the National Landcare Funding.