Vegepod: the ultimate solution for school gardening - Education Matters Magazine
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Vegepod: the ultimate solution for school gardening

To make student learning in the horticultural space easy and fun, JB Hi-Fi Education is partnering with Australian-owned company Vegepod and its award-winning, portable and self-watering raised garden beds.

Ever considered cultivating vibrant vegetables and herbs in your schoolyard? Gardening is a wonderful way to teach children about nature, science, nutrition and sustainability. However, many schools face challenges in creating and maintaining a successful garden program, for reasons such as; lack of space, time, resources and expertise.

To overcome those challenges, JB Hi-Fi Education is partnering with Vegepod and its innovative raised garden beds – a comprehensive gardening system that empowers schools to cultivate their own produce through the advantages of container gardening.

A 100% Australian-owned and family operated company, Vegepod’s awardwinning raised garden beds are portable, self-watering, and protective. Vegepods are designed to make gardening simple, enjoyable, and accessible for everyone, especially schools.

About the company

Vegepod was founded in 2009 by Mr Matt Harris, a passionate gardener from the Northern Beaches in Sydney who wanted to grow his own fresh and organic food at home.

He realised that traditional gardening methods were too time-consuming, labourintensive, and prone to pests and diseases. He decided to create a solution that would simplify and improve the gardening experience for everyone.

Mr Harris developed the first prototype of Vegepod, a raised garden bed that had a self-watering system and protective cover. He tested and refined his product until he was satisfied with the results. He then launched his company and started selling his innovative garden beds online and through retailers.

Since then, Vegepod has remained a family-run business and has grown to become a global brand, with customers in over 15 countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Singapore, and Japan.

Vegepod has also won several awards, including the Australian Good Design Award, the Australian Business Award, and the Australian International Design Award.

Vegepods come in three sizes, each with a polyethylene mesh cover and optional stand. Image: JB Hi-Fi Education

What is a Vegepod?

Vegepods are raised garden beds that give you the best of both worlds and more. You get the size of a raised garden bed with all the benefits of container gardening. Not only that, but you also get the benefit of a raised garden bed cover that extends growing seasons and accelerates plant growth – perfect for any Australian climate.

Garden maintenance and watering are minimal compared to a regular garden bed. Vegepod Raised Garden Bed Kits are simply the easiest way for students to grow their own vegetables.

What sizes do Vegepods come in?

Vegepods come in three sizes of garden beds:
• Small: 0.5m x 1m x 40cm, holds 110L of soil, can fit up to 10 plants
• Medium: 1m x 1m x 40cm, holds 220L of soil, can fit up to 20 plants
• Large: 2m x 1m x 40cm, holds 440L of soil, can fit up to 40 plants

Each size comes with a Vegecover, a polyethylene mesh that protects the plants from harsh weather, insects, birds, and animals. The Vegecover also creates a microclimate that enhances plant growth and extends the growing season. The Vegecover can be easily opened and closed with a hinge system, allowing access to the plants and ensuring proper ventilation.

Each size also has a self-watering system that consists of a reservoir at the bottom of the bed and a wicking mechanism that draws water up to the roots. The self-watering system reduces water usage by up to 80% and ensures that the plants are always hydrated. The garden beds are made of durable and recyclable materials that are UV-stabilised and food-safe. The garden beds can be placed on any surface, such as soil, grass or concrete and can be raised to a comfortable height with optional stands or trolleys.

What are the benefits of having Vegepod as part of your school’s curriculum?

Vegepod garden beds are ideal for schools, as they provide numerous benefits. They are engaging and interactive, encourage students to learn by doing and to develop skills such as observation, experimentation, problem-solving, communication and teamwork; students can work in groups and conduct different experiments, and decide what they want to grow in the Vegepod.

Vegepod supports the Early Years Learning Framework accreditation and its raised garden beds are educational and cross-curricular. The following examples illustrate how schools can use them in their curriculums:

Science & Maths:
• Growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and learning about their life cycles, characteristics such as nutritional values, and uses.
• Conducting experiments and investigations, such as testing the effects of different variables on plant growth, measuring and recording plant data, comparing and contrasting different plant species.
• Learning about seasons and different climates.

Language and art:
• Expressing creativity, such as drawing and painting plants, writing poems and stories about plants, along with making crafts and decorations using plant material.

Health:
• Promoting healthy eating habits and providing fresh and organic produce for the school community.

One of the reasons why Vegepod raised garden bed is a truly unique and innovative solution for schools is how easy it is to set up and maintain, requiring minimal time and effort from teachers and students.

Adaptability and flexibility are also standout features, allowing schools to choose the size, location, and type of plants to suit their needs and preferences. If a Vegepod needs to be moved to another location, the caster wheels on the trolley stands make light work of that task. Vegepod garden beds require less than half the potting mix required for a corrugated steel bed or raised timber bed of the same dimensions.

How do schools get students growing with Vegepod?

In modern life, it’s easy to become disconnected from the planet and to forget that it takes time and effort to grow vegetables. But when children see vegetables growing in a Vegepod, they will understand where food comes from and develop a closer connection to nature.

In addition, they will see that with the right techniques, food can be grown sustainably at home or at school and cultivated as a renewable resource, instead of something that is instantly available at the market.

This is hugely important for young people to learn – the coming generations are facing huge environmental challenges through rising populations, climate change and pollution. By introducing a small change – learn how to grow your own food – you can positively influence the way they live the rest of their lives, consciously choosing better alternatives for food and living.

Students’ wellbeing and resilience is extremely important today, and research tells us that healthy adolescent psyches can be linked to time spent in green spaces. The benefits of constructive time in garden settings are multiple which include lower anxiety, an increased sense of wellbeing, improved mindfulness, and better concentration, which leads to an improved performance across all academic pursuits. Adding to this, active participation is another key benefit of children’s wellbeing in schools.

Want more information?

JB Hi-Fi Education is proud to encourage student curiosity and hands-on learning experiences extending beyond the tech realm by offering to Australian schools Vegepod’s range of garden beds and accessories.

With over 21 years of experience working in the education sector, JB Hi-Fi Education can help design and implement the most effective ICT solutions and more for your educational needs.

To discover Vegepod’s raised garden beds visit www.jbeducation.com.au or contact 1300 746 752.

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