Interest in sustainability at Colyton High School is growing with its food gardens — and it’s about to flourish even more, thanks to a $3500 environment trust grant.
Environment minister Robyn Parker visited Colyton last week after having announced it as one of 52 Eco Schools and Food Gardens in Schools grant recipients.
It’s in addition to the 80 grants announced last year, which aim to educate staff and students about living within a healthy ecological environment and how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Three food gardens established at Colyton last year are growing basil, capsicums and pumpkins under watchful eye of teacher Penny Dobie, who comes in during school holidays to water them.
There’s also a greenhouse and pumps connected to a water tank to water the fields.
‘‘The grant means we can put in a worm farm and build more food gardens for our food technology classes to use,’’ principal Cheryl Dwyer said.
‘‘We have a strong food technology faculty, which is becoming increasing popular.
‘‘We recently opened a cafe to give hospitality students practical experience, where we hope to sell some of our produce.’’
There are also plans for fruit trees.
The school is in discussions with Penrith Council’s sustainability team about the food gardens and plans to implement waste management systems.
Students Tarne Pikse and Yousaf Jouhar have been involved with maintaining the gardens.
It’s hoped the grant will encourage more students to help look after the gardens.
‘‘We want to build the idea of sustainable living,’’ Mrs Dwyer said.
‘‘We have an environment committee which meets every three weeks.
‘‘We hope more students will be involved, particularly through the science faculty.’’