Packs of freshly picked vegetables piles up on a small plastic table with a box entitled “Friendship garden for disadvantaged students”. Within minutes, they are all sold out.
Pham Hung Primary School in Ho Chi Minh City’s outlying district of Binh Chanh initiated the garden three years ago – a move to bring students closer to nature and self-fund its vulnerable ones.
“We spend our morning break on weeding and watering the garden. I love the feeling of taking care for lanes of veggies and waiting to harvest them. It is interesting to track their growth,” said Nguyen Ngoc Truc Uyen, a fifth grader.
A garden of good deeds
Before studying at home due to COVID-19, fourth grader Dam Hoang Thong and his classmates were responsible for harvesting and packing veggies. Other students then carried them to a stall in front of the school’s gate for sale.
Frequent customers are parents.
“It is fleshing to do gardening after school. Profits from selling veggies are used to buy insurance cards for disadvantaged students, so everyone is happy,” said fourth grader Nguyen Quynh Anh.
Despite living in a city, they learn how to properly seed, water, weed and harvest with the help of teachers. The garden offers various types of veggies, changing season by season, bitter melon, mustard green and water spinach among all.
“The garden was initiated three years ago as I saw there was an unused area behind the school. The ‘Friendship garden for disadvantaged students’ was expected to help students learn lessons of working hard and sharing with their friends,” said teacher Pham Huyen Duy.
According to Vo An Dinh, principal of Pham Hung Primary School, the “Friendship garden for disadvantaged students” attracts the participation of students for its good deeds.
Every year, the initiative helps to fund some 40 insurance cards for its vulnerable students.
“The garden does not only offer them hand-on experiences of planting but also lively examples to see how plants grow which help them to study biology better,” said Dinh.
|Students of Phu Tho Hoa Primary School water the hanging garden with pots made from used plastic bottles. Photo: CK / Tuoi Tre|
A recycled garden
Phu Tho Hoa Primary School in Tan Binh District has recently worn a new outlook of pot plants and flowers grown by students.
Constructed four decades ago, the school still looks lively thanks to an initiative named “The school garden by plastic waste”.
Under the guidance of teacher Nguyen Thi Thuy Lieu, discharged plastic bottles are painted by students to make pots for plants.
“With this model, we want to nurture their creativity and love for nature as well as acquire hard skills of planting and fertilising. Students can also practice teamwork by taking care of the garden together,” said Lieu.
Students design their own pots, plant small trees and hang them up into a green curtain. They also learn how to grow vegetable on trays made of broken tubs.
“Looking at the fresh greenery makes me happy going to school. We learn a lot from growing plants by ourselves, from ways to protect the environment to cooperate with each other,” said student Ta Ngoc Xuan Nhi.