- From the garden to the kitchen
- Growing, harvesting, preparing and eating
- All food provided by school
Our organic kitchen garden is maintained by each of the individual clusters within the school, which is an integral part of our “living curriculum”. Much learning is embedded practically in the growing, harvesting, preparation, eating and cleaning up processes involved in our daily kitchen garden program. We think it is important that every day we get to prepare and share a meal together. It sounds so simple and yet it is an aspect of life so often ignored. Through this simple necessity we get to eat nutritious and delicious meals created from food harvested from our own garden. At the same time we get to develop lifelong skills in the kitchen and garden.
We draw on the the following philosophy from Stephanie Alexander’s “Kitchen Garden Guru”: menus are planned around seasonal availability;
- we seek to expand the culinary horizons for children and present cultural differences as fascinating rather than strange;
- we seek to expand the children’s vocabulary for describing flavours and textures and plant families and names;
- we use fresh ingredients at their peak for example herbs should not be past their season;
- the garden crops underpin kitchen planning for example lots of basil is likely to lead to a pesto making session and
- we come together around a table at the end of the cooking to share the meal.
Children do not need to bring morning tea or lunch, as all food is provided by our school including fruit, a range of healthy snacks and lunch.
Our main water tank is filled by rainwater and topped up by a bore as needed, this water is used in our kitchen garden (which includes water efficient wicking garden beds) and for flushing toilets. There are other rainwater tanks on the premises that provide water to our fruit trees and irrigate landscaped areas. We have almost halved our scheme water usage, which contributes greatly in our endeavor to become a sustainable school.