The Eden Project Flourishes

Inspired by a key Bible story, Year 7-8 Challenge students have built their own successful veggie garden.

On Thursday, The Eden Project students were able to harvest lettuce, two varieties of spinach and tat soi. They have spent the last few months working hard, preparing, building and tending to the garden. The Maintenance Department kindly constructed the garden bed frames, and Mr Gary Greenland designed and installed the automated watering system. The project has been aided by the Federal Government’s $5,000 Agriculture in Schools grant.

“We’re running the garden on permacultural principles,” the programme’s leader, Miss Houstoun (secondary teacher), explains. “This means no chemicals, composting our plant waste to make our own fertiliser, harvesting our own seeds, encouraging friendly insects and paying proper attention to natural cycles to grow the most nutritious, eco-friendly food possible.”

“God first placed Adam and Eve in a garden, which lets us know that there’s joy and satisfaction in learning to work with plants. Study after study shows us that the more time we spend in nature, the higher our wellbeing. So, not only are the students developing a valuable life skill, they’re de-stressing!”

Northpine is tapping into a long tradition of holistic Seventh-day Adventist education with The Eden Project. Starting with Ellen White’s seminal book, Education, Seventh-day Adventist educational theorists have long taught and studied the benefits of agricultural education. Horticulture programmes are a common feature of many Adventist schools throughout the world, from Toowoomba to Canada and Vanuatu.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and herbs are all on the way, too! The Eden Project plans to eventually have vegetables for sale once a week.