Photography reveals new generation of gardeners

A photo competition for schoolchildren showcases a generation of green thumbs.
By Alyce Taylor November 7, 2013 Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page

“HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN grow?” was the question schoolchildren were asked to answer in this year’s Junior Landcare photography competition.

Over 300 photo and video entries captured the wonder of childhood garden adventures, and displayed the kids’ impressive knowledge of sustainable permaculture practises.

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“It’s so wonderful to see kids discovering how their backyard grows and showing appreciation for their local environment,” says Judy Horton, communications manager for Yates, a partner in the competition.

“It’s also exciting to know that we have an up-and-coming generation of children that are so enthusiastic about gardening and the environment.”

Community gardens on the rise in Australia

In a bid to create healthy eating habits and environmental awareness, school and community gardens have popped up rapidly around Australia in recent years. Since its establishment in 2008, the Coles Junior Landcare Garden Grant program alone has seen the creation of more than 1300 garden projects.

“Students have an increased environmental awareness from being involved in the on-ground activities involved in setting up and caring for school and community gardens,” says Stephanie Wulf from Landcare.

Lisa Turton, teacher and grant recipient at Lower King Community Kindergarten, agrees. “A hands-on approach to learning has been a fantastic way to teach children about their environment,” says Lisa. “I have never seen them so enthusiastic about spending time in the garden, with the end result of producing something healthy and yummy to eat.”

This new understanding was shown in the variety of competition entries. Natasha Webb, winner of the eight to 11 years photography category, describes her image as a tribute to the many colours of her backyard.

“Every plant and flower is that colour for a reason, it sends a message to the birds and insects so they know what is safe to eat,” says Natasha. “Being different is a good thing.”

Winner of the 12 to 16 years video category, Oliver Pope, talks about combating drought in his garden at Moorine Rock, WA. Meanwhile, Dougall Hughes, winner of the seven years and under category, shows off his dog “Boy” playing in the family veggie patch at Broken Hill, NSW.

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Visit the competition website

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