Meckering school kids healthy, wealthy and wise

Children at the Meckering Primary School now have a better understanding of where the food they eat comes from.

A grant from the Avon Catchment Council has been used to build a vegetable garden to help teach the students about sustainable living.

Children have spent this week planting out seedlings in the hope of a bumper harvest.

But the school principal Jan Whisson has admitted it’s a first for her as well.

“I’ve never grown a vegetable in my life, so thought it best I try it at home to make sure I could really do it,” Jan Whisson said.

“I’m happy to say it was a success, and with the enthusiasm the students have shown, this garden is sure to succeed as well.”

The Avon Catchment Council agreed to the grant of $1000 to help the school’s 39 students learn more about natural resource management.

The ACC’s Cilla Kuiper said it was important children understood food doesn’t just come from a packet.

“The ACC wanted to increase the community’s involvement in natural resource management, which could be as simple as learning more about the life cycle of a plant,” Cilla Kuiper said.

“The students will collect seeds and re-plant the vegetable garden and families will be able to donate to the project in return for any surplus produce.

“We’re also delighted to see the seniors being involved, playing a role in educating the students on vegetable growing as part of a sustainable lifestyle.”

Jan Whisson said projects like this were difficult to get off the ground in the smaller country schools.

“Whatever funding we receive is generally spent on the day to day running of the school,” Jan Whisson said.

“For something so simple, this veggie garden has generated plenty of support, with even the local rural merchandise shop HRT donating fencing wire to keep the rabbits out.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to do a project like this without the grant, which will also help to promote a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating.”
Photo caption: Meckering Primary School students Hayden Fisher (left) and Bryson Elliott with principal Jan Whisson, planting out the first vegetables.