At Altona Early Education Centre we are very lucky to have Educators that are not only Passionate about growing beautiful sustainable gardens but that have a green thumb. They have been sharing their knowledge and passion with all the children in the centre and we have grown and are maintaining some beautiful gardens here at AEEC.
In the beginning our garden looked sad and unloved but soon Dianne our energetic 3yr old Kinder Teacher took it under her wing and began the process of passing on her knowledge and asking the children to help prepare our garden beds. She started by explaining about different soil and mulch we need to use to prepare the Garden Beds, the children helped turn the existing soil with their small hand held shovels and garden forks, they then spread new soil and seed raising mix into the Garden bed, they then filled their watering cans and watered the beds well and then left them for a few days to “marinate” The following week the children had many discussions on what they would like to grow and we looked up many different plants, edible and just for show, we discussed seasonal plants and if we could buy seeds or seedlings or pre established plants. Once our plants arrived, the children dug small holes in the garden bed and added their plants, making sure to use gentle hands, then they watered their plants and tend to them a couple of times a week.
We have used our Radish, Lettuce and Kale in salads, we have used our Kale to make Kale chips, we froze some of the edible flowers into camomile tea ice cubes and used them in water play and have added our Strawberries to our Fruit Platter.
We are most excited about our apple and pear trees which are currently flowering and enjoying watching our Broccoli plant flower.
The children are very proud when coming to the centre or leaving in the afternoon to show their parents their garden and talk to them about seasons, flowers, fruit and Veg and many other plant related conversations.
We are hoping very soon our herbs are ready to harvest and offer to parents to take home to use in their cooking.
NQS-3.2.3 Environmentally Responsible- The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.