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Eco-bulletin Issue 1

Be $125 better off for reading this Bulletin

What is the ECO Team?
Since 2012, Australian Early Childhood Ser ices !ECS" re#uire $re Schools, to %ta&e an acti e role in caring for its en iron'ent and contributing to a sustainable future() As such, an *EC+ ,ea'- of .ontessori $arents has /ulled together to achie e this) 0e 1ill be /ro iding u/dates and i'/ortant infor'ation through our bulletin

Our Mission Statement: To develop mindfulness of sustainability and the environmental impact of the everyday decisions that we make
.ontessori is *seeing the light- this ter' in regards to a 'o e to increase the sustainability of lighting both inside and outside the building) In an atte'/t to reduce the $reschools de/endence on fossil fuel, 2E3 lighting is being considered as a re/lace'ent to e4isting light bulbs) An audit conducted by a local business has /redicted a sa ing of $125 /er years as a result of the s1itch !e4cuse the /un" 1ith a /ay bac& /eriod of only 2)6 years) ,his is a healthy sa ing 1hich is set to beco'e e en greater as electricity /rices continue to rise) So'ething to consider for our o1n ho'es7 In other ne1s, the Eco ,ea' is in estigating the /ossibility of installing Solar $anels to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuel and su//ort rene1able energy industries) In addition, 1e are considering the /ossibility of sourcing 'ore en iron'entally sustainable toilet /a/er and cleaning /roducts as 1ell as lo1er to4icity sunscreen for our children)

DIG IT - by Karli
E er thought about gro1ing your o1n organic food8 9ou can) 3itch your gy' 'e'bershi/, grab a sho el and a /ic& instead and get digging: 9ou 1ill build bigger bice/s I /ro'ise) ;a ing a egetable garden or fruit trees doesn-t need to ta&e u/ a lot of s/ace, ti'e or 'oney) In fact gro1ing your o1n food 1ill sa e you 'oney, be healthier for you both /hysically and 'entally and 1ill /ro ide you 1ith a 1onderful s/ace to bond and learn 1ith your children) ,his has certainly been 'y e4/erience since beginning a egie /atch of 'y o1n se eral years ago) ,his is 'y story) I started 1ith lettuce, and it turns out that it is 'uch easier to gro1 than a la1n, 1ith the added benefit of being able to eat it: After ha ing success 1ith lettuce I 'o ed onto s/inach, and it gre1 so easily and /rolifically I ended u/ feeding 'ost of it to the choo&s) <i en that 'y husband doesn-t eat s/inach or lettuce !considering the' rabbit food" cou/led 1ith the fact that I 1as feeling /retty chuffed 1ith 'yself at the results I 1as getting, I 1as 'oti ated to 'o e onto the bigger stuff) Carrots 1ere ne4t but they /ro ed to be tric&y, 1ith only 2 seedlings e'erging out of an entire /ac&et7) I 1as deflated) I tried another /ac&ed, con inced that /erha/s the last batch 1ere faulty, but again a /oor result) So I decided to ha e a crac& at to'atoes) After all, Better ;o'es and <ardens 'a&e it loo& so easy) By early su''er I had to'atoes literally dri//ing off the /lants, a delightful sea of red, 'ost of 1hich 1ere ear'ar&ed to 'a&e 'y 'u's old- fashioned to'ato sauce I gre1 u/ on as a child) As I 1as /roudly slicing into a dee/ red =o'a, 'y 'outh 1atering at the thought of consu'ing 'y first ho'e gro1n to'ato, roc&et and basil sand1ich, I 1as grossed out 1hen tiny 'aggots 1riggled onto the cho//ing board) ,o 'y disgust, >ruit fly 1as through 'y entire cro/: 3eflated once 'ore I 'o ed on to so'ething fruit fly 1ouldn-t attac&, /otatoes) >or e ery /otato that I /lanted, it gre1 at least 10 'ore and they 1ere di ine) I ha e ne er bought a /otato since) >eeling u/lifted, I tac&led /eas) ,hese /lants 1ere so easy to gro1 fro' seed and gre1 al'ost as fast as ?ac&-s Bean Stal&: After 1ee&s of /ic&ing and consu'ing these /eas strait fro' the bush, I 1as disa//ointed 1hen the entire /lant slo1ly beca'e co ered in 'ilde1 !a 1hite /o1der ty/e disease" and turned u/ its toes) But I 1asn-t gi ing u/) @een to a oid fruit fly, 'ilde1 and tiny seeds that refused to ger'inate, I decided to /lant s1eet corn seed) And the results 1ere ery s1eet:

