Wow!! Its hard to believe we have already completed term one of our Garden to Table Program and what a fabulous term it has been. A huge Thanks to all of the wonderful parents and community volunteers who came out to help in both the kitchen and the garden.  The program could not exist without you and we are very grateful for your continued support.

It was great to welcome Howard on board as our new Garden specialist.  The garden is looking great and has provided us with an abundance of vegetables for our kitchen sessions.

Each of our 6 Yr. 3/4 classes has enjoyed 2 sessions in the garden and the kitchen this term. The students were busy weeding and doing general clean up around our garden beds as well as harvesting the vegetables that we would use in the kitchen.

Our first session in the kitchen got the students right back into using their knife skills to make veggie sticks and rounds for dipping.  Measuring skills were also practiced by those students who made home made crackers and 2 yummy dips.  It was great to see our Yr. 4 students acting as awesome role models for the Yr. 3s.

The crackers and the spinach dip were a huge hit. Even Mr. Pateman, who is not very brave when it comes to trying new foods, had “a little, a lot, or a taste” of the spinach dip and went back for seconds. However, he did have to be reminded about the “no double dipping” rule.

In week 4 we had an abundance of beetroot so 2 of the classes worked together to make pickled beets which we will enjoy later in the year.

By week 5 we had heaps of potatoes, carrots, corn, zucchini, and tomatoes ready in the garden.  We used all of these fresh vegetables to create a delicious vegetarian chilli with black beans and chick peas.  We talked about the different food groups and learned the word “alternative”. We learned that legumes such as black beans and chick peas are alternatives to meat because they provide us with protein.

It was so impressive to see many students who, at first, only had a taste of the chilli, go back for seconds and in some cases thirds.  4 of the 6 classes polished off two big pots of chilli and the other two classes only had a small amount left over which was enjoyed by some of our teachers.

The slightly sweet cornbread muffins that were made to go along with the chilli helped counter balance the spices and were a huge success. Unfortunately corn meal is not readily available in supermarkets but you can find it at Piko in Lyttelton and possibly at Bin Inn (although I’m not sure of that)

I look forward to Term 2 when each class will have 3 session in Garden to Table.

Dana Kloss

Garden to Table Kitchen Specialist.