National Tree Day 2019 (July 26th) will be a special day in future generations to come. It was on that day that Food Is Free Inc. collaborated with Ballarat’s St Patrick’s Primary School students, along with Fifteen Trees and Harrison Funerals to plant out twenty-five new fruit trees at Food Is Free Green Space. This newly established fruit orchard will go on to produce food and provide nourishment to the local community, biodiversity to a site that previously lacked life, shade provision, bee and native insect fodder, along with adding beauty to the area.
The twenty students, all Environmental Captains from the school, gathered on National Schools Tree Planting Day. They had such an enjoyable time – the evidence being muddy hands, and big smiles. Their knowledge is testament to such a well-run Healthy Living course, which focuses on sustainability from teachers Julie Delany and Kathy Finn.
Having enjoyed a long established partnership, Food Is Free Inc. founder Lou Ridsdale has conducted Food Is Free tours & workshops with hundreds of the St Patrick’s Primary School students in the five years Food Is Free has been operating in Ballarat.
It always shocks me how much the kids know about the planet and the importance of taking care of our footprint. They end up teaching me, which is ironic, and I always walk away with new knowledge imparted by these bright enthusiast eco-warriors.
I particularly liked the fact that this day focused on intergenerational learnings and team work. I love the idea that in years to come these children may have their own children, and will come to the Green Space to pick fruit with them. That’s really special.
Lou Ridsdale | Founder | Food is Free
Whilst there’s a serious undertone, it is all about fun. As soon as the activity got underway there were screams of excitement, true and utter joy clearly on display as each group were assigned a garden bed provided from Food Is Free Inc.’s recent windfall of funding from Pick My Project, a state government initiative from Department of Premier and Cabinet, allowing community groups to unleash their dreams, in this case an outdoor classroom. A Food Is Free volunteer was assigned to show each team how to plant the tree and as with any group activity, community spirit overflowed.
The tree planting session was made possible by the kind donation from Brian and Marie Harrison of Harrison Funerals (Ballarat), where twenty-five fruit trees including citrus, apples, peaches, plums, pomegranates, cherries, pears, figs, nectarines, apricot, and feijoa where purchased from Avalon Nursery and planted with great community energy. The project was facilitated by Fifteen Trees.
Food Is Free Inc. is a grassroots not-for-profit food security and sustainability education charity based in Ballarat operating since 2014 over two sites – Food Is free Laneway and Food Is Free Green Space. It is run by 50 fabulous volunteers. For more info go to www.foodisfree.com.au
Article written by Lou Ridsdale.
This year, Fifteen Trees celebrates 10 years. To be part of the movement of companies looking to make a tangible contribution to our community groups and our native environment, contact Colleen at <[email protected]> or on 0400 040 659.