Germany, Projects on the Topic: SUSTAINABILITY
Ernst- Hansen- Schule, Class 6
The Importance of Nature - The long term Schelphof- Project
Many of our children at school have no idea where food comes from other than a shop and what it means to grow food. Since they live in the city they are also not experienced in treating nature mindful and observant. Their practical experience and knowledge of the relationship of a balanced economical cycle and the consequences of pollution is very small. In order bring the children to a better understanding of the concept of sustainable handling and rise their estimation of nature, the “Schelphof Project” was installed.
Our „Schelphof – project” runs ten years now. Every spring to autumn class 6 of our school works on the project that takes place on a weekly basis. Every Thursday the students and their teacher meets two social workers outside at a place called “Schelphof”. Here you can find an outside classroom with some benches, a bonfire place, a bigger tent used as a dining place, an earth closet, a water canister for washing hands, a simple water point with a hose pipe and most importantly: one patch for every student. The focus of that time is to get an insight into the complex procedures of producing food (ploughing, sawing, watering, pulling up weed, waiting, harvesting, dressing the plant, cutting, cooking …. Eating!) There is also the compost that students use for example after pulling weed.
In conversations whilst working on their patches and in that outdoor classroom the students have time to reflect on bigger issues such as climate, pollution and nature conservancy. Next to the regular maintenance of the vegetable patch, there is time for practical projects such as sawing firewood, producing juice from elder blossoms, crafting with natural material and brick earth, learning about animal species and plants. The students helped building a Benjeshedge, that supports and protects biological and faunal diversity. They also put up a so called hotel for insects.
Working on their own patch they can see that there are specific seasons of sowing time and harvesting time in Germany, depending on the fruit. With that background the students also learn about the origins of fruits and vegetables, offered in the supermarket. They think about the consequences of trading fresh fruit concerning transport and learn about local farmers.