It was a fulfilling sight to see Taarana students reap the fruits of labour from their very own aquaponic garden. From simply being thrilled with having a garden to play in, to being curious in learning to plant their own vegetables, our students have now become advocates of pesticide-free farming.
Last Friday was a very special day for our Taarana students who added a new feather to their cap when they turned into entrepreneurs by selling their own-grown garden produce to their teachers, parents and also members of the public. The students harvested and sold pak choy, turmeric leaves, curry leaves, coriander, oregano leaves, pandan leaves, Vietnamese coriander and lemongrass.
These vegetables were grown in their aquaponics garden which was set up in June, aimed to provide students with autism a unique form of therapy. Activities such as digging, weeding and watering can develop gross motor skills, while manipulating small seeds and transplanting young plants can enhance fine motor development.
The garden also acts as a sensory landscape for the kids while engaging them with different experiences in nature. The aquaponics method of gardening uses fish waste to supplement the plants. In turn, the plants purify the fish’s water in a sustainable cycle.
Taarana school principal, Ms Sivamalar said, “We are very proud to see our students harvesting their own produce and running the vegetable market. Being able to plant and watch seeds grow to full blooms is a wonderful hands-on experience for the students. They acquire motor skills and learn the basics of nature and plant life cycles. This activity also educates the student where our food comes from and how to be responsible for taking care of their plants”.
Proceeds from the vegetable market sale will be utilised to replenish more vegetable seeds and up-keeping the garden. This is also a good way to educate the students on how to sustain their aquaponics garden activity for the long term.
Ms Sivamalar added that the students are very excited to plant the next batch of vegetables and harvest them for their subsequent vegetable market sale in the next few months.