Goornong's gardeners

Goornong Primary School students look forward to being green citizens.
Goornong Primary School students look forward to being green citizens.

SUSTAINABLE living and eating has been on the menu at Goornong Primary School since the school introduced sustainable gardening classes last year.

All 42 students spend at least one hour-long lesson per week in the garden, from testing the soil and running germination experiments to comparing habitats.

The school will take its sustainability message to the local community later this month when it takes part in Enviroweek 2014.

The students will invite parents to take part in a range of different garden-based activities, including a green grocer's stall, propagating plants and setting up a worm farm.

Goornong Primary School garden science co-ordinator Felicity Nicholls said the school's garden had been integrated into the curriculum.

"We're a sustainable school with a sustainability centre," she said.

"The students are absolutely excited about their garden - it's a lovely way to teach them to be green citizens."

While the sustainability classes might have started last year, the school has benefited from its gardening roots for almost a decade.

The orchids - which include apples, oranges and other fruits - have been at the school for 10 years.

The gardens also feature seasonal vegetables and herbs, as well as a unique butterfly garden.

"Certain native plants just seem to attract butterflies," Ms Nicholls said.

"They might not look like much to us, but butterflies love them.

"It creates a great sight for the students."

During Enviroweek, Goornong Primary School will be among hundreds of schools to directly monitor the amount of carbon it saves through its green activities.

Known as "food miles", growing their own produce saves carbon by reducing the amount of transit for food.

Enviroweek 2014 runs from August 24 to 30.