Mini gardeners

Primary school children grow their own Grazer Krauthäuptel

14.05.2024 12:00

Wieser children know exactly where their vitamin-rich snack for the Sunday schnitzel or the vegetables to garnish their burgers are growing, as they planted the 310 lettuce plants in the ground at the Schlossacker research station with their own hands. Now the excitement is "growing" as to whether the first head of cabbage can be harvested with the distribution of the certificates.

"There we have the salad!" The girls and boys of the second grade at Wies elementary school can say this literally and positively. At the beginning of a fruitful project, which the Burgstall technical college and the Wies experimental station are carrying out with the local elementary school, was the planting of lettuce plants in the Schlossacker. Conclusion: A close encounter with nature and a valuable wealth of experience for everyone involved.

Focus on the origins of food and working in nature
The plan was put into practice these days. Together with their class teachers Nicole Aldrian and Anna-Lena Wetl, the children from grades 2.a and 2.b climbed the Schlossberg in Wies on foot in an environmentally and health-conscious way. At the top, the agricultural group from the Burgstall technical college led by teacher Maria Wabnegg was already waiting for their guests with zucchini cake and dandelion syrup.

"The aim is to awaken the joy of planting and growing and to convey the importance of agriculture and nutrition in a practical way," said Maria Haring-Weigl, Director of Burgstall Technical College, before the joint project. "It is important that the children know where their food comes from," emphasized Doris Lengauer, Head of the Experimental Station for Special Crops Wies.

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This collaboration also offers the pupils a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in vegetable growing and develop an understanding of food production.

Fachschuldirektorin Maria Haring-Weigl

"This is now your little vegetable garden!"
The Schlossacker is ideally suited for the cross-school pilot project. This is guaranteed by the excellent soil quality, which has been further improved by the addition of horn grit, an organic nitrogen fertilizer. The "vegetable patch" for the primary school children is divided into 31 plots.

Each child has one square meter at their disposal, where they can root ten lettuce plants "grown" (pre-cultivated) at the experimental station for special crops using a planting shovel. "But planting is not the end of the story," Lengauer reminded the young gardeners of their responsibility. "You have to look after the plants, water them and also weed them."

From seedling to head of lettuce
Once the plants had been handed out, it was time to get started. The girls and boys had two hours to experience gardening and enjoy the sunshine at the same time. If necessary, they received help and advice from the ten-member agricultural group and the teachers. If everything goes according to plan, the lettuce harvest will be ready in six to eight weeks - almost in time for the end of school.

These young plants will also soon be able to take root, as everyone was hard at work on this project. (Bild: Fürbass Josef)
These young plants will also soon be able to take root, as everyone was hard at work on this project.

"It was also a great learning experience for our practice group to pass on their enthusiasm for working in nature to the primary school children," Maria Haring-Weigl summed up. The project was also a great enrichment for the Wies elementary school. "Because it is a priority for us to learn at locations outside of school," said class teacher Anna-Lena Wetl from 2.b. At the end, each child was allowed to take home a sunflower plant in a pot - dedicated by the Burgstall technical college.

A good neighbor is worth something!
However, the Schlossacker is not only the setting for a school project, it is also used for research. In cooperation with Joanneum Research and the Graz University of Technology, the Wies experimental station is carrying out various types of mixed crop trials here. The coexistence of two varieties is currently being investigated: Sweetcorn with lettuce and bush beans and sweetcorn with lettuce and broccoli.

Josef Fürbass, Kronen Zeitung

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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