Schools grow, har­vest, cook in pro­gramme


Col­lect­ing eggs from the friendly hens, and pick­ing fei­joas, or­anges and man­darins al­ready form part of a unique ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents at Ohaeawai School.

Now the years three and four pupils are set to learn about tak­ing food they grow in the gar­den, to cook up de­li­cious food, hav­ing been ac­cepted to be a Gar­den to Ta­ble school.

The Gar­den to Ta­ble Trust aims to sup­port schools with a pro­gramme that aligns with the cur­ricu­lum, which sees stu­dents grow fruit and veg­eta­bles, then har­vest their bounty.

From there the pro­duce is cooked and shared with their class­mates, teach­ers and vol­un­teers.

Ohaeawai School prin­ci­pal Lee Whitelaw says the pro­gramme brings huge learn­ing po­ten­tial for stu­dents.

‘‘The stu­dents will see the link from the gar­den right through to cook­ing, they will take own­er­ship of what they are do­ing and ap­pre­ci­ate where their food comes from.’’

In the past the school has made tamar­illo chut­ney from their fruit trees to sell to raise money for their ski trip and staff buy the eggs pro­duced from the chooks, Whitelaw says.

Whitelaw says the pro­gramme aligns with the strong en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­cus of the school - who are also an En­vi­roschool and have no rub­bish bins.

Par­ent vol­un­teers - a kitchen and a gar­den spe­cial­ist - will help to fa­cil­i­tate the pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme is al­ready es­tab­lished in three other North­land schools in­clud­ing Riverview Pri­mary in Kerik­eri.

Gar­den to Ta­ble are seek­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for the Young Gar­dener of the Year and School of

‘‘The stu­dents will see the link from the gar­den right through to cook­ing...’’

Lee Whitelaw

the Year com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘I wasn’t an aca­demic stu­dent at school and I am a firm be­liever that re­sults can be achieved by tak­ing chil­dren out of the tra­di­tional learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Judge and celebrity chef Al Brown says.

‘‘I’m proud to be an am­bas­sador for the Gar­den to Ta­ble pro­gramme, help­ing kids de­velop a greater un­der­stand­ing of food, nu­tri­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity and make bet­ter de­ci­sions when it comes to eat­ing a bal­anced diet.’’

❚ En­tries close on Septem­ber 29. Visit www.young­gar­den­er­

Leonor Kerr, Kelly Ri­hari and Rea­gan Dud­ley en­joy col­lect­ing fruit grown in the school’s or­chard.

The chil­dren are ex­cited to learn more about grow­ing their food.

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