The grade six ‘Garden Project’ began back in September during the Grade 6 first unit entitled- Eco Action. During this unit students were given opportunities to explore environmental issues in relation to water, air and land pollution in Jakarta as well as globally. Students went on a field trip and visited a water treatment plant, landfill and recycling plant to investigate some types of pollution problems and solutions in their community.
These photo’s were taken at the Budha Tzu Chi recycling center.
A slideshow from the Water Treatment Plant in BSD city.
Here is a student video based on some of their findings during their investigation:
This is when students started talking about planting a garden at SWA.
Then, the grade six’s second unit was regarding the topic of animal rights. They looked at food sources and where their food comes from. Students were shocked to see how far food travels, as well as the way we obtain food sources. They also looked at population growth and how farming has changed over time to meet our dietary needs. This sparked the students interest and they decided they wanted to plant a vegetable garden at our school to allow all students at SWA to live more sustainable lifestyles. Also, they wanted to see first hand, where some of their food comes from.
The first step the students took was writing letters to administration to kindly ask for land space and justify their reasons for planting a vegetable garden. We took class time to write professional letters to Mr. Paul Sebastian and Mr. John McBride, then patiently waited for their response. Here is a glimpse of a student letter from Dave:
Due to student intiative and well written letters with exellent reasons they were given the green light to go ahead with the garden just before Christmas break!
Students then realized the next hurdle, and that was preparing the land to get ready to seed. They didn’t have any tools or proper equipment for preparing the space. They considered buying the tools themselves because they were so passionate about getting started, but after some consideration they decided to request borrowing money from the community and service fund, which could later be paid back with the sales of their vegetables in the future.
Georgina, Sandra and Gabby wrote a letter to Mr. Rick requesting the money needed to buy their priced out tools and thankfully he approved! So during their own time on the weekend the students(above) went shopping and bought several tools, shovels, hoes and other garden needs with the money.
Finally on January 31st 2012 we had our ‘Ground Breaking’ Ceremony. We officially started removing the grass from the plot and preparing the soil for planting.
Early February students worked hard to get their seed in the ground and seeds in planters to transplant at a later date.
they were very surprised at how quickly things have already started to come up!
Check out the Onions after ONE week!
And the cucumbers too!
The Grade six class will continue to work on this project and soon we hope our vegetables will be producing to sell to vegetables to community members in the lobby of SWA!