TAFE & SAGE — The first 4 weeks

Partly as a result of the SAGE project starting in earnest, two of the Horticulture teachers at Moruya TAFE decided to commence a course in Organic Food Production. This was no simple matter because, unbelievably, this had not been taught within the TAFE system to date. Graham Lown (head teacher Horticulture) and Chas Reid are to be congratulated on this initiative and on their decision to use the SAGE site for the practical component of the course.

The students are concentrating on developing the SAGE Block- the sustainable yard.

For the first 4 weeks of the course the students have been doing intensive botany studies as well as seed raising and propagation techniques using the facilities at TAFE. Despite the lack of suitable green waste, a compost heap was also constructed and the temperature monitored as it was turned. The image below shows the heap at 2 weeks old, being turned for the second time. After the first week the temperature at the core was 60 degrees Celcius. At the second turning, it was 50 degrees C.

A TAFE student forks over the compost pile

The second turning

A thermometer is used to obtain an accurate core temperature of the compost

Taking core temperature -- 60 degrees C

Using seeds donated by Fothergill’s, dozens of seedling trays and tubes have been planted ready for either potting up or transplanting in Spring.

A shot of seedlings intended for planting at the SAGE site in a greenhouse being watered

Watering the seedlings with a seaweed-based solution

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