Our school vegetable garden, The Wicked Patch, continues to grow and provide the students with hands-on, outdoor learning experiences. The garden consists of “Bay friendly” wicking garden beds, an Indigenous garden where each bed represents one of the six Indigenous seasons, raised garden beds, fruit trees, rainwater tank, chickens, worm farms as well as propagation and work areas. Our gardening practice is based on organic and sustainable principles.
Year 3 classes enjoy their fortnightly lessons in the garden where they plant, weed, water, harvest and undertake bug busting. The children are guided by our ‘Garden Guru’, Lisa Pointon, who along with classroom teachers work with the children to:
- raise their awareness of where their food comes from
- make connections to the world around them through real-life experiences
- learn how to care for their environment sustainably
- learn about healthy eating
- develop positive social and interpersonal skills
- improve their social and emotional health
- develop a love of gardening and the outdoors
The completion of the container kitchen and eating space has seen the introduction of the next phase of our Kitchen Garden program. The children now harvest, prepare and share the fruit and vegetables they have grown during their gardening sessions. Under the guidance of Chef Dan and using seasonal produce harvested from the garden, nutritious and yummy food is prepared for the class to share. Food preparation and kitchen skills are learnt, the table is set, food is shared and conversations abound as staff and students sit down to eat together at the long table. New flavours are discovered as the children explore, experiment and taste.
We are a Kitchen Garden Classroom member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. whose vision is for children to form positive food habits for life through pleasurable food education which teaches students to grow fresh, seasonal produce and use it to prepare nutritious, delicious food. Students are given all the skills, experiences and role modelling they need to learn to love their veggies and make healthier choices about what to cook and eat, for life.
Our next goal is to set up a kitchen and eating area where the children will be able to use the fresh, seasonal produce they grow to prepare nutritious, delicious food.