As a result of state-wide changes to the Year 7 and 8 mandatory technology syllabus, all schools across the state are now required to include agricultural technology in their lessons. Shearwater’s biodynamic farm has proved to be the perfect setting for lessons that explore how food is produced.
One group of Year 8s have begun the term with a vegetable garden project, building the first of several raised wicking beds that will efficiently grow vegies in biodynamic compost with a minimal water footprint. The beds include a design for a shade structure that will provide an ideal growing environment even in the most extreme weather conditions. Students have also been planning and planting a perennial agroforestry system with fruit trees, veggies, herbs, flowers and timber trees, based on the ecological model of a rainforest.
Whether it’s digging, scratching or reducing pests in our cow paddocks, Oliver’s Hens have arrived and have been just as busy as the Year 8 students, settling into their new home and enjoying (under Oliver's watchful eye) plenty of lush grass, water, food and shade, despite the hot conditions. Oliver is expecting the chickens to start laying in the next few weeks, so check out Oliver’s Hens on Facebook or Instagram for updates.
Nine Year 10 students have taken up an offer of early commencement on the HSC Primary Industries course, which allows them to complete a nationally recognised vocational qualification that can contribute to both their HSC and ATAR. Previously, students commenced the course in Year 11 and completed it in Year 12. This semester the Primary Industries students will focus on nursery work, machinery and animal husbandry.