Joining forces to launch bush food trial at Gembrook Primary School

27 October 2015

The Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA) has joined staff and students from Gembrook Primary School to launch a bush foods trial on the school grounds. Gembrook Primary School has developed a Community Partnership Program (CPP) made up of local and regional organisations including the PPWCMA. The aim of the CPP is to support student learning programs with opportunities to access expertise and resources beyond the mainstream school environment. As part of the first phase of the CPP, the PPWCMA joined with the Yarra Ranges Landcare Network and the Cardinia Hills Ragwort & Landcare Group to launch a bush foods demonstration and trial site at the school. Students planted a range of bush foods on the school grounds under the guidance of staff from the PPWCMA and volunteers from the local Landcare groups. The students planted species including muntries, native raspberry, elderberry, strawberry gum and river mint. A second planting will include Warragul greens and native thyme, sage, parsley and basil. When the plants mature, the school will be able to harvest the produce to sell at its monthly produce market. This initiative has been supported by the Federal Government’s National Landcare Programme. Federal Member for La Trobe, Jason Wood MP, joined the launch and said, “It is great to see the students getting involved in such a hands-on project. Not only do they have the opportunity to learn about native bush foods and their uses, but they also are taught how to care for different species of plants. “I look forward to seeing the trial site grow and to see the fruits of their labour”, he said. The PPWCMA’s Regional Landcare Facilitator, Karen Thomas said, “This new bush foods trial will expand on the great work that Gembrook Primary School already does as a 5 star sustainability school and will give students the opportunity to learn from Landcare volunteers, as well as learn more about producing and cooking with bush foods. Kids take this information home and parents also learn about these options and perhaps try to replicate our demonstration on their own property.” For more information on the National Landcare Programme, visit www.nrm.gov.au. ENDS