Kitchen garden programs in schools
I have been running kitchen garden programs in Steiner schools for the past 10 years having set up 2 programs (including a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program). With my nutrition degree and my background in farming, permaculture and biodynamics, eco lifestyles and beekeeping I am passionate about educating the next generation to love being in a garden and take the journey from seed to plate learning skills that will serve them for life. I have a love for creating beauty in gardens and strives for not only abundance but health of any garden i have the pleasure of working in and ensure that every garden I build and every child I teach will be a future steward and leave the soil and the space better than they found it. I have 250 students in my current program and they garden every single week of the school year... it is their favourite subject and My absolute delight to be the lucky one who get to spend time in nature or a kitchen with them. I absolutely love my job.....
How can kitchen garden programs save the world
Our culture today is becoming more and more removed from nature. Our modern fast paced lives make procuring and eating healthy food a challenge of enormous proportions, a far cry from a natural experience. Eating is a basic human need, growing food and caring for the earth is primal. Disease is a direct cause of poor agricultural practises and the modern lifestyle. Obesity is on the rise, no one knows where food comes from, modern agriculture is poisoning our food system, the space for our children to play has been reduced to plastic playgrounds in concrete jungles, where once everyone knew how to garden and it was done in every back yard in Australia, and now only a few passionate germ phobia, there is poverty and reduced living standards, unhealthy food choices, not to mention with the introduction of plastics we now have a major waste issue and the latest stats state that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish..... etc etc......... The point being, how can a child or adult for that matter protect the environment, understand how a seed can grow into a plant and when grown provide the life giving substance needed to maintain life if they have never been exposed? Gardening is not actually about imparting horticultural knowledge, it is about falling in love with the natural world and being able to work, live and understand the laws of natures. Cooking is more than just eating, it is at its core the best way to nourish oneself.
This is my mission. To ensure that every child that comes into my gardening program has the opportunity to create memories, feel, smell and interact with the natural world around them, take freshly harvested produce and prepare it in a way that brings warmth joy and nourishment to themselves and their fellow human beings. when you have memories, have been given opportunities to understand and connect with nature, only then will you grow up wanting to protect it.
Roy Wilkinson a gardening teachers reminds us that aim of education is not to merely impart education but meet the child’s needs and development on the whole human being. Gardening offers so many opportunities to do this.
An outdoor classroom with earth as its floors and nature for its walls
A rich sensory experience once per week that provides a breathing out from the academics of a classroom
Rich opportunities to link main lessons and deepen understandings of cultures and ecology
Provide avenues for hope as a garden that always blooms instills a sense of beauty and hope
Provide opportunities for connection, collaboration and teamwork. (with other specialists, with other students and with animals, nature and teachers)
A chance to be active and purposeful engaging the will forces and meeting physical developmental needs
Opportunities for compost systems, school canteen, and other initiatives geared towards sustainability and developing a healthy respect for the natural world which in turn develops the faculties of empathy and compassion and of the value of hard work.
Kitchen garden services
Kitchen Garden consultations
Get in contact with me. I am available for consultations in either setting up a garden at your school, resources or workshops for teachers on how to run gardening classes etc.
Kitchen garden Workshops and events
I am often asked to run workshops or speak at events on all topics relating to school gardens. If you are interested check out the events page or get in contact with me for more info.
Book coming soon
After many requests I am in the process of writing a Kitchen garden book for specialists teachers so stay tuned..... It will come when the harvests are all in.