Garden Grubs’ giant challenge

Students from Our Lady of Victories Primary School, Shortland, have thrown down the gauntlet – by issuing a challenge to other schools to go one better – this after the students picked a 10kg watermelon from their veggie patch.

The Garden Grubs think they might have a diocesan record on their hands after their recent harvest from their school veggie garden.

The gigantic watermelon was grown as a part of Our Lady of Victories’ Garden Grubs program, which sees students volunteering to water and weed the gardens in their lunch time.

The program aims to give students an alternative activity option during their lunch hour while also teaching them about food production and caring for nature.

Starting as a Landcare project with the Shortland to Wallsend Landcare Group, the students set up a nursery and veggie patches to grow trees for the local park as well as to produce fruits and vegetables in the school.  

Overseen by Pastoral Care Worker and Learning Support Assistant, Mrs Karen Johnson - who spends time working with the students setting up garden beds and coordinating the crops -  the students get to enjoy the fruits of their labour once the produce is ripe.

“At times we have made lemonade from the lemons, rhubarb pie from rhubarb and salad sandwiches from the lettuce and cucumbers,” says Principal, Gerry Vandermaat.

“Our students love the strawberries and it is difficult to convince them to wait a day or so for them to ripen properly before they pick them. The cherry tomatoes and carrots are a big hit too.

“The Garden Grubs are currently finishing off the capsicums, bell peppers and tomatoes before getting ready to prepare for the winter crops.

“We are also looking forward to picking the next watermelon which is even bigger than the last one.”