Community cookbooks

Friday, April 12, 2024

Celebrate the Kitchen Garden Program at your school or service and raise money for  your kitchen garden goals, with a DIY cookbook.

Members of the Kitchen Garden Program have been creating community cookbooks since the Program’s inception. It’s a fantastic way to compile favourite recipes from students and families, capture what kitchen garden classes are achieving, and can become a treasured commemorative gift for graduating students. 

Insides of community cookbooks

“Not only is a cookbook an engaging way of raising funds, it is also a wonderful record of the work performed by students in the Kitchen Garden Program, as well as the contributions made by friends and supporters of the school in the wider community.” 
Stephanie Alexander AO, Founder

Community cookbook covers

Here are some of our top tips for creating an amazing cookbook of your own! 

  • Involve students from the very beginning. Would they like to create a theme for the book? What recipes are their must-haves? 
  • Encourage the whole school or service to get involved. Use art classes to help with design and pictures. Families might have access to designers or printing companies to help with costs.
  • Use the collection on the Shared Table, called Reading and Writing Recipes and Menus, to help lead students into writing their own recipes.
  • Use the Kitchen Class Recipe Template and Guide on the Shared Table for a simple layout and to make sure you don't forget anything important. 
  • Use the Choosing a Class Recipe resource on the Shared Table to help students discuss and write about recipes in a persuasive way and advocate for their preferred recipe. 
  • For older or secondary students, an interesting inquiry lesson could be investigating recipe copyright – see Australian Copyright Council information sheet Recipes: Legal Protection
  • You can include recipes from the Shared Table if you kindly acknowledge the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation as the source or have adapted your recipe from the original. If you’re using other chef’s recipes be sure to credit them too.

Remember, your cookbook doesn’t have to be a professional publication – a photocopied booklet will still make a beautiful collection of recipes and representation of your kitchen garden community. Get inspired by these recent cookbooks from our Kitchen Garden Program community.


St Joseph's Primary School

St Joseph’s School, VIC

Healthy Kids Advisor for the City of Greater Bendigo Bec Fry supported St Joseph’s school to create a community cookbook as a healthy fundraising option. Bec was able to provide the school with a website where parents can add their own recipes and the site compiles it all into one book. What a great idea and time saver! 

Whitehorse Primary School, VIC

Whitehorse Primary School took their community on a journey through the seasons with their cookbook, featuring tips on what to grow, harvest and cook. Recipes came from family submissions and the Kitchen Specialist’s own collection, peppered with feedback and tips from students and their families. The school’s Garden Specialist contributed valuable gardening tips, like the perfect time to harvest summer tomatoes, the best way to pick strawberries, and answers to tricky questions, such as ‘when’s the right time to harvest watermelon from the vine?’ The thing that really made the cookbook special were its beautiful illustrations, created by students in art class. The final product was lovingly designed by members of the Whitehorse Kindergarten family.

Elizabeth Downs Primary School, SA

Elizabeth Downs Primary School's offering, titled A Wander Down the Garden Path, brought together hand-drawn recipes and illustrations with seasonal gardening tips and photos. It also featured tips on how to design a productive, sustainable garden, and ideas for DIY kitchen activities, like how to dye your own easter eggs. Money raised from sales of the booklet went back into the program – to keep students growing and cooking.


Portland North Primary School


Portland North Primary School, VIC

Kitchen Garden Specialist Brooke King produced a fundraising cookbook as part of the school’s 150th anniversary celebrations last year with input from current and past families and staff. Brooke reached out to our Professional Development Lead Suzie from our Support Team and with permission, included a recipe from Stephanie Alexander and several from our community hub the Shared Table. Brooke also used the planning a cookbook resource to help bring it all to life. 

Sunshine North Primary School, VIC

Sunshine North Primary School presented 17 menus in a spiral bound cookbook, pairing complimentary flavours and showcasing each dish with photos of them being prepared by students. “Our menus are driven from what is planted, nurtured and harvested from the garden and finally prepared to share in the kitchen,” Kitchen and Garden Educator Michelle McCabe explains in the foreword. “All our recipes are tried and tested by our students; they are aimed to instil a love of cooking with fresh organic produce.”

If you have a community cookbook that you would like to share or if you have any questions about making your own, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram

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