As we aim to propagate  many plants ourselves, a shade house is  sensible addition to our garden. We happened to have a whole lot of kiln dried timber ( salvaged from a skip during school renovations a couple of years ago) and  also some  2 -4 m  lengths which served as school garden benches in their previous life. Our design , simple as it is, was determined by the size of these  timbers and the aspect of our site. We positioned the shed,with the long open side facing east to catch the morning sun, on a patch which we could  not  possibly utilize for growing stuff as  it’s backing onto a stand of gum trees on the other side of the fence. These gum trees  send their roots far into our garden gobbling up nutrients and water but  on the other hand  they shelter the garden from the murderous western sun and prevailing south westerly winds, so my feelings towards them are, to put it politely, a bit mixed.

Back to the shade house: we approached  Wodonga  Men’s Shed  and were very lucky to get  the co-ordinator, Mr Ken Farrer, to assist us with the project. The frame was prefabricated  in the Men’s Shed   workshop and sections delivered to the garden.  A group of  keen  and   capable students, under Ken’s brilliant  instructions, put the whole lot up in two mornings. We  painted it , furnished it with  recycled benches and shelves, and  stapled recycled shade cloth to the roof and the southern side. Then we  moved in the worm farms and a whole lot of  pots and trays, and presto!   the whole thing looks like its always been there.

Many thanks to  Mr. Farrer and Wodonga Men’s Shed for their  support and assistance!

My name is Helena Foster, I'm the slightly nervous author of the School Harvest blog site, nervous because I'm learning the fine art of blogging pretty much as I go. I'm driven by the fact that what we do is so exciting and so important, it needs to be shared. Formerly a garden specialist at WWPS Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden, I now conduct an intensive community garden program at Wodonga Middle Years College. I work with student volunteers 11 to 15 years old in order to teach them organic gardening skills which will hopefully enable them to make better lifestyle choices for themselves and their community in the future. I am thrilled to be part of the movement where schools take on the task of educating young generations about this most basic of prerequisites towards sustainable, food secure future.

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