Garden appeal for KHS

Community engagement and partnerships officer at Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health, Kylie Stafford, is pictured with Kyneton High School's Jonathon Swan.

Local businesses and community groups are being called upon to support an initiative by students and teachers at Kyneton High School to redevelop their community garden.

The garden, which was established a number of years ago on the old tennis court at the school, has become overgrown and run down and late last year all of the school’s chickens were taken by foxes overnight.

A detailed and costed project plan, which outlines the vision for the space, has been drafted thanks to support from Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health and Healthy Loddon Campaspe. The wish list includes an outdoor classroom, pizza oven, fox-proof chicken coop, fruit trees and a composting area.

“The students want an engaging space where they can grow vegetables, herbs and flowers,” said Kylie Stafford, community engagement and partnerships officer at Sunbury and Cobaw.

“The main focus for the students is on what they see as the many wellbeing outcomes that can come from having a productive community garden and an inviting space that they can spend time in.”

This term the year 10 VET building and construction students have been busy clearing the site and building raised garden beds ready for planting vegetables in, and next term they will be making some outdoor seating. The senior building and construction students will start laying the bricks for the garden bed edging.

“There will be so many opportunities through this project to provide skills-based learning to our students,” said Jonathon Swan from Kyneton High School, who is coordinating the initiative.

“The plan is to make the space as flexible as possible so it can meet the needs of as many students as possible and we also hope to create an income stream for the garden through the selling of cut flowers at Kyneton’s annual Daffodil Festival along with selling the food produce.”

There are plans to plant fruit trees that will provide shade as well as edible produce plus consideration has been given to including indigenous plants providing a connection with the traditional owners.

“Students will be able to see composting in action,” Mr Swan said.

“They will be able to see how the food scraps that they put in their FOGO bin can break down to become nutrient-rich compost that can be fed back into the garden.”

If you or your business are interested in forming a partnership to help Kyneton High School realise its vision, or you are interested in donating towards the project, contact Jonathon Swan at Kyneton High School on 5421 1100.