The Salvation Army Youth Outreach Service Alternate Education Program
||The Veggie Patch|
|School||The Salvation Army Youth Outreach Service Alternate Education Program|
||$1,000 (Excluding GST)|
||Students 20+ Total Participants 60+|
|Year/Round||2010 Round 1|
The ‘Veggie Patch’ is a community garden based at our Lawnton site aimed at linking in ‘at-risk’ youth with the wider community. It provides an opportunity for young people to get outdoors and be involved in caring for a fruit and vegetable garden. Young people are assisted to learn new skills such as budgeting, planning, healthy eating, socialising skills, cooking, problem solving, ownership and pride. The program provides an opportunity for young people to experience positive and healthy role models, feel a sense of achievement and develop links to the wider community that promote a sense of belonging and acceptance.
The students involved learned a variety of skills and increased their knowledge around: how organic waste pollutes the environment when emptied into landfills and dumps, what chemicals are used in farming and packaging, how to care for fruit and vegetables, how to care for worm farms, how to make a compost bin, what types of chemicals are used in everyday products such as soil and wood (how can you have a totally organic garden), how to grow a plant from seed, importance of mulch (saves water, keeps soil moist, protects from cold etc).
Some young people in particular have taken a strong interest in the garden and seem to really enjoy daily duties like watering and picking off ripe fruit and vegetables. Within our school program we provide lunches for our young people and for some this is the most nutritious meal of their day. The students take pleasure in inventing new recipes and picking the produce to go into the meals.
We are so grateful for the funds kindly donated as this has given us a chance to build a space in which our service and the community work together. This garden has now become a permanent and well talked about feature at the church and within YOS and we are so happy that we have been able to create it. Next on our list is planting an orchid where we can grow fruits such as lemons, apples, oranges and more.