Syrgenstein primary school has its own field where the children look after the vegetables. That’s behind the concept.
Lettuce, black salsify, rocket, parsnip and much more are on the signs that the children from Bachtal primary school in Syrgenstein gradually carry out of the building. Their goal: the vegetable field that was laid out behind the school. Here, the school’s own “vegetable farm” is set up, where the children themselves grow a large number of vegetables. They are supported not only by the teachers but also by committed parents, “Ackerbuddies”.
To ensure that everything works during the cultivation, regional coordinator Simone Malz and field coach Manuela from “Acker”, the association that took the initiative for this campaign, came to Syrgenstein. Also Angela Blind as a representative of AOK, who collaborates with “Acker”, does not miss the planting: “Nice, how much fun you have!”, She greets the children.
Sweet potato, leek and beetroot
The second graders are noticeably enthusiastic, supported by some fourth graders. But before they can get started, they must first answer a few quiz questions from Breul: “What is it?” she says, holding up a tuber. The children puzzle, a child reveals the solution: “It’s a sweet potato!” Pak Choi, leeks and beets must also be identified. “You can color beautiful Easter eggs with beetroot skins,” reveals Breul. “The stains on the clothes are not so pretty,” jokes a child, and Breul agrees with a laugh.
Then the field coach gives tips on planting: “You must always keep the young plants from below so that they do not break off!”, She tells the children and carefully lifts up a beetroot plant. She also shows the kids how to place a hoe on the ground to prevent accidents.
Make furrows first, then dig holes
Armed with these tips, you can get started, after all, you need to plant several six-meter-long rows. Furrows are made, distances are measured, holes are dug and water is brought here. But there is a trick: By watering the plants properly, they need to be rooted to save water. After a few rows are finished, the second classes are replaced by the first classes.
Also read about this
Practical work as a teaching unit
“It’s really nice how committed the school is,” Malz says happily. Principal Sylvia Leitner replies: “We are really lucky, it’s very nice.” Before the children could start planting, the teaching staff had to do a lot of work. The field was dug up over several afternoons by the teachers from Syrgenstein and Bachhagel and parents, and painting the signs also took two afternoons. In addition, the 13 different rows had to be drawn. “And that’s just the practical work,” Leitner says. All classes are included in the project. For example, the number stones in the various field features are designed by children in 4th grade. There are age-appropriate companion booklets for the first three classes. “What is your favorite vegetable?” is asked, for example. “The kids thought it was great,” Leitner says of the first lesson with the exercise book.
Meanwhile, the first signs are hammered in to identify the types of vegetables. Until the autumn harvest, the children will take care of the vegetable garden. New raised beds are also being built in the Bachhagler school building. “Maybe other schools will be inspired by it,” Breul hopes.