Fruit and veg­gie kids

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

MT MOL­LOY State School stu­dents can­not get enough of the fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles grown in their very own gar­den.

Now thanks to a $60,000 grant, the stu­dents are get­ting a kitchen to create fresh food from their home-grown pro­duce.

The small school of 21 stu­dents re­ceived a Stephanie Alexan­der Kitchen Gar­den grant to ex­tend their gar­den and build the kitchen in a na­tional ini­tia­tive to teach chil­dren healthy eat­ing habits and how to grow, har­vest, pre­pare and share fresh, sea­sonal food.

Gar­den spe­cial­ist Ju­liana Rus­sell said the kitchen is an old class­room be­ing re­fit­ted with four work­sta­tions, each com­plete with a stove, sink and work­bench.

“The kitchen’s been built, the cup­boards are in, the sinks and ev­ery­thing, we just need to get the floor­ing hap­pen­ing in the hol­i­days and next term hope­fully we’ll be able to start cook­ing,” she said.

“A lot of the money has gone into the kitchen and the gar­den with lots of do­na­tions and work­ing bees and we’re go­ing on a big shop­ping trip to buy all the kitchen uten­sils in the hol­i­days.”

The stu­dents are ex­cited for the next school term when they can use their new kitchen and they are al­ready learn­ing how to make meals as part of their cur­ricu­lum.

“We’ve got a fully func­tion­ing veg­gie gar­den and on Fri­day the stu­dents came out of work­ing there and set up a tem­po­rary out­door area to pre­pare sushi be­cause you don’t need stoves,” Ms Rus­sell said.

“Our gar­den is only small so part of the fund­ing was to ex­tend it and we’re work­ing on that at the mo­ment.

“It’s all in­cor­po­rated into the cur­ricu­lum, writ­ing about their ex­pe­ri­ence and us­ing IT to create brochures and posters - it’s all con­nected.

“The stu­dents have to be as­sessed on what they’re do­ing in the gar­den but they love it and they’re learn­ing life skills.”

Once the kitchen is built the stu­dents will be split into groups of four and in each adult­su­per­vised work sta­tion, the stu­dents will make fresh sal­ads and main meals in­clud­ing pasta made from scratch and will sit down once a week with staff and vol­un­teer-helpers to en­joy their school-made lunches.

Photo by ALISON GE­ORGE

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