Gloucester High School begins work on its sustainable farming demonstration site

The design for the new micro permaculture farm is under construction at Gloucester High School.
The design for the new micro permaculture farm is under construction at Gloucester High School.

Things are taking shape at Gloucester High School's with its sustainable farming demonstration site under construction.

It's an exciting project for teachers and students who were successful in their quest to secure funding from the State Government's inaugural Sustainable Schools Grant earlier this year.

Thanks to the help of Brett Cooper from Limestone Permaculture at Stroud Road, a design for a micro permaculture farm has been made specific to the site in the school's agricultural area.

The layout takes into consideration the natural fall of the land for water drainage to ensure an understanding over how rainfall runs across the site. It also identifies where the damaging summer westerly winds come from in order to address the issue with a swaled wall to protect the plants. There is scope solar panels, a place for plant propagation, rainwater tanks and an area for composting. The farm will include native plants, ducks, chickens and aquaculture.

Brett is managing the construction of the new garden and will continue to guide the staff and students to help them learn and develop the skills needed to grow produce on site.

According to GHS technological and applied studies (TAS) teacher Rob Seale, there is plenty of work left to do and any help from the community would be appreciated.

"With many projects such as fencing, composting, grow tunnels, chicken and duck enclosures to be built, parents and community members are encouraged to contact the school if they would like to donate old silage for composting or materials for these projects such as security screen doors, poly pipe off cuts," Rob said.

The project fits in with the school's agriculture and marine course curriculum, providing hands-on education with the hope that one day it can extend to other schools in the region.

To donate materials contact TAS head teacher, Chris Murray or agriculture teacher, Erin Blake on 6558 1605.