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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Bush tucker garden an edible education

Sustainable food production and traditional Indigenous practices are being highlighted at Nicholls Early Childhood Centre with the introduction of a bush tucker garden.

The garden, funded by a Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant, adds to the vegetable garden, worm farm and chickens already on site at the centre.

According to the project description, the children will be the caretakers of the space “caring for the plants, watering, harvesting produce and sharing the messages of sustainability and traditional Indigenous practices with their families and the local community”.

Tyronne Bell from Thunderstone cultural services and land management has provided tips to help establish the garden which features native raspberries and strawberries, finger limes, saltbush and more.

Educational leader at Nicholls Early Childhood Centre, Vanessa Woodward, said the bush tucker garden “works well with our curriculum” and that Tyronne will have an ongoing role at the centre.

Vanessa said the centre’s connection with Tyronne started this year. The students’ first excursion with him was at Mount Majura for a bushwalk where they learned about seasons and bush tucker.

“It’s really important to make them aware of our country’s history in an age appropriate way,” Vanessa said.

In addition to helping with the garden and sharing how to use the produce in an authentic way, Vanessa said Tyronne will also teach students some Indigenous language and art.

Growing up, Tyronne said “I wasn’t allowed to learn my own culture” so he is keen to educate and share his knowledge with others.

“We aren’t just educating the children but the wider community about their [the plants’] usage,” he said.

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