Students grow in kitchen gardens - Education Matters Magazine
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Students grow in kitchen gardens

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is inviting all secondary schools to join the Kitchen Garden Classroom.

The not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is for the first time welcoming all secondary schools into Australia’s growing kitchen garden community, with a new membership.

The unique new Kitchen Garden Classroom membership service provides access to hundreds of recipes, garden activities and curriculum-linked teaching resources based on the Kitchen Garden Program, which now reaches over 800 schools and around 100,000 children across Australia.

The resources draw on the Foundation’s 14 years of experience, helping educators use real-life learning in the garden and kitchen to change children’s food habits.

Members will also have access to face-to-face and online training, a unique online community with over 3600 members, free webinars, email and phone support.

Melbourne’s Cranbourne East Secondary College was one of the first secondary schools to join the Kitchen Garden Classroom.

Food Technology teacher Laura Blackson said Cranbourne East Secondary joined the Kitchen Garden Classroom to help teachers introduce kitchen garden activities across the whole school.

Laura said they were developing a garden and currently had five garden beds, which students tended.

“We’d like to put in fruit trees, more herbs and an outdoor learning space,” Laura said. “We want to create a space where kids can make real-life connections to where real food comes from.

“We’re from a demographic that’s got a lot of fast food outlets and we want to help students make the connection that healthy food can be cheap too.”

Laura said Year 10-12 students from the school’s VCAL program were currently involved in gardening and cooking the produce they had grown, and they would also like to integrate kitchen garden activities into VCE Food Technology classes, as well as a the Year 8 program.

She said the long-term plan was for the whole school to be utilising the kitchen and garden.

Kitchen Garden Foundation CEO Ange Barry said the new Kitchen Garden Classroom membership has been established to help pleasurable food education reach as many Australian children as possible, which is why it is also open to primary schools, kindergartens, preschools and childcare centres.

“Forging a ground-breaking community that will change the way generations think about fresh, seasonal, delicious food – that’s our aim,” Ange said.

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