NEW, FREE RESOURCE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS!
In May 2010, the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) launched the Organic School Gardens Program - a free organic gardening curriculum program available to all Australian primary schools and anyone with an interest in organic gardening.
The program is designed for students aged 8 -12 years and provides practical support to schools with detailed lessons and accompanying teacher's notes for setting up and maintaining an organic school garden. Written and illustrated by Lyn Bagnall, author of highly acclaimed and three times published gardening guide Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting.
“Children are the future guardians of the planet,” Lyn says. “Sharing our knowledge of organic cultivation will provide the younger generation with the skills and enthusiasm they need to face the challenges of producing delicious, healthy food, in a sustainable manner, for an increasing population on a warmer planet".
Lessons and resources are suitable for use as individual lessons and for integration into the curriculum as a unit of work. The lessons compliment the national cross-curriculum priorities of Education for Sustainability, and the AuSSI Program national and state education initiatives. The Organic School Gardens Program aims to support schools with quality online educational material for teaching and learning.
The program includes practical and easy-to-use resources and lesson plans covering topics including:
- How plants grow
- Building healthy soil
- Recycling through composting and worm farming
- Sowing seeds
- Planting seedlings and green manures (includes practical mathematics)
- The importance of soil pH
- Saving water
- Crop rotation
- Caring for plants and the environment
- Organic methods of pest control
- Seed saving
In learning organic methods of gardening, students gain a better understanding of how gardening and farming practices affect the environment, and how they can improve both soils and the quality of their food while working in harmony with the environment in Australia's sometimes harsh climate conditions.
1) Does the program provide monetary support?
The program is a free resource and support in the form of advice is provided free of charge via email email@example.com. Schools registered to participate in the program may be eligible for financial or material support for the building of gardens and purchasing equipment through our Starter Schools or Leader Schools Programs. (See links on the Home page.)
2) Will a teacher who is a novice gardener be able to follow the lessons for teaching the students?
Yes, the lessons are accompanied by notes for teachers and supervisors. The Introduction section of the program also provides basic advice for adults on setting up beds, making compost, worm farming, a list of seed suppliers, and a basic equipment inventory.
While these notes are designed to be sufficient for teaching this age group, detailed organic cultivation notes for individual fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs and flowering annuals, a perpetual monthly garden diary that advises what to sow, plant out and fertilise in each Australian climate range, plus further information on all subjects covered in the program can be found in “Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting”. This book was written to assist novice Australian gardeners to obtain the best from their gardens, at the same time providing a handy reference for more experienced gardeners. Copies of the book can be obtained from BFA Book Shop or or by calling BFA Head Office 07 33505716.
3) How long are the lessons; how much time should be dedicated to the program each term?
The subjects covered in each lesson are designed for students to complete in a single school period each week, but schools should proceed through the lessons at a rate suitable to the comprehension level of their students, and their individual school situation. Naturally, seedlings and garden plants will require more than weekly attention for watering, etc.
The curriculum program is currently undergoing a review and in 2013 there will be lesson plans, activities and resource links added to the topics.
BFA is delighted to announce that renowned supermodel and organic advocate Ms Miranda Kerr has lent her support, donating funds towards the program.
In order to be kept informed of updates, funding and to receive the eNewsletter please register your details on the homepage.
For further information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or phone: 07 3350 5716
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