Completed February 2022
Wellington Public School in Wellington, NSW was implemented in the first quarter of 2022 in a small community about 5hrs North-West of Sydney. Wellington Public School caters for students from Pre-school to Year 6, with a pre-established Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program running for the last decade. Wellington is one of the most socio-economically disadvantaged post codes in NSW, with a hot and dry environment, where the hydroponic greenhouse will allow for year round food production. Wellington Public School has over 500 students, 61% of which are Indigenous Australians. With their motto of ‘Grow, Harvest, Prepare and Share’, the Year 6 students are preparing a business plan to supply the canteen and community with fresh produce.
The Food Ladder School Greenhouse System creates early employment pathways for students as well as educating students about food production, healthy eating, and social enterprise, engraining healthy eating habits in Primary School.
Progress since completion
Since the greenhouse’s completion in February 2022, Wellington Public School have had 3 successful harvests. The Year 5 and 6 students have taken on the primary responsibility for the greenhouse, its maintenance, harvesting and cooking of the produce. The whole primary school have been involved with weekly class visits and cooking classes.
The greenhouse, in tandem with Wellington’s pre-existing kitchen garden program and outdoor garden, have been extremely successful in educating the students on the entire paddock to plate process. The students have focused on growing leafy greens, specifically lettuces, spinach, herbs and choy.
Each term the harvested produce is eaten by students and used in cooking classes.
After their Term 2 harvest, the Year 6 students made Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes with avocado, cottage cheese, tomato, chilli and a herb salad. The preschoolers excitedly picked butternut pumpkins to make pumpkin and spinach risotto. The pak choy was also used by the Year 4 class in their fried rice recipe.
We look forward to another successful term ahead for Wellington Public School.
Food Ladder acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which this greenhouse is built, the Wiradjuri peoples. We celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal peoples and their ongoing cultures and connections to the lands and waters of New South Wales. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that contributed to the development of this resource.