Our school is a member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. The garden provides students with the opportunity to interact and care for small animals including school chickens who provide company, connection and eggs. The school regularly incubate eggs and the students form a special bond with the chickens they watch hatch and grow. There are Guinea pigs that bring further joy and learning opportunities to the students. All students experience the wonders of the garden, preparing and sharing food.
Bringing the garden produce into the kitchen is always a highlight for the students as they learn the importance of valuing the food grown and how the produce is used in healthy recipes. The students work in groups to prepare many dishes at the five kitchen stations including muffins, lemongrass cordial, garden herb dips, pumpkin soup, pizza, mini quiches, rice paper rolls, sushi depending what has been harvested from the garden. The students share the food they prepare, take time to respect the food they are eating and enjoy eating the food with others.
The goal is for all students to feel ownership and connection to the school’s Kitchen and Garden. The importance of seeing where food comes from and respecting that process of growing to sharing is integral to the Kitchen and Garden program. Building understandings around the food we eat, the time it takes to grow, harvest and prepare encourages students to respect food. The program also teaches students to enjoy food, reduce food waste and that healthy and fresh food is good for our minds and bodies.