Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Cycle of Life!

Life goes on at Nano Cottage Kitchen Garden - potatoes are harvested and garden beds replanted while at the neighbouring Nagle College farm two new calves, Nugget and Butterscotch, have arrived to join twin lambs Rover and Ciannah! The students from St Michael's and the College, were sadden by the death of Xena, the lambs' mother and held an impromptu ceremony to celebrate her life and recall memories of her fourteen years of life on the farm!

Early Settlement Garden

For their unit on 'British Colonisation' Stage Two students at St Francis of Assisi Primary Glendenning, made use of the Kitchen Garden and transformed it into an 'Early Settlement Garden'. The result meant that plants, tools, colours,and materials were of the era and as authentic as possible to the period!
Students dressed in costumes and became statues as other grades did a bypass and enjoyed the 'true to life' presentation! One campfire scene looked suspiciously like a Tom Roberts painting!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability meeting - 4

St John's Primary Riverstone played host to the fourth PLCfS meeting on a warm summer's day in February. Visitors from various schools, the Catholic Education Office and Catholic Earthcare Australia, enjoyed a tour of the grounds by the students, followed by a delicious morning tea, served in the new school hall.
A stirring visual and vocal rendition of 'From Little Things Big Things Grow' by Paul Kelly and friends, set the scene for a spirited discussion on what is already happening in schools, what can happen in schools as regards 'The Holy Ground' we are custodians of, and how to inspire students to take up the challenge to become involved more fully in real language experiences, by caring for the earth.
The next meeting will be held at St Patrick's Primary Blacktown on Wednesday 8 June and will showcase the Kitchen Garden which began in 2009 to meet the needs of students with severe language difficulties ... 'from little things big things grow'!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Celebrating World Water Day!

Students in the St Patrick's Kitchen Garden Language Groups, were able to observe closely, frogs eggs becoming tadpoles, before their very eyes! The rain gauge was also checked and 51 mm recorded, the highest amount so far to date ... a great way to celebrate 'World Water Day'.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cooking up a storm!

The Language group students from the Nano Cottage Kitchen Garden program had a fun time making Volcano Buns in the Nagle College Junior kitchen. The students scraped the centre out of the buns and lined them with ham, baby spinach leaves and parsley. An egg was then broken into the cavity, with some volcanoes mangaging to have lava erupting from them, as the eggs didn't quite make it into the hole! With a sprinkling of cheese and paprika on top, they were ready for the oven.
The students munched on strawberries and chatted with Imelda (parish volunteer) as they waited for the volcanoes to heat up ... not one crumb was left and the students went home with the recipe to show their families how to cook up a storm!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No-Dig Vegetable Garden

A generous donation of a garden bed by grandparents of a St Patrick's Blacktown student, saw the Kitchen Garden Language Groups hard at work to carefully position it in an area which will receive adequate sun for growing vegetables. The 'tank' bed will be filled using the 'no-dig' method and the students look forward to preparing the layers, planting the seedlings,watering using worm juice from the worm farms and eventually harvesting the produce ... busy times ahead! For more information on getting started at home (maybe this Easter holidays) go to and click on green garden ... happy planting!

Nano's Nature Nurturers

Nano’s Nature Nurturers
Meeting held at Nano Cottage - St Michael’s Primary Blacktown South
                                                             3 March 2011

Present:       Charlotte Gourlie, Anne-Marie Friend, Gai Clark: St Michael’s        
                   Clare Maloney: Itinerant Teacher: Communication – CEO
Apologies:    Michael Siciliano: St Michael’s, Zhan Patterson: BCC             
Reflection:   ‘We should continue to experiment with educational technology, but we should also preserve a crucial place for unwired, unplugged and unconnected learning.Mark Bauerlein

  1. The reduction of items in ‘Lost Property’ is encouraging – Anne-Marie will investigate a labelling company, to give parents the opportunity to have all school uniforms clearly labelled … thank you Anne-Marie!
  2. Anne-Marie is now the contributor for the ‘Friends of Our Earth’ section in the fortnightly school newsletter. Any relevant items to Anne-Marie, a week in advance please.
  3. Clean up Australia Day will be held at St Michael’s on Friday 11 March … thank you Charlotte for organising this event!
  4. Charlotte represented St Michael’s at the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability meeting, which was held at St John’s Primary Riverstone on Wednesday 16 February. Clare represented CEO. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 8 June, at St Patrick’s Primary Blacktown, at 2pm. The showcase will be the Kitchen Garden and the new Cottage!
  5. Clare will submit an application to Landcare for a $1000 grant through the Education Environment Award. If successful the funding will be used to securely fence around Nano Cottage Kitchen Garden, as two miniature calves will be taking up residence at Nagle Farm soon and memories of Taco, the calf, jumping the garden fence are still fresh!
  6. The idea of promoting ‘Nudie Food’ containers for students lunches was again discussed … maybe this could be promoted through ‘FOOE’?
  7. The school has now registered for the ‘Mobile Phone’ muster … see Charlotte for further details … thank you Charlotte!     
  1. ‘Earth Hour’ is on Saturday 26 March and students and their families will be reminded to participate via ‘FOOE’, in the newsletter. Teachers will be encouraged at ‘Staff Briefing’ to have a regular ‘Earth Hour’ at least once a week.
  1. School or class leaders will be asked to make posters to place around the school, encouraging all students to be ‘Friends of Our Earth’…exemplary students will be given an ‘FOOE Award’ at a school assembly. Such jobs may include: turning off lights, fans and monitors, picking up rubbish, watering plants, composting at NCKG, reporting leaking taps, researching current environmental issues, etc!
  1. The school newsletter prior to the next NNN meeting (thank you Anne-Marie!) will invite interested parents to come to the library at 3.20pm and add their wisdom to the group … Gai will check with Judy re the availability of the library on that day?  thank you Gai!         
Next Meeting: 3.20pm Monday 23 May -Term 2 in the Library …                                                                             thank you Judy!
                              ALL WELCOME
                       Website of interest:                
NNN meeting 3/3/11