CVA Volunteers and Mount St Joseph Girls College Working Together

VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) is a senior secondary course of study managed by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority. The focus of VCAL is hands on learning and this is what we achieved in establishing a sustainable kitchen garden at our school Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College, Altona.

Friday the 29th October was unusually hot and blowy with a strong north wind which is not ideal weather for gardening, particularly planting young seedlings. We were encouraged to persevere by the presence of young men and women who were visiting from Japan and Korea. Conservation Victoria Volunteers, led by Deb, helped us establish nine raised beds of vegetables and herbs. We learned that our volunteers are visiting Australia to study and particularly develop their skills in English language.

We planted a large variety of seedlings: artichokes, corn, leaks, red onions, lettuces, tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumbers, carrots, chives, mint, basil, Greek basil, thyme and that is only half of it. Our visiting volunteers were so cheery and positive and keen to work with us, that we were not able to grumble but kept our shoulders to the wheel. We were very relieved at morning tea time and lunch when we had quiches, party pies and fruit. Our visitors seemed to enjoy lunch as well, and obviously enjoyed the Australian Meat Pie. Our visiting volunteers worked very hard and got us started by digging over the garden beds. We then fertilised and dug that in, and then planted and mulched. Our team of MSJ students and volunteers, worked together to establish their own garden bed. Interestingly enough the four days that followed were wet and settled the seedlings into a healthy growth pattern.

We worked well together and had some laughs and fun. Most of MSJ students had never gardened before and we now enjoy watching their growth. We water regularly and have fertilised again. When we are on the Christmas break, some staff have volunteered to tend the gardens (and we suspect keep organically grown, abundant produce on their tables over summer).

We plan for next year to keep the garden beds in production on seasonal cycles and believe it would be a suitable project for future Year 11 VCAL students. We will be in Year 12 next year so will of course be available to advise the new young crop of VCAL students.

We think that Year 11 will gain much from digging and fertilising just like we did.

The Intermediate VCAL Class of 2011.

By Mount St Joseph Girls College|2017-11-06T17:18:57+10:00April 26th, 2013|0 Comments