Stu­dents plant it, pick it, de­vour it

Pro­gram links gar­den­ing and cook­ing into Biggen­den school cur­ricu­lum to help spread healthy word

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR BACKYARD -

THERE is noth­ing more sat­is­fy­ing than shar­ing a de­li­cious meal cre­ated with fresh pro­duce that you have grown from seed to har­vest.

Ev­ery week chil­dren in Years 3-6 share in this ex­pe­ri­ence as part of the Kitchen Gar­den Pro­gram at Biggen­den State School.

Teacher Jen­nyWykamp said the Stephanie Alexan­der Gar­den pro­gram had been in place for about five years at the school.

“The first year we ap­plied our ap­pli­ca­tion was de­clined, but I per­sisted and the fol­low­ing year we were suc­cess­ful,” she said.

“At the time we were look­ing at a healthy food project with the stu­dents and the Stephanie Alexan­der Gar­den pro­gram was the per­fect model.”

Prin­ci­pal Ros Rack­e­mann said the Stephanie Alexan­der pro­gram was a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive to en­cour­age chil­dren to gar­den as well as cook and not de­pend on take­aways.

Mrs Rack­e­mann would like to en­cour­age res­i­dents to come and vol­un­teer their time in ei­ther the gar­den or kitchen of a Fri­day from noon. “We’d also be ap­pre­cia­tive if any­one had any sur­plus lay­ing hens or even plants and seedlings.”

Teacher Lyn Brook said stu­dents plan their own recipes depend­ing on what is grow­ing in the gar­den.

“From these recipes they cook three dishes as well as a gar­den salad.

“One week Years 3-4 gar­den while Years 5-6 cook and the fol­low­ing week they ro­tate,” she said.

It doesn’t stop at gar­den­ing and cook­ing, stu­dents are also re­spon­si­ble for lay­ing and set­ting the ta­ble

MrsWykamp said this is to en­cour­age talk­ing at the din­ner ta­ble.

“Nor­mally an adult is present at the ta­ble to join in the con­ver­sa­tion and to­gether they all dis­cuss how the food was pre­pared etc.

“There are also links with the cur­ricu­lum to fur­ther lit­er­acy, nu­mer­acy and sci­ence skills in these kitchen and gar­den classes,” she said.

PHOTO: ERICA MUR­REE

TASTY: Sam­son Wykamp find­ing a car­rot to eat.

Erica Mur­ree erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au

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