The inaugural plating at the first outdoor classroom, an initiative by local non-profit Neighbourhood Farm, took place at Bay Primary School on Saturday February 16.
Neighbourhood Farm founder, Justin Bonello, said the planting day at Bay Primary was one of many that the organisation would be doing at various schools in the south peninsula in coming months.
He said outdoor classrooms were essential in providing edible education to the children, regardless of whether the school had the space for a full market garden or not.
In the past year, various gardens have sprung up across the far south – Kommetjie Primary was among the first.
Kommetjie Primary School also has the Neighbourhood Market, which opened its doors to the community in August last year, (“Farm stall bursting with fresh produce,” Echo August 16 2018).
False Bay Hospital soon followed suit and then Laerskool Paul Greyling.
Mr Bonello said the prep work was completed over the December holidays, and a parent, teacher, and pupil planting day was organised with the school as a means to get both the parents, their children and the teachers to take ownership of the gardens.
“We are blessed to be working with forward thinking educators in the south who understand the value that an outdoor classroom can give their pupils. We are really looking forward to watching the garden turn what was once a sterile piece of land into a biologically diverse garden,” Mr Bonello said.
Bay Primary School principal, Melvin Beckmann, said having parents, staff and pupils together for the inaugural planting was fundamental in setting the project up for success.
He said Neighbourhood Farm had created a space where pupils could relax and learn at the same time.
“As the garden grows and matures, it is hoped that the skills the pupils learn will be carried into their own lives. We hope they can see where their food comes from, see the value of the ecosystem that relies on various factors to make it as bountiful as possible and that they can learn how to rourish the plants and ultimately themselves,” Mr Beckmann said.
In the future, he said the school’s Grade 4s would be setting up their own allotments and harvesting their own produce.
“The school is very excited to reap the rewards of this special project,” he said.
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