A series of garden beds are teaching Dungog Public School students about the paddock to plate process.
Each class has been given a garden bed to create and maintain, and the students are so keen to be involved that most give up their lunch breaks.
A range of plants are being grown including a variety of fruit and vegetables.
“The white cauliflower in our garden is growing pretty fast,” Year 4 student Andrew Jenkins said.
“I like how it unfolds from a tiny suggestion to a huge campaign ... I like it how you get to do stuff for the environment.”
The school secured a Primezone grant to set up the gardens earlier this year and Bunnings has donated orchard trees, which were planted on Friday.
The trees have complemented the school’s existing orchard and in a few years will be producing a lot of fruit.
Principal Donna Stackman said the school had decided to sell the produce so the project became cost neutral.
She said the school was still discussing the avenues it could use to distribute the produce to the community, and the students would be involved in harvesting the food when it was ripe.
The produce could be sold through the canteen, the local farmers market, or a fruit and vegetable shop in town, she said.
Ms Stackman said the students were completely devoted to the gardens and diligently attended to the jobs that needed to be done to keep it on track.
She said their commitment to the plants was impressive and they were all looking forward to harvesting the first crop.
“They plan it, maintain it and work in it up to three times a week,” she said.
“A lot of children give up their time in their lunch breaks and they act very responsibly on different tasks that are given to them.
“That might include moving soil or compost into the gardens, planting gardens, tidying areas up, all of those things that are part of our ground garden maintenance.”
Tahlie-Rose Stanley, Year 3, said being in the garden was one of her favourite things to do.
“I enjoy when we’re picking up rubbish and helping the environment,” she said. “My favourite thing is digging with the shovel and making the trenches.”
Ms Stackman said growing food at school helped students gain vital life skills and it taught them about the food production chain.
She said it was important for students to understand where their food comes from and the work that goes into growing fruit and vegetables.
“It’s developing that link between garden to food product to produce planning and then final use of the product,” she said.