The QAHS Community Garden is a very active and popular CAS activity that students can join each year. Last Thursday it was planting day for Term 3 with a new group of 32 students, with each assigned their very own garden bed. Students were asked to research what they would like to grow taking into consideration the season and zoning of our region for planting. Some staff members have also been assigned a garden bed and are looking forward to watching their produce grow.
It was a great afternoon and the rain on Friday was a welcome blessing which watered in all of the seedlings well. There is a mixed variety of herbs, vegetables and flowers amongst the mix as well as Chocolate Capsicum, Basil Cinnamon and Lemon Grass which are new additions to our garden.
We are hoping some of the herbs planted such as rosemary, lavender and mint will help boost our Year 12's "smelling brains" going into their mock exams in a few week's time. Smells are handled by the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body's central command for further processing. Odours take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory. "The olfactory signals very quickly get to the limbic system," said Harvard’s Venkatesh Murthy, Raymond Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor and chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Rosemary aroma is the memory booster. Researchers at Northumbria University have proven that adults performed 15% better at memory tasks if the room was rosemary scented.
Another study found that inhaling rosemary oil showed an increase in beta waves in the frontal region, which means higher alertness and thus beneficial for the thinking process. After the test, the test subjects also felt more "fresh" and active.
Thank you also to our ground staff for preparing and overturning the soil in the beds ready for planting.
Reflection from Zeinab Selman Community Garden Member– Year 11
"Last week Thursday after school, we officially planted our seeds and seedlings for Term 3 - a heavily anticipated task for all involved. All team members gathered around the garden beds assigned, surrounded by the pungent smell of freshly turned soil and got to work. I know I speak for all when I say, the afternoon was filled with the buzz of excitement and laughter of really trying to find the perfect system to plant what we had ordered - personally this would be figuring out how to carefully remove the lettuce and capsicum seedlings without damaging them (we were all definitely grateful for the help offered by all the staff members involved). In general, I cannot express how rewarding this CAS group really is - I can't wait for harvest season!"
Reflection from Hassan Selman Community Garden Member– Year 11
"Community Garden is a highly sought after CAS experience and is always very quick to fill up with members. Zeinab and I were fortunate enough to obtain a garden bed this term, however, we had little experience on how to plant these seedlings and had the most trouble taking them out of their containers. Through the help from school staff we were able to successfully plant lettuce, coriander and capsicum during planting day (Thursday 6th August) which was enjoyable and highly rewarding, I cannot wait until they're ready to harvest!"
Mr Paul Mitchell, Mrs Sarah Stevens and Mrs Helen Asser
Community Garden Supervisors