Budding gardeners from Epping Secondary College are getting their hands dirty for a good cause at Greenbrook Community House, growing vegetables to help community members in need of extra support during COVID-19 lockdowns.
About 25 Year 11 and 12 VCAL students have been hard at work in the grounds of the City of Whittlesea-managed neighbourhood house every Thursday, in between lockdowns, since March, digging and earthmoving, mulching and soil reconditioning, planting and watering and weeding and seeding.
Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the students were proud to donate four boxes of organic fruit and vegetables to local food relief charities Thomastown Neighbourhood House and Countrywide Community Mission shortly before the May circuit breaker lockdown.
“The gardening groups decided to donate their produce once they harvested it and saw how beautifully it had grown, and they were proud to choose local organisations to support,” Ms Wilson said.
“The food relief organisations were thrilled to receive boxes of organic spinach, carrots, spring onions, broccoli, lettuce, beetroots and potatoes, but even more excited to know the harvest had been grown and donated by local secondary school students.”
Ms Wilson said the grounds of Greenbrook Community House were looking sensational, with the students also chopping and trimming branches, weeding, raking, placing nets over fruit trees, creating mosaic signs and sanding back boards for artworks.
“They’re looking forward to getting back into the garden and growing more seasonal produce and are happy to be playing a small part in making life easier for people who could use some extra support during the pandemic.”
Epping Secondary College teacher Antoinette Rehak said the students loved being out in the garden, away from technology and involved in a local community house.
“They have learnt about gardening and how a little bit of love can go a long way,” Ms Rehak said.
“Epping Secondary College VCAL are so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such an amazing initiative. Working side-by-side and knowing they are making a difference in our community has been such a gratifying experience,” said fellow teacher Giovanna Hill.