Sustainable Gardening

About The Program

Our Sustainable Gardening Excursions offer the students an opportunity to gain valuable insights into where their food comes from, how to create healthy soils and how to grow their own food to create a more sustainable way of living. They will be involved in a range of hands-on and practical experiences that can be applied back at school and at home.

Healthy soil is the basis of growing healthy food.
• How do we create a healthy environment in which to grow our food?
• Why is growing our own food such an important part of living sustainably?


Port Phillip EcoCentre, St Kilda Botanical Gardens, 55A Blessington St, St Kilda VIC 3182

Excursion Duration:

4 hours (10am – 2pm). Shorter excursions (60min, 90min or 2 hour) can also be arranged.

Year Level:

Prep to Year 12

Maximum number of classes:

4 (Group max: 25)

Cost per class:

$500 + GST


All terms on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most suitable in the warmer, drier months of term 1 and 4.

Program Themes:

Sustainable Gardening: worms, compost and solar cones, Hungry Planet and food miles, Soil health, Edible gardening, growing an edible plant

Understandings & Inquiry Skills
• F-2 Earth’s resources are used in a variety of ways (VCSSU047)
• F-2 Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)
• 3-4 Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (VCSSU057)
• 3-4 Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings to show patterns and relationships using formal and informal scientific language (VCSIS072)
• 5-6 Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)
• 5-6 The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075)
• 7-8 Analyse how food and fibre are produced when creating managed environments and how these can become more sustainable (VCDSTC046)
• 7-8 Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)
• 7-8 Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)

There are two options for this excursion. The 3 class excursion includes three 1 hour activities listed below (selected upon booking). The 4 class excursion includes four 45min listed below (selected upon booking). Shorter excursions (60min, 90min or 2 hour) can also be arranged.
1. Compost, Worms and Solar Cones
Learn how compost, worm farm and solar/ green cones systems work and why we want to remove food and green waste from landfill. Students will be hands-on with learning about and observing worms within our worm farm and learning how organic waste becomes nutrients for our garden beds.

2. Hungry Planet and Food miles
Discover human food systems including where food comes from and the environmental and cultural factors within different countries. Students will learn about food systems, food miles, food waste, packaging, agricultural land use, local and seasonal food and growing your own food.

3. Soil Health
Discover different soil types and conduct soil and pH tests to learn about healthy soil. Learn about nutrition and nutrient cycles and the soil requirements that different edible plants need.

4. Edible Gardens
How do you plan an edible garden? Discover the components to be considered when planning an edible garden including seasons, water requirements, sunlight/ shade, companion planting, pollinators and edible plants suitable for the local climate. Design your own garden.

5. Grow an edible plant
Roll up your sleeves and learn how to propagate (grow) edible plants from seed and cuttings. Seedlings can return to your school or can become part of the EcoCentre’s community garden nursery.

Restrictions: Our group sizes are capped at 25 students and our maximum is 100 per excursion. More than 4 classes can be accommodated by special request.
We will send you instructions for transport and a day plan after you book.

"A number of the students were very inspired and have decided to build an assortment of boxes made from natural materials alongside planting native trees and plants in their gardens! Thank you again for such a wonderful experience, it was the excursion of the year!"

- Year 3 Teacher

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Please note, outdoor excursions only run on Tues, Wed, Thursdays.

School Information

Organising Teacher Details

The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located.

We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.