Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the UYCH Community College Horticultural Industry Taster course students at ECOSS in Wesburn. I found the students in the herb garden where they had just started a learning activity about biodynamic treatments for soil. The trainer explained, “The students need to mix the treatment by hand, stirring continuously for one hour, in order for the treatment to activate correctly.” Students who were not mixing, closely timed each person and swapped ‘stirrers’ after every five minutes or so.
David from ECOSS walked me around the property pointing out the fabulous activities that the students had completed and continued to tend to this term.
The main garden had an impressive compost production centre the students had helped to construct during the term; the rich compost has already been used on several of the ECOSS garden plots.
Not too far from the composting area there were newly constructed keyhole gardens. David and Shaun had the students experiment with either, a brick and concrete design or a rock and concrete design. Gardeners will now be able to reach all areas of the garden with ease, what a great garden design. There were even a few little vegies growing in the beds with some of the handmade, home (ECOSS) grown compost giving those little vegies an extra nutrients boost.
To the side of the keyhole garden beds, there was a bamboo pole tepee that measured well in excess of two metres.
David explained, “A few weeks ago the students planted snow and sweet pea seeds directly into some of the ECOSS made compost, which makes up the informal garden bed at the base of the teepee, and now the peas are climbing and weaving their way up the bamboo stakes. It really won’t take too long for there to be an entire canopy of snow and sweet peas covering the large framework. It sure will make for a brilliant little hideout for some visiting children to discover.”
David pointed me in the direction of the vegetable plot and left me to explore alone as it was his turn to mix the biodynamic treatment. I wandered over to the vegie plot where Glen, one of UYCH’s students, had just finished turning over an area of rich and very fertile soil. There were still some remaining winter vegies growing, which had lovely vivid colours of greens and purples. I’m certain, the last of the winter vegie crops, have by now made a welcome addition to someone’s menu creations.
I found my way back to the herb garden where the stirring and mixing had continued, along with lots of chatter and laughs from the students. I would have loved to have stayed all day and shared in their laughter and learning. It definitely was a superb way to start the day with a wander and chat in the ECOSS garden.
Article by Nina Bekker – Team Leader Pre-Accredited
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