Food For Thought

by Environmental Forensics student, Philip, with mentors Inger and Shaheen.

My idea of conducting gardening classes and implementing these into a school curriculum aims to create links for children to appreciate the natural environment as they get older. I will assess the impact of my work by surveying the children and the local community to ensure I am creating the greatest impact possible.

My intentions are to reinvigorate the notion of eco-sustainability throughout the urban landscape. I hope this becomes an example for other schools, as I am concerned with the lack of the relevance of nature in society. I feel generation by generation we are losing our connection with the natural environment.


 To implement a gardening program with a primary school and have the gardening activities included in the curriculum.

 To revitalise an unmaintained garden so it can provide a vibrant growing space for fruits and vegetables;

 To provide the knowledge to the school community about how go about growing their own food;

 To provide an opportunity to reap the rewards and satisfaction of growing fruits and vegetables;

 To inspire the school community to want to incorporate sustainability in their school principles.


A chance meeting with a school parent alerted me to an unmaintained school garden. I seized this opportunity to pitch my plans and ideas to the school principal who was supportive.

Teachers were positive about including gardening in their teaching. A committee of passionate teachers and parents was soon formed, and planning to rollout ideas became energised.

Plans to tackle the existing overgrown enclosed garden and to revitalise it were shaped and ideas started flowing about how to create a gardening program for the school curriculum.

A working bee to clear up the garden was proposed. Parents were to be invited to assist. One of the parents applied for small grants to pay for the materials for the gardens. Soon one of the parents will develop a website for the school gardening project.

As project manager, I was in charge of identifying what needed to be done, how we were going to do it and what it would require. I used the basis of my academic studies to formulate a sustainable plan that would see the garden maintained for years to come.

The school was keen to engage with a nearby school that assisted disabled children and to make the garden available to them as well. At one of our meetings at the school the idea of expanding the area of the garden was launched, to improve access to the garden beds by a class, as well as to the sun. The idea of erecting raised timber beds to keep rabbits out now became the new project.

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