The Benalla Garden Club has changed direction to support a local and most commendable program: The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden at Benalla P-12’s Waller St campus.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Programs are supported by the foundation during the establishment period, but then the program depends on local support.
It appears that some gardens have not survived.
Even though our local program has its challenges with a limited school budget, the school’s program has been seen in a video in Queensland as a showpiece of a successful program.
The growing of vegetables and then the preparation of a healthy meal, kitchen skills, mathematics in the kitchen, manners, hygiene, gardening skills, learning where food comes from: the garden offers a myriad of learning experiences.
Each year the Benalla Garden club will provide $50 for a Benalla P-12 student who displays enthusiasm and aptitude when undertaking activities in the garden.
In the school’s foyer there will be a framed certificate including a photo of the student.
The $50 is to be used to assist with school excursions.
Benalla Garden Club committee members have made a number of visits to the garden, while the school’s kitchen garden coordinator Amanda Grimwade has compiled a wishlist.
A leaking automatic irrigation system requires urgent attention, so the Benalla Garden Club has provided $500 towards this project.
Already the school council has engaged their preferred plumber and intends to extend the existing sprinkler system.
It appears that some of the structures are in need of repair, unfortunately some due to vandalism.
These include the hot house, the shade house and the poultry enclosure.
Also the compost area needs to be divided into smaller cells.
Another area of high priority is the re-surfacing of all the pathways around the garden beds.
Rather than just drawing down on funds of the Garden Club, the committee decided to conduct a fundraiser in the form of an Open Garden during the Benalla Festival.
A private Benalla garden at 15 McConnan St was chosen, but it was too late to be included in the festival booklet. ●More details of the garden in next week’s Ensign.