Camõesian Organic Garden was established in January 2014. There are four zones at our garden located at our rooftop, with 348 planter boxes in total. Over 50 types of organic vegetables are grown in the garden with a total production of over 6 tonnes, including sweet corn, watermelon, broccoli, radish, lettuce, amaranth, cherry tomato, etc. No chemical fertilizer and pesticides are used.
We are the first and the only primary school in Hong Kong operating an internationally certified Organic Garden. The certificate was offered by Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre Certification Limited (HKORCCL) and authorized by The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) to ensure the quality of our organic vegetables. Starting from 2016, our Garden has been consecutively rewarded with ‘The Outstanding Management Award of Certified Organic Farm” for 6 years.
Various events are held to educate students about the importance and relationship between sustainability and organic gardening, such as organic garden school tours and little gardeners sharing. Besides, parent-gardeners help prepare and cook vegetables harvested from the organic garden for students during recess or lunch period, so as to promote a healthy eating habit.
Parent-gardeners are always the most important partners of our Organic Garden. They work shifts voluntarily every morning to ensure the garden operates smoothly. They attend regular organic workshops to enhance their gardening skills, hence high quality and quantity of the harvest. Without great support and contribution from our parent-gardeners, our garden would not be as successful as it is today.
Some of our P.3 - P.6 students are invited to participate as little gardeners during recess or ECA period. They are responsible for taking care of their own planter box. Their thinking and problem-solving skills have been significantly improved as they are required to keep a daily record, analyse and study the growth of vegetables.
Furthermore, in order to achieve our ultimate goal of sharing food with the community and draw our students’ attention to food waste reduction, over 50 kilograms of organic vegetables were harvested by our students and donated to different non-profit food rescue organization such as YauTsimMong Food Bank, Food Angel.
In order to put the education of sustainable development into practice, our school added organic gardening into our P.3 General Studies school curriculum in 2017. Our P.3 students could grow their own sweet corns. It aims at nurturing their curiosity about the relationship between nature and human beings, which would develop their positive attitudes towards nature. We will continue our existing work to develop the knowledge, attitude and skills in interacting with the nature among our students. It’s not only for today, but also for our future.
With a view to further promoting the idea of organic gardening, our parent gardeners have written a book called‘園來自有機’, which was successfully published in June 2016. In the book, the person-in-charge of organic garden and our parent-gardeners used their first person perspectives to exchange some inspiring and precious ideas of gardening and parenting with the public. Not only does this book talk about the ways to grow different organic vegetables and daily routines in our garden, but it also records the process of planting, from spreading seeds to harvesting fruit and vegetables.