Belmont City College students create Food Forest with sustainable gardens

Irish Malaran, Brodie Luckens and Amy Mann in the school garden. Picture: David Baylis
Irish Malaran, Brodie Luckens and Amy Mann in the school garden. Picture: David Baylis

INCLUSIVE education students at Belmont City College are operating their own sustainable enterprises.

The group of 12 students, who have varying disabilities, run Vegies R Us and Eggs R Us to support the specialist hospitality program by providing fresh produce.

The Food Forest initiative enables the students to plan and plant gardens as part of their vocational education, in which they gain a Training Certificate II in Horticulture and Certificate in Horticultural Assistant.

Horticulture teacher Melissa Gray said work on the Food Forest began in February when a plot of land was transformed with garden beds made out of repurposed materials.

“The plot has grown from two small garden beds to more than 2000sq m of gardening spaces and contains 2000 plantings comprising fruit trees, berries, vegetables and herbs,” she said.

“What makes this project extraordinary is the limited time available during the school week and the guidance and vision.”

Ms Gray said it was great that the students also had support from education assistants who encouraged the students and pitched in when energy was flagging or students had physical limitations that prevented them from doing some of the work.