Age Groups: 0-7
Grant Name: 2022 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants
School: Merindah Children's Centre
Grant Sponsor: Woolworths
Thanks to their Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant, Merindah Children's Centre in Wallsend, NSW, set about planting native herbs and plants to help children learn more about different species of plants, and their connection to the land and its people.
Through the early learning centre’s ‘Native Flora Planting Project’, children were able to discover more about bush tucker, with the early learning centre using indoor pots as well as outdoor garden beds to bring edible native plants into the learning environment.
The children learnt more about caring for the environment by looking after plants, helping to water and repot the plants when needed. In addition to watering them, they were also given the opportunity to pick herbs to taste – which proved to be popular activity for the children.
They were also given the opportunity to explore native bush foods, tastes and textures with the support of an external educator with expertise in bush tucker.
"I loved tasting all the yummy bush foods," shared three-year-old Nate.
In total, 23 native plants were planted at through Merindah Children's Centre’s ‘Native Flora Planting Project’. Arranged in pots as well as in garden beds, the plants have attracted native wildlife to the school environment and the beds have become rich with worms, improving soil quality.
Thanks to their Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant, Merindah Children's Centre was able to produce its own food source to explore native bush tucker and use in their cooking projects with children in all age groups in the service
By working together in small groups to plant native flora in the centre’s outdoor gardens and indoor pots, the children were not only able to discover more about bush tucker, they were able to experience the satisfaction of growing their own food from scratch too.