It’s the circle of life…nutrient-rich water generated from when the turtles bask and feed is being recycled to feed the plants, which will then grow to feed the students who feed the turtles.
The turtles are fed and enjoy basking in the sun in their own individual containers, which are filled with freshwater each day. The idea is that instead of pouring the nutrient-rich water down the drain once the turtles have finished with it, the water can instead be used to help grow a garden of citrus trees and various herbs. Then in a few weeks, when it has grown enough, students and staff will be able to pick healthy, freshly grown ingredients to take home and cook with….no plastic necessary!
The idea was conceived out of a desire by the Caraplace volunteers not to waste any water during the drought that Townsville has been suffering. Assistant Professor Ellen Ariel reached out to TropEco, who run a sustainability programme at James Cook University, and together we have been able to design the garden with plants that are specifically suited to the nutrients in our leftover turtle water. The garden was planted by TropEco’s Brandan Espe last week on 18th April 2018 and will be tended to daily by the Caraplace volunteers.
Keep an eye on our Instagram account for updates on the garden as it grows.
Written by Rebecca Diggins