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...’’
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.younggardenerawards.co.nz
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.