“Admire” the desirable organic farm which is 2,3 hectares in area and a vegetable garden which measures 2.000 m2 of a school 

A rooftop vegetable garden which measures 2,000 m2 and a farm of 2.3 hectares in Thanh Cao commune, Thanh Oai province, Hanoi with fruit trees and animal husbandry help to provide fresh ingredients for the school’s kitchen and serve as a field trip destination for our students.

The organic papaya garden in JIS farm

To have organic food in daily meals is a legitimate need and should be met by the market. However, the problem of contaminated food and vegetables soaked in chemicals is now frightening consumers. Some food manufacturers and traders have used pesticides, growth promoters and ripening enhancer, etc.

The remainder of these chemicals in contaminated food accumulate gradually in the human body, generating diseases such as cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, birth defects … The need for clean, safe, quality food is of more concern than ever.

Take initiative in clean food sources

As a school that meets international standards, Japanese International School has built its own organic farms to proactively provide food for students, teachers and staff to ensure all-round and long-term health. At present, the school owns a rooftop vegetable garden of 2,000m2 to grow vegetables and a 2.3-hectare farm in Thanh Cao commune, Thanh Oai district, Hanoi to grow fruit trees and raise livestock.

A garden full of grapefruits

Fishponds provide fresh fish for the school’s kitchen.

Mrs. Dao Thi Sinh, a veterinarian at JIS farm, said at that moment, there were more than 100 pigs to meet the needs of the school for fresh pork and pork products such as sausages of all kinds. Chicken farms have a breeding area of up to 2,000 chicken, providing eggs and fresh meat.

"With a large area of water surface, the school raise ducks, Muscovy ducks and geese. The system of fish ponds with the maximum capacity of up to 10 tons of freshwater fish per year meets the demand for fresh fish and fish dishes for students and teachers in school", Mrs. Sinh said.

As far as we know, all fodder is made from marine fish and some cooked seafood mixed with maize and soybean grits in a certain proportion suitable for each development stage of that livestock. According to Mrs. Sinh, the farms apply closed-loop agriculture to ensure environmental hygiene. Stages from breeding, feeding, slaughtering, packing to transportation are strictly controlled.

According to Mrs. Sinh, all fodder is totally organic, mixed in a certain proportion suitable for each development stage of that livestock.

The cages are usually cleaned and aired. Wastes are pumped into biogas holes to create biogas for cooking, ensuring environmental hygiene.

Disease control is emphasized. Whenever you enter a farm, wearing boots, masks, and sterilization are compulsory steps.

The clean vegetable garden in a greenhouse on the roof.

Clean water from the spray system

Besides vegetables, in the garden, there are also spices

Vine spinach grown by organic methods will provide sweet and tasty bowls of soup

The farm has proactively provided food for students, teachers and staff in the school.

A destination for field trips 

At present, the farm also has an orchard with all kinds of fruit trees such as bananas, guavas, apples, papaya, persimmons, grapefruits, jackfruits, etc. It provides fresh fruits for desserts in the school.

Fresh vegetables are grown in the school's rooftop garden with a variety of seasonal vegetables. There are water spinach, green cabbage, kohlrabi, bean sprouts … watered using the clean water spray system. Because they are planted and taken care of organically, it should help to prevent pestilent insects. Gardeners also use chili peppers, ginger, garlic … in the spray water.

The 2,000 square meter vegetable garden on the rooftop is carefully tended by the gardener

Intercropping help produce a greater yield

The cabbage patch

A ripe okra ready to be bred for the next crop

The green vegetabls garden in the city makes us feel like we are in the countryside.

Originally a medicinal herb, wild wormwood is grown for some dishes for students, teachers and staff in the school.

Gardeners also use chili peppers, ginger, garlic … in the spray water to prevent pestilent insects.

The flower trellis adds to the “poeticness” of the garden.

With the international advanced education model designed to educate "wise" students, Japanese International School not only focuses on character education and skills but also on health and physical development of students. This organic farm model has become an ideal destination for field trips. Teachers of different subjects took their students to the farm, the vegetable garden and they learned about interesting topics such as things in nature, food chain, kinds of plants … This is applying knowledge into reality, which helps students better understand their lessons.

In order to build such a large-scale farm, Japanese International School had to invest a great deal of money, but what worth more are the devotion and effort. In the current context of climate change, extreme weathers have heavily affected crop productivity. As an important part of JIS, the farm and the rooftop garden have become a “rare and desirable” feature in many schools in our country.

Recently, Year 6 CIP students paid a visit to the farm as part of their Science subject.

The farm not only provides clean, quality food ingredients but also becomes a destination for field trips.

The farm and the rooftop garden have become a “rare and desirable” feature in many schools in our country.

Thanh Tri