The Susliving team returned to Borris Vocational College following our Community Garden workshop previously. This workshop took place in a sloped area to the rear of the school grounds, which the school have planned to transform into a garden with an emphasis on sustainability. Working in teams, the students set about a number of activities under the guidance of the Susliving Tech Mentors Elmer, Gary and Zaki.
Three native Irish apple trees were planted into the slope of the garden, which will provide fruit, flowers and shelter in the years to come, attracting bees and other pollinators. Building on their experience of planting trees from the previous session, the students learned how to improve the soil for planting, and the value of trees in the biodiversity cycle.
With the disposal of car tyres posing a great problem worldwide, repurposing presents a great opportunity to reduce their environmental impact. Another team of students set about painting some used car tyres in bright colours, which were then set into the slope. A varied selection of shrubs were planted in the tyres. As well as adding colour and creativity to the garden, the tyres serve another useful function in terracing the garden slope and reducing soil erosion down it.
Also on the theme of repurposing, the students created a cloche for their new raised beds. They collected plastic bottles from the school’s recycling bins and the students then set about creating a durable cloche structure with bamboo and waste timber. The cloche will be used to keep seedlings from freezing outdoors over the cold winter months, while reusing plastic waste from the school and with the bonus of being a low-cost alternative to ready-made cloches.
This workshop enabled the students to effectively and creatively repurpose materials to develop an outline of a sustainable garden. By combining repurposing with tree-planting, the students have the basis of a productive and attractive garden. The students excelled in the activities today and are deserved members of the Sustainability Club.
We look forward to seeing the garden’s progress. Thanks to the Green School’s Team and teacher Bernie Atkinson for organising the event.