As part of our G Earth Program, Greenwood teaches children how to create and tend their own vegetable gardens.
Not only is this a terrific hands-on activity that children of all ages can enjoy, it teaches our future generations how to care for the land, and how to grow organic food in urban spaces.
Greenwood’s resident gardening expert is Adrian Baiada – who is the founder of Urban Farming and Environmental Education organisation My Square Metre. For over 14 years, Adrian has been committed to sharing his skills, ideas and passion for gardening with schools, councils and communities – transforming small plots of land into thriving edible gardens.
Today we caught up with Adrian to find out a little bit more about his gardening programs…
Hi Adrian, could you tell us about your professional background?
Prior to establishing My Square Metre I worked for several councils as a project manager and environmental educator. Within these roles I dealt with environmental issues including climate change, water and energy efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable food.
I’ve also worked for private organisations in the area of bushland conservation and restoration. And I’ve worked on various farms, getting cow manure on my fingernails!
In terms of education, I have an Honours Degree in Environmental Management and Conservation, and hold certificates in Permaculture and Biological Agriculture.
What do you love most about gardening?
Aside from munching on the harvest, it’s the immediacy of doing something positive for the environment, as well as for my health and the health of others.
Working in and with nature slows things down nicely, and watching nature do its thing – from a little seed to something you can hold, eat and share – is pretty exciting to experience.
What kind of gardening activities work well with young children?
Kids looove worms and worm farms, so getting kids involved in feeding worms is a great way to get kids involved in gardening.
Planting a new plant and watering and watching it grow over time is also a great experience especially when they get to eat their plant at the end.
Do you have any tips for getting children to engage?
I try to just speak to them as regular people and I get them using their hands and kind of give them things to do, kinda like chores in a way: “hold some worms, hold this plant for me, can you guys get digging, we need someone to get watering…”
I find this approach has worked for me from daycare centres all the way through to high schools and even us adults.
And do you have any tips for people who are new to gardening?
My grandmother, who has been a market gardener her whole life, once said to me “Just put the thing in the ground and see what happens.” This is the best advice I’ve ever received because it’s all about experimentation and observation, which is at the heart of gardening with a nature based approach.
What would you like to tell the parents of Greenwood?
I look forward to growing great food with you and your kids. And if you have any questions about growing food, please don’t hesitate to call.
Greenwood is currently enrolling for 2016! Please make an enrolment enquiry or call us on: 1300 947 336.