Kitchen Garden Program at home

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping the Kitchen Garden Foundation team working at home, we needed to suspend our much-loved Professional Development sessions around Australia. Not known for twiddling our green thumbs, we set out to adapt our PD delivery to assist educators to deliver kitchen garden classes remotely, to students learning from home.  

Our Support and Delivery dynamos jumped into action, assisted by the Communications team and a bigger than big series of Zoom sessions. Resources were compiled and written; and Jess, Sam, Steph and Suzie produced videos from their own kitchens and gardens to guide educators through our fun, curriculum-aligned activities. 

With lots of work and care we launched KGP at home, a series of eight themed resource collections, released weekly to program and member schools and services.

Feedback from Kitchen and Garden Specialists was grateful and appreciated.  

“It is like receiving a little pressie in our inbox each week.” 
“We love all these resources while we carry on teaching in a new era.” 
“We are trying to keep the ‘new normal’ close to the ‘old normal’ school day. Your ideas and suggestions are just the tonic to fertilise the Garden teacher’s imagination.” 
“These ideas and resources are wonderful. Thank you so much for this forward planning in these unusual circumstances.”

Armed with our KGP at home collections and their own initiatives, educators have made cooking and gardening classes come to life for their home-based students. Dedicated e-learning kitchen and garden websites have sprung up around the country. Take a look at the engaging video tutorials at Stanmore Primary School's Kitchen & Garden website; and Kallista Primary School’s fun and effective Quarantine Kitchen blog. Kitchen Specialist Elisa and Garden Specialist Claire from Montmorency Primary School produce their own videos, including this lively explanation of plant propagation. The wonderful Altona Meadows Primary School Kitchen Garden website is updated regularly by Kitchen Specialist Marilena who says to her students: “If you follow the recipes shown here you can keep busy and help your parents out at the same time.” 

School social media pages have morphed into lockdown learning libraries. Angel, Kitchen Specialist at Murrumbeena Primary School, shares Instagram TV tutorials for her students (we especially love the breakfast beans). Kitchen Specialist Jane from Winters Flat Primary School also shares recipes, and recently took her students and Instagram followers through a session of her popular, and hilarious, Carrot Yoga. Kingswood Primary School’s Facebook page shares regular instructional recipe slideshows – check out Alex’s ricotta gnocchi and Georgia’s zucchini, corn and halloumi fritters.

No. 1 - Hands Around the World

Our first KGP at home collection, Hands Around the Worldcelebrated our most useful kitchen implements, our hands! Pasta is a delicious reminder of how much we can achieve using only our hands. Here’s Viaan from Wendouree Primary School, slicing, chopping and crushing to prepare pasta for his family at home. 

We encouraged students to get out into their gardens or go for a walk, to search for different-shaped leaves. Garden Specialist Sonja from Kallista Primary School created this gorgeous Garden Buzz poster for her students, with leaf shapes for inspiration. 

No. 2 - ANZACS

ANZACs, our second KGP at home collection, focused on rosemary as a symbolic plant of remembrance. Alongside the ANZAC-related resources and lesson prompts, was our recipe for Potato and Rosemary Pizza. Making pizza dough is an absorbing at-home activity, as is baking a batch of ANZAC biscuits, ably demonstrated here by Olivia and Noah from Riddells Creek Primary School, as well as Suriya and Toby from Kingswood Primary School. 

Cathryn, Montmorency South Primary School Kitchen Specialist, spoke to her students about what the soldiers ate in WW1 and sent out a video of the ANZAC biscuits recipe for students to follow. 

No. 3 - Farms and Market Gardens

Farms and Market Gardens, our third KGP at home collection,introduced us to milk production via a special Q&A with Professional Development Partner Saputo Dairy Australia suppliers Jody and Susanna Haberle; along with planting and harvesting tips and guides. Inspired by our Planting Seeds in Punnets and Trays resource, Mount Rogers Primary School made up these well-considered seed packs to engage their students at home, with seeds collected from the school’s garden. 

No. 4 - Heat and Energy

Our fourth KGP at home collection, Heat and Energy, was created to coincide with International Compost Awareness Week. "All the students of our school were invited to share photos of their home composting systems to celebrate International Compost Awareness Week. I thought it would be nice for the families to see each other’s gardens too,” says Hannah, Grade One teacher and sustainability curriculum coordinator at Coburg North Primary School. Grade One students Ellis and Remy were proud to introduce their friends to their home compost areas. 

Students at Clonard College Geelong were given the challenge to re-grow veggies and germinate seeds at home from scraps.“We've had some great learning experiences that may never have eventuated in traditional learning conditions,” says VCAL Leader, Sarah. 

Silvana from Murrumbeena Primary School made this beautiful compost poster at home. 

The concept of heat energy was also explored through making gnocchi, a great example of both heat conduction and convection. Levi from Riddells Creek Primary School whipped up this beautiful batch for his family. 

No. 5 - Food to Move

Released last week, our fifth KGP at Home collection, Food to Move, underpins everything we do in the kitchen garden program, from growing seasonal fruit and vegetables full of nutrients, to preparing produce to give fuel to our bodies.  

With three more KGP at home collections on their way to the kitchen garden community, suitable for transitional and at-home learning, we would like to acknowledge and thank Saputo Dairy Australia, our Professional Development Partner, whose support has enabled us to continue delivering professional development to kitchen garden educators.  

We'd also like to thank our Community Partner Coles, with whom we developed recipes and videos to support teachers and educators to enhance their kitchen garden classes, as well as inspire Aussie families to prepare and share delicious food in their homes.

Last, but defnitely not least, thank you to our wonderful kitchen garden community for bringing KGP at home to life, by sharing your stories and photos with us. Here are Tiarnee and Sadie, from Wendouree Primary School, cooking up a storm in their home kitchens. 

Like to learn more about becoming a member? Please contactour Support Team on 13000 SAKGF (13000 72543) 

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