16806095756_6951ca04f6_nGarden to Table

February 2016 saw St Martins School commence its third year of the Garden to Table programme. The Garden to Table programme is a holistic programme where students grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh fruits and vegetables.

At St Martins each Year 3 and 4 student participates in 10 Garden to Table sessions per year. Each session consists of a 45 minute block working in the garden followed by a 90 minute block in the kitchen.

Our Garden Specialist, Howard Keene, inspires a passion for growing ones own food. Howard guides the students through the cultivating of the soil, the planting of seeds, the caring for the plants and the harvesting of the produce. By digging in and getting their hands dirty, students learn about soil composition, composting, good bugs vs bad bugs in the garden and crop rotation. There is nothing more rewarding than the excitement in the eyes and the voices of the students when they arrive in the kitchen with the fruits of their labour. “Look at the size of this courgette we grew!” “Have you ever seen a purple cauliflower?”

A new level of excitement is evident when students arrive in the kitchen curious about what yummy dishes they will be preparing with their freshly harvested produce. Kitchen Specialist, Dana Kloss, has carefully planned recipes around what vegetables are ready in the garden. Dana guides the students through health and hygiene in the kitchen as well as the safe use of all kitchen equipment including sharp knives, graters, electric frypans, electric hobbs and food processors. Under the supervision of our awesome parent volunteers the students do all of the chopping, dicing, sautéing, simmering, measuring and stirring required to complete their recipes.

With prep dishes washed up and coffee and tea served to parent volunteers, the time for sharing begins. Dana’s expectations are simple, everyone tries ‘a little, a lot or a taste”. Students and parents alike are often very surprised by the variety of vegetables students are willing to taste. Feedback time at the end of the session encourages students who didn’t care for the food to think of ways they could change it to suit their own tastes.

This hands on programme incorporates the learning areas of science, maths, literacy, geography as well as creating a connection to the community and the environment. Our Year 3 and 4 teachers extend the programme into their classrooms in each of these learning areas.

We are very fortunate at St Martins to have the support of our S’Mart Community and numerous community, parent and grandparent volunteers. These volunteers are paramount to the success of the programme as the supervision and guidance they provide ensures that the students get a complete hands on experience.

More information about the national Garden to Table programme is available here.

Recipes available to download – 2017:

 

Recipes available to download – 2016:

Recipes available to download – 2015: