SOWING SEEDS: Aspiring gardeners Fletcher and Maggie at Buderim's Milford Lodge childcare centre with some of the Daily's free seeds.
SOWING SEEDS: Aspiring gardeners Fletcher and Maggie at Buderim's Milford Lodge childcare centre with some of the Daily's free seeds. John McCutcheon

'Generation green' growing up at Buderim

THE next generation of gardeners is being grown at Buderim's Milford Lodge child care centre.

The childcare centre sits in 0.6ha - about the size of six average house blocks - of gardens established 30 years ago.

Educational director Nancy Andrews said home cooking was a big part of life at Milford Lodge and the children were encouraged to get involved in the production of food.

They water the plants at the Lodge every morning and afternoon and pick and eat fruit from trees planted in the gardens but do not just get their hands dirty in the yard.

They are also regulars across the road at Urban Food Street, a street garden program driven by Duncan McNaught and Caroline Kemp.

"We go a couple of times a week and they tell us what to plant and what they want to harvest,” Mrs Andrews said.

She said the children got to know where food came from, and that fruit and vegetables were seasonal, but their learning went beyond just plants to worms, bees and the living world around them.

"Duncan tells us to close our eyes and listen. We listen to the sounds of nature, the birds and the bees and Duncan says they are all workers all around us - they are busy as well,” She said.

"It's all about environmental sustainability. I just think it's amazing that the children are learning about this from such a young age.”

Originally from Ireland, Mrs Andrews finds walking along the street with bananas and other tropical fruits growing either side as fascinating as the kids.

The kids were as keen on wheelbarrow rides from Duncan as they are about picking and planting in the garden, she said.

A family visit to Urban Food Street followed by a breakfast back at Milford Lodge has become a highlight of the calendar four times a year for the kids and their parents.

Mrs Andrews said the Urban Food Street was an education for mums and dads and a chance for kids to experience a neighbourhood where people talked to each other in the street..

The Sunshine Coast Daily is giving readers the chance to get into gardening and green their own patch in the spirit of Milford Lodge and the Urban Food Street.

Every reader can collect 12 free seed packets over the next two weeks.

Look for the tokens appearing in the Daily each day starting tomorrow and redeem them at your local newsagency for your free seeds.


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