Growing food with love in Brookvale’s community garden
Thanks to a partnership with the local Bunnings and Westfield, Goodstart Brookvale
has established a vegetable garden in the heart of the Warringah Mall.
The class of 20 preschoolers were very involved in the ambitious gardening project and proud to display their building and gardening skills to bring the garden to life. They rolled up their sleeves, eager to get their hands dirty, as they helped to build the garden bed, fertilise the soil, and plant a variety of vegetables and herbs.
Goodstart Brookvale centre director Heidi Webb said they had approached Bunnings Warringah Mall to apply for a community grant so they could make a positive impact in their local area and also as a learning experience for children.
“Being a centre located in a busy mall, we thought it would be wonderful to establish a garden to create a green space for children and something that could benefit the wider community as well. Everyone who walks by the garden will enjoy it,” Ms Webb said.
“Having our own garden is proving to be enriching learning experience for children. Every day we now incorporate garden and sustainable practices into our program. Children have taken a great interest in the garden, and take pride watering the plants and watching them grow.
“Our environment is precious and it is so important for children to develop an understanding and appreciation of how they can be involved in helping care for our world and make a difference. The younger they learn this the better, which is why even our toddler group of children from two years of age and up are also taking part in the gardening experience.
“Soon we will have beautiful fresh celery, silverbeet, mint and parsley to use as part of the fresh and nutritious meals our cook prepares at the centre for children’s lunches and snacks. We will share any fresh produce we can’t use with our families so nothing goes to waste.”
Ms Webb said Bunnings Warringah Mall kindly donated the steel frame for the garden, all the soil, seeds and plants and mulch as well as the help of three Bunnings staff who helped Goodstart build the garden. Westfield was also supportive in allowing the dedicated space for their garden.
Keen to expand their experiences for children, the centre is also looking to introduce weekly yoga classes at the centre through a partnership with their nearby gym.
“We are so proud of our community and are very appreciative of the support the community gives us to provide positive outcomes for children and their families.”