Sustainable school gardens save time and space

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Biofilta is proud to have designed and delivered the advanced vertical and horizontal wicking garden systems for the Casey Grammar School garden in Cranbourne, Victoria. The system is now going great and the kids are starting to learn about the cycle of food that they have previously taken for granted.

The vertical Foodwall™ system stores water, allows the plants to access water day and night.  Having the water available around the clock, means the plants don’t get stressed in the heat and teachers and staff at Casey Grammar never have to worry about over or under watering the vegetables.

The modular growing system designed by Australian stormwater treatment and urban food specialists, Biofilta, also incorporates an innovative air loop in every tub to enable the soil and roots to breath, exchange oxygen, vent heat and keep stored water healthy for long periods. The result is healthy and organic plants and produce all year round, and very fast growth.

Biofilta CEO Marc Noyce said today “We are very excited in having Casey Grammar as the first school in Australia to install the Foodwall™ which not only helps produce healthy organic produce, but also teaches students where food comes from and how to live more sustainably.”

“Early high school years are critical in changing future attitudes towards the environment and life choices.  The robust Biofilta vertical and horizontal wicking garden products are a perfect match for schools who are time poor but who want to reap the rewards of fresh produce.”

“The technology behind the Biofilta Foodwall™ means that plants flourish with little input from the teacher, and now it is a sea of produce, including beetroot, peas, onions and even corn.”

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According to Mal Dunkley, Primary Gardening Teacher, Casey Grammar, the all-new school food garden has been welcomed by the students, teachers and parents. “Our older style garden took a lot of effort to weed for smaller yield. The new gardens are virtually weed free, so students become “smart gardeners” who grow the maximum produce for minimum water, space and effort.”

At this stage, much of the learning is aimed at getting the students familiar with the garden – collecting school food and green waste, composting, worm farms, growing seedlings in the hothouse, the watering system as well as getting to know the diverse range of plants that we are able to grow in our temperate climate. Added to this how to control pests organically, enrich the soil, when and how to harvest and some basic ideas how you can use the foods from the garden in the kitchen,” he said.

The staff at Casey have undertaken specialist up-skill training through the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program to make the most of the innovative garden system.

Biofilta also undertook the concept layout for the garden and is now working with other schools to plan their future food learning facility and included work shed, worm farms, compost bays and potting sheds.

For some, the learning of how worms turn food into nutrient rich soil is an eye opening experience they will never forget.

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The Foodwall system saves space through its vertically stacked arrangement. Hence, small spaces can effectively be doubled or tripled in their growing capacity using our systems.

If you know a school who would like something as cool as the Casey garden, please contact us to find out more.

Biofilta’s mission is to help turn our cities into catchments and food bowls. We undertake small and large scale storm water harvesting and water sensitive urban design projects and recognise that urban food is also a linked issue relating to how we best manage water resources. The recognition of the need to be more self reliant in small spaces has provided the impetus for developing a range of innovative urban food growing systems.

Happy gardening from the team at Biofilta.