Imaginations Thrive with New Veggie Garden!

Imaginations Thrive with New Veggie Garden!

Imaginations Early Learning Centre in New South Wales were very excited to receive a local government grant from the Mid West Regional Council for $2,053 to further develop their centre yard.

Jennifer Limb, Centre Manager and her team passionately promote child-led learning and involving the children in the decision-making process about changes to their learning environment. When they asked the children what they would like to have in their backyard the response was an overwhelming - GROW OUR OWN VEGGIES TO EAT! Which is amazing to see the children’s interest and enthusiasm for both food and nature.

As a Lifelong Learning Centre with a holistic approach to nurturing Healthy Children, the team are delighted that the children will be able to extend their learning and play to incorporate their natural environment.

      

Jennifer recounted the process of bringing the garden to life - “We immediately began clearing the area, and Anthony, our wonderful Educator, shovelled 3 tonnes of soil and took it to the tip for us. The children loved helping, especially when we had 70 bags of soil delivered and they helped by putting bags on bikes, scooters, little wheel barrows and skateboards and taking them down to the garden!”

“We spent many hours, most of it on the weekend, erecting the garden beds and filling them with soil. We asked for Bunnings to come and help plant all the seedlings, which they were more than happy to do so and the children not only helped to plant their vegetables but were also learning a lot about each plant and how to care for them.”

The new veggie garden features 14 different types of vegetables, a variety of herbs, plus an apple tree, nectarine tree, mulberry tree and red ash tree for shade. It is already proving a fantastic resource to promote Healthy Food, Healthy Bodies and Healthy World – all of which are important themes within the Lifelong Learning Centre’s Healthy Children framework.

“We are very excited to offer our children, not only a gourmet lunch menu inspired by Kelly Richardson The Gourmet Nutritionist, but now our own organic vegetables planted, harvested and eaten by all the children. We include healthy eating in our programs every week for every room, but now we can add some practical intentional teachings, with children being involved with daily watering and pest control using natural ingredients to deter the pests. We have also added a mulcher and worm farm to be cared for by the children and eventually added into our garden to make the soil even better!” Jennifer enthused.

   

The centre has received endless positive feedback from parents and children. Brenda, a parent whose child attends the centre, said “it is so wonderful to see children learning to be sustainable and not having my children ingest more chemicals in their lunch. I love it, you have done so well. Thank you.”

Bridie, a five-year-old girl who attends the centre said about the garden, “I like picking my own food to eat - but not brussels sprouts - I would pull them out!”

It seems the garden is being embraced by children, educators and parents alike, and is a fantastic permanent addition to teach children and families how important chemical free and sustainable living is for the next generation.

Jennifer concludes, “We can’t wait for everything to hurry up and grow so we can eat all our hard work!”

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Posted: 12/21/2017 11:07:54 AM by