Nestled in the playground at Tanunda Lutheran School is potentially one of the most well managed vegetable gardens in the Barossa Valley. Caring for the garden is a strong team of year 6 students with job titles including: propagation specialists, researchers and developers, public relations officers, insect pest controllers, vegetable crop labourers, scientists and accountants.
Since February this year, year 6 students at TLS have been producing vegetables (lettuce, broccoli, leek, beetroot and kale) to sell to 1918 Bistro & Grill in Tanunda who approached the principal, Darren Stevenson, with the idea.
The exercise is a part of a Business & Economics lesson for the students who have, as a part of the process, selected specific jobs that they we want to do for their ‘vegetable business’ and identifying what skills they had that would help them to complete their jobs. It also aligns closely with TLS’ SOLE (Sustainable Outdoor Learning Environments) initiative.
The team of students has had their hands dirty with the process since its inception. Tasks have included: deciding where to put different vegetables with consideration given to soil type, sun light and space; mixing natural manure (old sheep poo) to create nutrient rich soil; planting seedlings and regularly watering them toward their maturity ready for sale.
“The pest controllers had to try to catch different bugs and moths and give them to the scientist, so they could find out what they were and how to stop them from eating our plants,” explains 6/7 teacher, Mrs Kirstie Buckley.
In addition to a healthy dose of the ‘fresh outdoors’, these budding entrepreneurs have been instilled with a life-long love of gardening, an understanding of where produce comes from and an appreciation for the business skills required in order to benefit from the ‘fruits of their labour.’
“The garden beds are great fun to do and give us a bit of responsibility to look after plants and we all get to have fun outside with our friends.” Harry Robinson
“Working in the gardening beds is fun and educational and it is fun to get dirty! It is great to enjoy nature and be out in the sun on a Friday afternoon.” Indiah Graetz