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Seed Grow & Show Harvest


“I am really excited because I have never really harvested anything before. I wonder how big the beans, corn and watermelon will be?” Chloe Profke

“I think it’s great to go back and pick what we planted, it’s great fun and I hope they taste good. I just can’t wait!” Austin Murison

These comments typified the anticipation of the Home Hill SHS year 7 cohort for the “Seed Grow and Show Harvest”.

Early in term 2, the year 7s completed a range of activities that were designed to expand upon their classroom lessons, furthering their understanding of the diverse scientific principles involved in successful agriculture. At the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) students studied soil types, learned about the importance of bees and planted a crop of green beans in the plot prepared by DAF staff.

The second excursion followed weeks of studies and was eagerly anticipated by students and staff.  Year 7 teacher and Agri-Gateway coordinator, Mrs Adele Armstrong and Farmacist’s Evan Shannon have been monitoring the progress of the crops, creating PowerPoint diaries to show students the rate of growth and any adverse effects due to pests or diseases. These updates also explained how the DAFF staff have dealt with these setbacks.

The bean crop that had been planted by students, along with the earlier corn and watermelon crops were the focus of the day. The students were divided into three rotating groups. One group learned about fertiliser use, pest control and were then shown how to successfully select ripe watermelons. Unfortunately the watermelons were not quite ready to harvest on the day and were picked at the end of the holidays by school staff.

The second rotation was the corn harvest. The corn crop had also been affected by the recent wet and windy weather and the entire plot looked like it had been run over by a steam roller! Despite this, there was a bumper crop somewhere in the carnage and our students had a fabulous time finding these hidden treasures. DAF staff Jane and Andrew showed the students what to look for in selecting the best cobs and explained how a corn cob is formed. Many did not quite make it to the bags (kindly donated by Wilmar) and were joyfully consumed along the way!

The third group joined Reg from DAF and Rowan from Rural Training QLD to harvest the green beans the students had planted in April. They were shown the various stages of fruiting from flowering to the mature product. They all came away with bags full of beans to take home.

Many thanks to Bianca Fullarton from Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network, Rabobank and its Client Council, Reg and the DAF staff, all of whom have been vital in facilitating the Seed Grow and Show project. Wilmar for providing funding for the buses and finally Home Hill SHS staff who have enthusiastically embraced the program and will ensure its continued success.

The Burdekin Biology unit has certainly delivered positive outcomes in the year 7 Science assessment results. Congratulations!  Home Hill’s year 7 students will now progress through life with a greater understanding of the science involved in agriculture and food production. Through their studies they also appreciate the importance of agriculture to the region, in terms of food production and potential employment opportunities.