Diggers and earthmovers, Nicholas, Blake and Jason, mulching the orchard area at Greenbrook.

YEAR 11 and 12 students from Epping Secondary College are gardening for a cause at Greenbrook Community House, growing vegetables to help community members in need of extra support during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Each Thursday since March, between lockdowns about 25 VCAL students have been hard at work on the grounds of the neighbourhood house, which is managed by the City of Whittlesea, digging and earthmoving, mulching and soil reconditioning, planting and watering and weeding and seeding.

City of Whittlesea chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the students were proud to donate four boxes of organic fruit and vegetables to food relief charities Thomastown Neighbourhood House and Countrywide Community Mission.

“The gardening groups decided to donate their produce once they harvested it and saw how beautifully it had grown, and they were proud to choose local organisations to support,” she said.

“The food relief organisations were thrilled to receive boxes of organic spinach, carrots, spring onions, broccoli, lettuce, beetroots and potatoes, but even more excited to know the harvest had been grown and donated by local secondary school students.”

Ms Wilson said the grounds of Greenbrook Community House were looking sensational, with students also chopping and trimming branches, weeding, raking, placing nets over fruit trees, creating mosaic signs, and sanding back boards for artworks.

“They’re looking forward to getting back into the garden and growing more seasonal produce and are happy to be playing a small part in making life easier for people who could use some extra support during the pandemic,” she said.

Epping Secondary College teacher Antoinette Rehak said the students loved being out in the garden, away from technology and involved in a community house.

“They have learnt about gardening and how a little bit of love can go a long way,” she said.

“Epping Secondary College VCAL are so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such an amazing initiative,” teacher Giovanna Hill said.

“Working side-by-side and knowing they are making a difference in our community has been such a gratifying experience.”

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