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Launching the Kitchen Garden Program at Winter’s Flat25-05-2012
Winter’s Flat Primary School in Victoria’s Castlemaine have officially launched their Kitchen Garden Program – read all about it from an attending Kitchen Garden Foundation staff member …
There must be a dozen of them, hanging off the school fence like a flock of blue-and-green parakeets. They see me before I see them. ‘Hello! Hello! Hi!’
‘I’ve come to your launch,’ I say. They swing and stomp but all the students are aware of the responsibility as the official welcoming party. They eye my natty red watering can with interest. Tess offers to show me where the launch will be, and chats amiably to me all the way to the kitchen before running off to claim another guest.
The kitchen smells amazing. Jane Grylls, the Kitchen Specialist, is smiling as she runs about with a last-minute broom. The Principal, Mary-Anne Rooney, is drying the last few dishes. Volunteers arrange work samples – writing, recipes and artwork by students. The kitchen is warm and welcoming. It’s like there is sun in here even though the wind howls outside.
Winters Flat PS have been running the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program for a few terms now. They’ve settled in and are hitting their stride. The garden is bursting with produce under the care of Sas Allardice, Garden Specialist, and is receiving bountiful gifts from local orchards and gardens through the school’s very strong community links. The students’ cooking skills – and their pride in exercising those skills with care and confidence – are obvious.
Children pass around homemade rosemary focaccia and spiced chickpea dip as short speeches are delivered over the Harvest Table. It’s fitting that the bounty of the garden is here, at the heart of the kitchen. Principal Rooney proclaims, ‘This Program is special, and these kids are very privileged and special to have it …’
‘Yes,’ says one of the Year 3s with a happy sigh, going to get more dip to hand to guests, ‘We are.’
Congratulations to the entire Winters Flat community – sounds like a really fabulous day.
If you’d like to help Winters Flat PS or volunteer in kitchen or garden classes, please just contact the school.
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