Pupils become farmers for a day

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 30 Nov 2019

Alfira (left) and Saidatul tasting fragrant marigold leaves (daun bunga tahi ayam) from Taiwan at the farm.

SK Tanjung Tokong pupils did not mind getting their hands dirty with organic fertilisers and soil as they turned little farmers for a day during a trip to the Wonder Wilderfarm in Relau, Penang.

Organised by Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) with the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) as its facilitator, the recent event saw the pupils tirelessly weeding, fertilising and mulching with the guidance of CAP and the farm operators.

Through the event, the children were brought closer to nature with hands-on experience on gardening and understanding some interesting facts about assorted leafy vegetables.

Cheers echoed around the lush green environment when the aspiring urban gardeners were given the opportunity to tend to some raised vegetable beds.

Besides discovering the making of organic fertilisers from livestock manure and the benefits of gardening, the pupils were also taught to differentiate greens by taste and appearance.

CAP education officer N. V. Subbarow and Wonder Wilderfarm farm operator Alicia Koh gave the students a short background briefing on the farm and safety measures before they embarked on the tour.

One of the participants, Alfira Balqis, 10, said she enjoyed the experience as she was fascinated by leafy vegetables.

“It really excites me to find beautiful flowers planted here.

“Besides, I also learned how to recognise herbal plants and their health benefits, ” she said gleefully.

Her classmate Saidatul Nur Hafizah, 10, found it interesting to discover the taste of herbal plants.

“I look forward to more such trips in the future.

“I like E&O’s Think Green programme because there are various activities related to urban gardening which teach us how to grow our own organic vegetables back home, ” she added.

The participants had previously taken part in activities under E&O’s Think Green long-term community education programme and were able to incorporate the know-how imparted by CAP during their earlier sessions into the farming experience.

Teacher R. Alil Subagary, 45, said the pupils were lucky to be selected as participants for the programme.

“Most youngsters today are so fixated on smartphones but an outdoor classroom like this, is definitely a good way for them to learn about Mother Nature.

“Hopefully through this learning experience, it will prompt them to think about taking up farming as a career in future, ” she said.

The pupils and teachers were treated to some simple refreshments before heading back to the school.

E&O started the Think Green programme in 2013 and continues to work closely with CAP and schools in the vicinity of Seri Tanjung Pinang.

Over the years, participating students learned about making compost, garden design and care, building raised beds, growing food, herb appreciation, urban gardening, natural farming and making DIY planters.

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