OES establishes Hyderabad's First On-Campus Children's Farm at Sancta Maria

Author:
Naga Vamsi Neelam
March 16, 2024

For the past three years, we've championed a bold vision - to establish one Children’s farm in every forward-thinking school in Hyderabad. Organo Et School (OES) has taken a pioneering stride in partnership with Sancta Maria International School, setting up Hyderabad's inaugural on-campus children's farm.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the dedicated management and educational team at Sancta Maria for sharing our conviction that children flourish when engaged in soil-based activities and plant nurturing. Their belief in the significance of integrating agriculture into the school curriculum mirrors our own commitment to OES’s safe food curriculum. This collaboration, made possible through the joint efforts of OES teachers/farm coaches and Sancta Maria educators, marks the beginning of an exciting journey.

On February 19th, we launched the OES Be A Farmer program at Sancta Maria by establishing an on-campus children’s farm. In the inaugural session, 143 fourth-grade students were each assigned their own plot and introduced to soil preparation and seed sowing techniques.

Fostering Enthusiasm Among Children

As over 70 students gathered for the first session, Ms. Meena Murugappan, Director of OES, addressed them, outlining the forthcoming 5-6 week journey. Witnessing their palpable excitement, we split them into two groups. One group embarked on a farm session while the other learned about soil testing using the Mason Jar Test method. Each child received tools and a farm logbook to document their experience.

Soil Preparation and Seed Sowing Techniques

Under the guidance of Ms. Sreedevi Ande, a passionate urban gardener serving as their farm coach, students learned soil preparation techniques using hand cultivators. Ms. Sreedevi demonstrated seed sowing using the broadcasting method, providing methi and amaranthus seeds to the first batch of students.

After the demonstration, children prepared their allocated patches and sowed the seeds as instructed. The Principal of Sancta Maria, Ms. Ruchira, visited the farm during the session, expressing delight at seeing children joyfully engaged in agricultural activities. 

Following sowing, the children watered their patches under Ms. Sreedevi’s guidance.

Understanding Soil Texture through the Mason Jar Test

Meanwhile, the remaining students, guided by Ms. Sandya, learned about soil texture and conducted the Mason Jar Test. They gained insights into soil composition and structure. Once the first group completed their sessions, the second group underwent similar experiences.

Promoting Hygiene and Safe Practices

At the conclusion of the sessions, children were briefed on maintaining hygiene post-farm activities and practicing safety measures. With cheerful faces, they bid farewell and returned to their classrooms.

Acknowledgments and Gratitude

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all individuals who contributed to the success of this initiative. Special recognition goes to Ms. Rakhi, Head of PYP, and the invaluable assistance of Ms. Johanna, Ms. Rekha, and Ms. Priyanka. The support of Ms. Johana was particularly noteworthy throughout the process.

We also express our gratitude to the Gardening and Facilities teams for their collaboration in setting up the farm. Additionally, we commend our dedicated farming team, led by Mrs. Prabha Damodharan and Mrs. Lakshmi Battula, along with Mr. Nagaraj, Farming Supervisor, and Mr. Srinivas, whose support was instrumental in driving the project forward.

Sowing Seeds of Change for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Through the "Be A Farmer" program, a five-week experiential learning journey focusing on safe food systems and natural farming, students not only acquire practical knowledge but also develop a profound connection with the environment. This partnership exemplifies the transformative potential of children's farms in shaping the educational landscape and nurturing responsible stewards for the future.

As we embark on the journey towards a more sustainable future, we encourage schools across India to collaborate with Organo Et School and explore the possibility of establishing children's farms within their campuses. Together, let us sow the seeds of change and reap the harvest of a sustainable tomorrow.

About Organo Et School (OES):

Organo Et School, an experiential learning initiative by Organo since 2017, has impacted over 8000 students, 2000 adults, 1250 community residents, and 500 corporate employees. Join us on our journey toward sustainable living by subscribing to our channel and following us on Instagram for the latest updates. 🌿

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