In 2018 the staff and students of the Flexible Learning Options (FLO) College re-established the vegetable garden at their campus and along the way Swan Hill Sunrise Rotary became involved in the project.
As usual this meant weeding and cleaning up the patch before anything could be planted but as there was a shade house on site the students were able to plant seeds which were planted out in the garden after they had germinated and grown.
The garden not only provided vegetables for the students to use in their classes but provided a project which two of the students were able to use as part of the studies in 2018. As there were more vegetables than were needed at the campus the opportunity was taken to provide vegetables to A Good kitchen which is a program providing meals and support to people in need with in the Swan Hill region.
2019 will see some improvements in the vegetable garden, with the garden beds being raised up and a non-electronic self-watering system being installed in the beds. This measured irrigation system uses water based on prevailing weather conditions (rainfall - evaporation rate) and is low-cost and low-tech. It has been adopted by many community and private gardens and small-holdings in Australia and also in Africa where World Vision Australia has been trialling it with local farmers impacted by climate change.
This work is being done by Swan Hill Sunrise Rotary who have provided money and labour, Bunnings Swan Hill who donated some of the wood needed to build the beds and the students and staff of the FLO college.
The FLO garden in 2018
Donated by Bunnings