CLONTARF Academy mobbed the BEST Food Garden on May 12 for a second year of onion planting.
The crew of 16 from Inverell High School carefully invested thousands of the very fragile green seedlings into the prepared plot, now located in the ever-expanding garden.
“We’re over here now; we’re over the fence,” BEST social programs co-ordinator Danny Middleton grinned, sweeping his arm to indicate the activity taking root in the large paddock behind the original garden area.
The space is nurturing the oak trees injected with truffle spores, garlic, fruit trees, compost central, pumpkin patch and the new onion plot.
They know what they’re doing is benefiting the local community and the Aboriginal community, and they do a good job every time they’re here.Danny Middleton
Danny felt the planting was a win for students’ skill base, and chance to give back to the community.
“The garden actually gives them the opportunity to participate productively, and gives them the opportunity to learn this, to say, ‘This is easy’. They can go away and take that skill with them,” he said.
The garden has spilled into Tingha deliveries lately, and many of the students would count the recipients as a family member.
“Gives them a sense of pride, too,” Danny said.
“They did a fantastic job. They know what they’re doing is benefiting the local community and the Aboriginal community, and they do a good job every time they’re here.”
To meet the larger demand to fill the weekly produce deliveries to Inverell, Glen Innes, Moree and Tingha pensioners and elders, the garden upped its planting from 2000 to 3500 onions this year.
Danny said each of the soon to be 150 pensioners would receive one of the very large bulbs each week. “Plus, we want to start our value-adding with our sauces and pickles,” he added. “They’re beautiful onions.”