VCE VM Community Health and Wellbeing Excursion

On the last Friday of Term 1, nine intrepid Year 11 students, two tag-along staff members and one extremely small hound named ‘Pod’ embarked on a gruelling journey along the Merri Creek. Starting at Joe’s Market Garden in Coburg, we learned that the Wurundjeri-Willam were the original custodians of that land, which was surrounded by the white trunked eucalypts (Wurrun) they were named for, and discovered that ‘merri merri’ means ‘very stony’, however no-one was prepared to wade barefoot into the creek and see if the name was apt. Instead, we walked along the Merri path, ticking off items on our scavenger hunt list, keeping a photo journal of such items of interest as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Velodrome, the ‘Rolled Path’ sculpture by Simon Perry and any dog other than Pod.

We eventually arrived at CERES where we laid out our shared – and DELICIOUS – picnic lunch.

The criteria for the food that it should endeavour to be as many of the following as possible: self-made/ vegetarian/ tree-nut free/ healthy/ and packaged in reusable containers. We kicked environmental goals here, producing almost no land-fill rubbish at all! Then it was off to our tour of the park with Indigenous Perspectives guide Subic and General guide Jonathon. The most important instruction we were given was ‘de-colonise your mindset’, as we learnt about the wisdom of defining seasons by the environment instead of by calendar dates, and were introduced to an array of edible, highly nutritious and fragrant native plants which we had specifically wanted to see due to our major Unit One project – planning and creating a native Food Forest.

We were also inspired by the shipping container fridge that was insulated by a roof garden of succulents – we have all the ingredients to do this at schoo (except the refrigeration part!). After checking out the CERES nursery for availability of the plants we really wanted to include in our garden. With the garden beds at school now ready for planting, we are inspired to start creating our Food Forest – watch this space!