You are what you eat…

In this new Ted Talk, Jamie Oliver talks about the importance of educating children about nutrition.  In one startling scene he shows various common vegetables to school children  and they have no idea what they are! Definitely worth watching…

Let me share what’s happening at my school, an initiative of Greg, our visionary head! We have established a kitchen garden under the guidance of Sue, our hands-on gardening expert.  Last year she worked with voluntary groups of kids who came at lunchtimes to build the garden, learn about growing things and plant a wonderful array of vegetables, fruit and herbs.

This year, in addition to the voluntary lunchtime groups (which are now oversubscribed!), the kitchen garden will be built into the curriculum.  All the Year 4’s and 5’s will spend time in the kitchen garden as part of their units of inquiry.  Year 5’s have already begun their inquiry into the biological and environmental considerations to be taken into account when growing plants, and the Year 4’s will explore the roles different people play in the the production of food.

In the near future, with the help of volunteers and donations, we will have a kitchen and dining room nearby too.  Students will learn about nutrition, healthy eating and cooking skills, using the produce grown in their very own garden.  And it eat it too!

6 thoughts on “You are what you eat…

  1. I love that this concept is catching on! Three years ago our school implemented a community garden. As part of the implementation, we took a school-wide field trip to the local Farmers’ Market to talk with the farmers and see the various crops once they were harvested. Our lunch program involves our garden as the crops we plant and harvest are served weekly on our Fun Friday Salad Bar. Not only that, our lunch program chef comes into the classroom for bi-weekly cooking classes. We focus on a new food (veggies, buffalo meat, honey, etc.) each month and the recipes cooked in the classroom are posted in our bi-monthly newsletter. Most recently, we are working on more permanent protection of the plants from critters and a documentary of the process to share with our early childhood division. It’s a magnificent program!

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  2. I am longing for a community garden for my students. At every grade level they are growing beans in a little plastic cup…I wish that they had a true ecosystem of plants to learn from! Excellent program.

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  3. I saw a wonderful kitchen garden in Margaret River, Western Australia. They had the most creative scarecrows, and a local artist had helped paint some murals that served as a backdrop for rainbow chard etc. A feast for the senses!

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  4. As many of school’s traditional monopolies fade (information centers, concentration of experts, captive student attention,) I hope that more start to pay attention to the other ways that we can educate, inform and nurture our students. Garden programs that feed into balanced/sustainable school nutrition could be an essential part of every school. As long as schools have custody over young people for such a huge chunk of the day, we’re compelled to make sure every part of that day lives up to our ideals, rather than the federally mandated minimum.

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  5. This is something that I’m passionate about and I’m trying to get started in my own school here. A garden can provide children with so much – to wonder, question, grow and of course enjoy the produce! I believe that a possible food crises is on the horizon for the world and children really need to know how to grow fruit and veges!

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