NUTRITIOUS, healthy food is on the menu at Calare Public School following the unveiling of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program yesterday.
With Masterchef winner Kate Bracks on hand to help launch the initiative, principal Chris Cundy said the construction of a sustainable vegetable garden for the school’s students was designed to help build a healthy lifestyle.
“We believe the social interactions kids have with gardening and eating is really important. I believe it’s dwindling because of the computer age ... they’re not communicating face-to-face, they’re not getting outside,” he said.
“We’re living in a world that’s rapidly using resources and we want to know how we can put back into the earth in a healthy way.”
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program was initially trialled in Victoria.
Now a hugely-popular primary school-based program south of the border, Mrs Bracks was hoping Calare would be one of many Orange schools to take on the Stephanie Alexander experience.
“What I love so much about the Stephanie Alexander program is it gets kids at the primary age, when they’re receptive to learn, and it sets them up with skills for life. It’s fabulous on so many levels"
“What I’m excited about is we live in a foody region, and I just think our kids bring a wealth of knowledge from their own family background, and to be able to share that with kids who don’t have that I think is fantastic,” she said.
“It’s gaining popularity but it takes a lot of work and you need committed and passionate people like Vicki Bray to make it happen.”
Mrs Bracks said the program would help kids develop food preparation and gardening skills as well as a greater understanding of fresh and healthy produce.
“I think our culture over the last few decades has become very much about convenience food and buying foods from the shops, and if we’re not careful we will lose the skill of knowing how to produce food and what to do with it,” she added.
“What I love so much about the Stephanie Alexander program is it gets kids at the primary age, when they’re receptive to learn, and it sets them up with skills for life. It’s fabulous on so many levels.”
Students work on maintaining the garden weekly, while also using the food to produce fresh meals in the school kitchen.