What Is an Edible Education at Hawthorn?
Food is the perfect teacher. Every discipline— math, science, the humanities—comes to life in the garden or kitchen classroom. At Hawthorn we realise how important it is to feed childrens’ minds as well as their bodies.
Children learn by doing. The hands-on experience of growing and preparing food teaches children the value of real work, collaboration, and caretaking. We believe that our children thrive in nature. We are trying to give our children the experience of growing food, cook, eating together, and returning nutrients to the soil, ready to begin the cycle again.
How we want our children to feel during Edible Playground sessions:
I can do this.
I know how I can be successful.
I have the ability to grow and develop my skills, knowledge, and abilities through effort and practice.
It is okay not to know.
When I encounter a problem, don’t know something, or feel unsure, I know how to get the support I need to figure it out.
Features of our Edible Playground
The cold frames allow the children to propagate plants for the garden. In their cold frames the children can propagate plants by sowing seeds and using cuttings.
The soil bins store potting mix ingredients, including finished sifted compost, sand, a purchased base mix, and amendments such as peat moss and perlite. With these ingredients we are able to make custom soil mixes that we use in propagation.
We compost garden scraps and food scraps from snacks in our compost bins. The children are able to observe the different stages of decomposition and understand the importance of composting food waste to make it into a valuable resource we can re use.
Our worm bin is a plastic stack of trays that are used for decomposing food scraps. Here, the children learn about the importance of worms as decomposers and harvest worm castings to enhance our soils.
All our garden tools and equipment live in the Tool Sheds. Children can independently choose and put away garden tools. They learn how to handle them safely and develop their skills and tool knowledge as they move through the school.
Rainwater Catchment System
We have a catchment tank that allow us to capture water every time it rains. Children can learn here about water conservation and recycling.
We have a small orchard in the school grounds comprising about 6 fruit trees. The fruit is harvested and used in lessons whenever possible.