Kitchen Garden Summary
In 2012, Loxton Primary School officially launched the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program in our school. We are one of 574 schools around the nation, and one of 70 in South Australia now offering this program.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program aims to provide students with a hands on learning experience which links to many areas of the curriculum such as history, science, geography, mathematics and literacy. Students learn to grow their own organic produce in the school garden which is then prepared into delicious meals in a purpose built kitchen.
At Loxton Primary School, our Year 3-7 students enjoy regular fortnightly garden and kitchen lessons throughout the year.
In the garden they learn about the environment and about protecting it by using sustainable and organic farming methods. They learn about biodiversity through the insects and other creatures that inhabit our garden. They learn to plant seeds and care for them until they are ready for harvest, when they are either picked and used in the kitchen or allowed to go to seed, which is then collected and sown the following season.
In the kitchen, a strong emphasis is placed on cultural studies, with the majority of lessons being themed around a particular country.
The majority of dishes prepared in our kitchen are vegetarian, due to cost factors. The healthy eating message is delivered subtly, with the focus being more about preparing seasonal produce into delicious meals. We try to provide a wide variety of tastes and textures to get our students interested in trying new foods.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program has been incredibly successful within our school. The majority of students will now try new foods with many of them enjoying vegetables that they previously wouldn’t have. The feedback from parents is very encouraging, as they tell us that their child is now eating much better at home as well and many students have also planted their own vegetable garden at home.
The program also offers many opportunities for parents and other members of the community to volunteer. Many of our volunteers are taking the opportunity to learn new skills themselves whilst volunteering with our classes.
Loxton Primary School is proud to be affiliated with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, and plan to continue to build on and strengthen our program for many years to come.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Specialist
Loxton Primary School