CDU helps grow school farm 


CDU Horticulture Student Gail Rioli with CDU Horticulture Team Leader Scott McDonald and Alawa Primary School students.

A team of CDU Horticulture students has left a mark to last a lifetime after planting more than 50 edible native bush tucker and tropical fruit trees with Alawa Primary School staff and students.

The CDU students, who are studying a Certificate II in Horticulture, chose plants that have edible fruits including a mix of native bush tucker trees and tropical fruit trees to plant at the school’s farm. The produce will be used in the school’s cooking classes.

The primary school students pitched in with mulching and watering on the day, and will look after the trees until the CDU Horticulture team returns.

The new trees replace unsuitable varieties that have been removed for safety reasons, with all the new plants meeting NTG vegetation guidelines.

Alawa School farm and kitchen coordinator Bindi Isis said the new trees would provide shade in the school yard. “With the recent removal of many of the mahogany trees, the new trees we planted with CDU will not only provide shade, but have the added bonus of edible fruit,” she said.

“We hope the trees produce copious amounts of sweet fruit that can be used in exciting recipes as part of our kitchen garden program. The trees will also improve the habitat for our resident frilled neck lizards.”

Horticulture Team Leader, Scott McDonald said the project gave the Horticulture students the perfect opportunity to gain some real life experience as well as being a worthwhile way to help out in the community.

“This is a way we can offer practical support that achieves real results in a short period of time, and will also benefit a huge amount of children for years to come.

“The students will continue to work with Alawa School as part of other units of competency within the Horticulture course that will give them the opportunity to work with the kids at Alawa Farm to maintain the trees,” he said.