Farm My School Pilot Project

Bellarine Secondary College, Drysdale Campus

This pilot project has been made possible through the support of the Victorian Government DFFH Engage! Grant.

The school

Bellarine Secondary College [BSC] is centrally located on the Bellarine Peninsula (approx. 1.5 hours from Melbourne) with 2 campuses:

  • Ocean Grove Campus (Year 7 - 8 students)
  • Drysdale Campus (Year 9 - 12 students)

The Pilot project is operating on the Drysdale Campus. 

A gap in sustainable initiatives

Before Farm My School, BSC had a commendable horticultural program linked with Bellarine Landcare and an onsite vineyard supplying grapes to Bellarine Estate.

However, the canteen offered mainly processed food options, and the curriculum was disconnected, lacking relevance to food literacy. There was an opportunity for a stronger emphasis on seasonality, regenerative practices, and alignment with practical, real-world challenges.

A growing partnership

BSC chose to partner with Farm My School as they valued the hands-on-learning potential for students, opportunities for integration of sustainability across learning areas, increased career pathways, improved health and wellbeing outcomes, and the means to contribute positively to the local community and environment. 

BSC's offer of a disused soccer pitch as a suitable farm site and well-equipped facilities, such as a commercial kitchen, classroom, spacious shed, and a tractor, along with an existing agriculture curriculum, presented an ideal opportunity for Farm My School's program to thrive.

This project is about education and engagement and being able to embed sustainable regenerative farming practices into our curriculum. It gives our students the opportunity to learn about food systems and how they impact their health, environment, and community.

Wayne Johannesen | BSC Principal

Our Goals for Growth

  • Conducting student leadership workshops for collaborative idea sharing and active student input into farm initiatives.
  • Staff surveys and engagement sessions to foster discussions and idea-sharing on integrating produce and farming into the curriculum.
  • Community events, including hands-on activities like building garden beds, farm tours, cooking sessions, and ambassador meetings, to connect the school and wider community to the vision of Farm My School.
  • Continually working on soil regeneration by planting green manure crops, improving biodiversity through diverse planting, utilising closed loop systems and circular economies, with the aim to establish the foundation for productive and sustainable farming.
  • Establishing partnerships and securing funding for the program's continuity and expansion.
  • Hire a dedicated regenerative farmer like Nina Breidah, and commence the Farmer Incubator program, ensuring expert guidance for sustainable practices and employing trainees.
  • Trial veggie boxes 
  • Develop subject-specific curriculum for learning areas and year levels.
  • Farmer and Education Officer employed.
  • Fully operational Market Garden, Community Food Hub and Propagation Nursery.
  • School canteen serves meals using fresh produce from the market garden.
  • Family-food literacy workshops offered to support in-home fruit and vegetable preparation and increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Community workshops designed and scheduled to encourage community engagement and knowledge sharing.

Partners & Collaborators

Bellarine Community Health

Collaborating with Farm My School aligns with the HCCTs priorities to deliver healthy eating education, within a local setting, reaching our target population of 0-18 year olds from the Bellarine Peninsula with the greatest level of health inequalities. 

Give Where You Live

Provided support for FMS Board to strengthen governance, improve website and build strategy for growth beyond Bellarine Secondary College.

The Diggers Foundation

Provided support through access to Heirloom vegetable seeds, guest appearances and communicating our story to their members. Enables us to grow nutritious, flavoursome fruits and vegetables and collect seeds from plant varieties that we particularly love and that grow well at the farm.

Barwon Water

Provided support for continued operation and growth of the FMS pilot project at BSC. Work with FMS to enable visits from other schools and community groups to support educational awareness and understanding of regenerative farming, the circular economy and sustainability.

Geelong Community Foundation

Provided support to build and operate our Community Food Hub. The Community Fruit and Vegetable Distribution Hub will support young people and their families by making healthy food affordable and accessible, having a positive, healthy influence on food choices and increasing the school communities knowledge and awareness of our current food systems and its impact on climate change

Bendigo Community Bank

Provided support for FMS to employ our amazing Farmer Nina Breidahl and purchase a much needed farm buggy.

Impact in the first 2 years

Engaged community

Built partnerships with relevant stakeholders, held community events and provided opportunities for people to build connections with a like-minded community and gain new knowledge, offered volunteering opportunities, conducted educational workshops.

Hands-on learning

Students from both campuses have chosen to work  on the farm regularly and learn about regenerative farming. Year 7s enjoyed opportunities to tend, harvest and cook produce, creating healthy meals to share.  The education program has created important experiences and conversations for students around healthy eating, and the connection between regenerative farming practices and care for the environment.

Established working, regenerative market garden

Viable employment opportunity for farmer, increased health and quality of soil 

Healthy, accessible food systems

Producing significant quantities of fresh, healthy produce available for community to purchase and use in school tech classes.


A few stand out moments for us since our journey began.

October 2022

Build a Farm in a Day

600 community volunteers travelled from across Victoria to work with students and FMS founders to lay the groundwork for the farm in a unique 24 hour ‘Build a Farm in a Day’ event. Together they transformed a disused soccer pitch into a one and a half acre market garden with over 2km of no-dig garden beds.

April 2023

The Growing Our Future Festival

FMS Bellarine Official Launch: The Growing Our Future Festival - an evening of live music, fresh produce, delicious food cooked by local chefs and garden tours to celebrate the ongoing work of FMS and the first harvest season. Special guests included FMS ambassador Costa Georgiardis, Chefs Matt Germanchis and Jo Barrett, along with permaculture band Formidable Vegetable.