Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden
Monbulk Primary School has received the exciting news from Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation that we have been successful in obtaining funding to set up our own kitchen garden.
The funding will allow us to establish an extensive vegetable garden and a all purpose built kitchen large enought o accommodate up to 25 students. Whilst the grant is significant, the school has had to commit a substantial staff component in the operation of the kitchen which amounts to almost twice the contribution of the Stephanie Alexander Grant.
The garden is to be established on the existing gravel area near the senior school deck, and the kitchen will be housed in our current library which will be relocating to the Living and Learning Centre. Our students will have the opportunity to work with both a Kitchen and Garden Specialist, to grow and harvest their own produce and cook and share healthy meals. Our teachers will skillfully create links between the kitchen garden and classroom curriculum.
Part of our success can be attributed to our parents and the business community who have generously donated time and goods to help establish and run the program. This program cannot exist without the help of volunteers who assist the Kitchen and Garden Specialists with the cooking and gardening classes.
The emphasis of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is on growing, harvesting, preparing andsharing fresh, seasonal produce. What’s growing in the garden always inspires what’s cooking in the kitchen. A big basil crop may lead to pesto-making, while lots of green tomatoes may end up as a batch of pickles or chutney. Summer surplus is preserved for the leaner winter months to ensure that an understanding of growing cycles flows from garden to kitchen and back again.
By taking this holistic approach we’re able to bring children back to the roots of good food. The Kitchen Garden Program connects students with the land, helps them understand what it is to nurture the soil and the seeds they plant in it, to live sustainably and to take responsibility for their own wellbeing.
It is a well-known fact that lifelong eating habits are developed early. One of the greatest pleasures of the Program is seeing previously fussy eaters experiment with foods they have grown or prepared themselves. Children’s confidence grow as they sample new flavours or eat something they have picked straight from the garden. Children take great pleasure at passing around a plate of delicious food they have made themselves.
For more information on the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden visit