The Kimbriki Eco House & Garden team has loved being involved with Belrose Children’s Centre this year, supporting them in managing their waste systems, especially their organic waste.
Our journey with Belrose Children’s Centre began when one of their staff, Zuzana Vorosova, reached out to us while applying for a Junior Landcare grant in 2022. Zuzana was eager to set up composting and worm systems at their centre to manage the organic fraction of waste and then use the beautiful soil created to grow plants that the children could eat or that could be used in the onsite kitchen catering for their meals.
Peter Rutherford took on the advisory role of assessing the current systems at the centre and offering advice on what was needed to set up an effective system to reach their goals.
Upon successfully winning the grant, Peter then worked with the staff at the centre to set up a system that they could operate easily on a daily basis and involve the children. He taught all staff the basics of composting and worm farming and offered support visits as part of this.
The staff and children at Belrose Children’s Centre embraced the system so enthusiastically that Kimbriki offered them the opportunity to be part of our School Waste Reduction Support Program in 2023. Being part of the program provided the centre with regular visits from Peter throughout the year, sponsored products needed to maintain their systems from Australian Native Landscapes and Tumbleweed, and ongoing education about using the mature compost and castings in their gardens.
Kimbriki donated an original WaterUps raised bed to the centre in the middle of the year, which has now been set up as a Community Herb Garden outside the entrance gates for all to enjoy. Eric Sturman, from WaterUps, also set up a fabulous wicking garden within the play area for the children to grow their veggies, using another grant that the centre was awarded.
December marked Peter’s last visit to the centre in his role at Kimbriki Eco House & Garden, handing over to other members of the EHG Team. All of the worm farms were operating really well, with the Babies’ room having the fattest and wriggliest worms. The castings produced from them have been incorporated into the Community Herb Garden and the Center’s WaterUps wicking garden bed to boost the soil even further. The children enjoyed hearing stories about worms and compost stew, learning about the basic science of worms and holding them for a closer look if they wanted to. The compost systems similarly were all operating extremely well, and some mature compost has been used to replenish fruit tree pots set up around the centre.
Belrose Children’s Centre is a wonderful example of how waste can be managed and the system incorporated into the everyday running of the centre. The staff should be congratulated on their efforts to engage the community in this program and are a lighthouse centre for this type of sustainability engagement.
If you would like to learn more about how your centre can actively engage with the sustainability elements of the Early Childhood Framework, then please consider encouraging one or more of your staff to attend our Early Childhood Educators Professional Development Day at Kimbriki Eco House & Garden on Friday 22nd March 2024.