The kids at Bonbeach Primary School take their composting very seriously and love recycling to improve their garden! With the help of many little hands and lots of compost worms, a thriving vegetable garden was created in a once vacant part of the school grounds.
Students of the school are guided by Amy & Jade of Growing Green Thumbs in gardening club classes once a week. Everyone is involved in helping the school to reduce, reuse and recycle. Composting is cool at their school and being a compost monitor is an important role making sure that every classroom puts their fruit and vegetable scraps into a classroom compost bucket.
Junior students care for their 3 tiered worm farm which sits close to the ground so that little people can easily feed the worms and look after the farm. They make sure the worms are doing their job at breaking down all the organic matter that is collected during the week. Students take great care in making sure only the correct food scraps go into the worm farm and do not feed the worms orange peels to avoid making the compost too acidic. A damp piece of cardboard is kept on top of the organic matter to prevent unwanted pests from entering and help create a dark environment for worms to live.
Older students maintain the ‘worm holes’ by placing their fruit and vegetable scraps into PVC pipes that are directly inside the veggie beds. The worm holes are a 60cm length of PVC pipe with holes drilled all around for air circulation and easy access for worms to get in and out of. Once the ingredients have broken down the pipes are moved to another part of the vegetable bed to help distribute instant compost. This has proven to be very successful and the kids love looking down into the worm holes to see the organic matter breaking down.
Green Thumbs members use the liquid by product of the worm farm to help feed the vegetable gardens once a fortnight. They are always fascinated that they can create a perfect cycle without any waste. Composting food scraps to create organic matter for the garden beds, using liquid fertilizer to feed the new plants, eat the new fruits and vegetables they have grown and then composting those scraps to start all over again.
Recycling plays an important part in the whole school not just composting food scraps. Unused paper from the classrooms is shredded to use as bedding for the chickens to lay their eggs on and help keep the chicken coop clean. Cleaning of the chicken coop is a grubby job, but when the used papers are added to the worm farms it creates another layer of goodness for the worms to munch away on.
Recycling doesn’t stop within the school, families recycle their egg cartons for the school chicken eggs and recycled milk bottles are filled with the excess worm wee collected from the worm farm. Eggs are sold to the families and the ‘worm wee’ is sold to the community to help raise funds for the garden.
Jade & Amy encourage the younger siblings and kinder kids to get involved and have some fun in the garden too. Helping to empty compost buckets, collect eggs and go on caterpillar hunts in the vegetable gardens, encourages a new generation of green thumbs.
Worms play such a vital role in their school garden, providing lots of fun & learning but most importantly they break down the schools waste and help make Bonbeach Primary Schools garden beautiful.
Jade & Amy