0atching 'y &ids /ull cobs strait fro' the bush and s/ray each other in the eye 1ith Auice as they bit into the cob 1as a site to behold and feed 'y /assion to continue 1ith 'y ision) .y ision 1hen I started 'y /atch 1as to beco'e co'/letely self sufficient in egetables and fruit /roduction using only organic 'ethods) ,hrough research, trial and error, our /atch and orchard successfully feeds our fa'ily of four) E4cess /roduce is /reser ed or gi en a1ay) 0e no1 /roduce a ariety of herbs, leafy greens, /otatoes, carrots, to'atoes, beetroot, onions, garlic, cucu'ber, ca/sicu', Bucchini, corn, broccoli, 1ater'elon, roc&'elon, /u'/&in and a range of fruits) I 'ust confess, 1e do buy bananas7)no ision is e er /erfectly 'astered, is it88 In each bulletin 1e ho/e to /ro ide you 1ith infor'ation about 1hat you can be doing in your garden no1, ho1 to do it and the tra/s to loo& out for) If there is anything s/ecific that you 1ould li&e to &no1 about /lease as& and 1e 1ill try our best to /ro ide the ans1ers) So lets begin) ,1o of the 'ost i'/ortant things to get right 1ith gro1ing /lants are S+I2 and 2+CA,I+C) So this is our starting /oint) $ro ided belo1 are lin&s to e4cellent and si'/le infor'ation to get you started) But here are so'e to/ ti/sD Location $lants gro1n for their ruit eg to'ato, cucu'ber and a//les re#uire full sun for the fruit to ri/en) $lants gro1n for their lea!es li&e lettuce, or their roots li&e /otato and carrots 1ill do 1ell in /art shade) Soil ,he #uality of the food you gro1 1ill only be as "oo# as the soil it comes rom so ta&e the ti'e to get it right Soil should be 1ell drained but able to hold so'e 'oisture) Soils too high in clay 1ill be too 1et and stic&y or too hard, but too high in sand 1ill be too dry and lac& nutrition) So either 1ill benefit fro' organic 'atter !'aterial 1hich 1as once li ing or /roduced by so'ething that 1as li ing") +rganic 'atter 1ill i'/ro e o erall soil #uality and nutrition as it brea&s do1n) 0ell rotted ani'al 'anure, dry la1n cli//ings or lea es and sugar cane 'ulch are all e4a'/les Soil needs nutrients) $lants use the nutrients held 1ithin the soil to gro1 and fruit) ,hese nutrients 'ust be re/laced) Co'/ost, ani'al 'anures and blood and bone 1ill su//ly nutrition and i'/ro e the o erall health of the /lant thus i'/ro ing resistance to /est and disease) $lant tonics such as sea1eed or fish e4tract are also 1onderful) Soil should not be bare, nor should it be buried !other1ise rain 1ont get through") A light co ering of 'ulch such as sugar cane 1ill reduce 1ater loss fro' your soil, sto/ your soil 'o ing 1ay and i'/ro e the soil as it brea&s do1n) ,he soil 'i4 I ha e had recent success 1ith that is nutritional, 1ell drained yet holds 'oisture !e4cellent for /ots" is 1EF co'/ost, 1EF coir /eat and 1EF er'iculite) ,his is 'ore e4/ensi e but the results are a'aBing, es/ecially for /ots) Chec& out the <ardening Australia 1ebsite, /articularly fact sheetsD Soil BuildingG Soil ConditionersG .a&ing $erfect Hegie SoilG and A Shady $atch) $lants that you can so1 no1 includeD As/aragus, <arlic, +nion, $a& Choy, $eas, S/inach, S/ring onions, Cabbage, All seasons carrots and 2ettuce)

>a'ily Energy =ebate

,he *>a'ily Energy =ebate- hel/s CS0 fa'ily households to /ay their electricity bills) In 201F-2016 the >a'ily Energy =ebate 1ill gi e eligible households a $125 credit on their electricity bill) ,o be eligible for the 201F-2016 CS0 >a'ily Energy =ebate, you need toD Be recei ing the >ederal <o ern'ent-s >a'ily ,a4 Benefit A or B /ay'entG an# Be an account holder of an electricity retailer) ,o find out 'ore or to co'/lete an online a//lication for' isit htt/DEE111)energy)ns1)go )auEcusto'ersErebatesEfa'ily-energy-rebate
This information has been compiled by us on the research we have done. If there is a point you think we may have missed feel free to drop us an email to add your two cents, or clarify something if you think it is incorrect. Or join the coteam :