Margaret River Independent School joins the Kitchen Garden Community thanks to Coles

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is delighted that our partnership with Coles has allowed us to expand the Kitchen Garden Program to the students and community at Margaret River Independent School in Western Australia.

 The school was chosen by the recently- refreshed Coles Margaret River store to receive a $5,000 grant and a three-year Kitchen Garden membership, as part of an ongoing initiative linking primary schools to their local Coles supermarket. The funds will go towards continuing to establish their kitchen garden and kitchen essentials including appliances, cookware and pantry items.

Situated on 11 hectares including natural bushland, the school is already well on their way with their kitchen garden journey, with raised garden beds throughout the school, and their very own bush tucker garden. Margaret River Independent School Principal, Wendy Roediger, said the funds would go a long way in helping the school to develop a kitchen garden program. Wendy explained, “these funds allow us to kick-start exploring our local history through the kitchen and associated garden and help our students develop a healthy relationship with food and the environment.”

The school has an established ‘Bush School’ program starting in Year 2 with weekly lessons based around learning on the Nyindamurra nature trail, facilitated by Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming. Kitchen Garden Foundation Support Officer, Marcelle Coakley and Coles’ representatives were recently taken on the Nyindamurra trail tour by year 4 student guides, Sophia and Alex. The tour guides showed a depth of knowledge on various plants and their edible, medicinal and general uses. “It was so evident they had spent so much time exploring and learning from Josh and their school. It was a very humbling experience to have two young custodians show such respect for the Indigenous culture,” explained Marcelle.

Coles Margaret River Store Manager, Lindsay Hill, says proudly “It was really great to visit the school and see how this new program will teach children to prepare, enjoy and love fresh healthy food. We’re really looking forward to supporting the school on their journey and seeing some little chefs with their shopping lists come and visit us.”

The team at Margaret River Independent School has already named their school kitchen ‘Moonda Dookoon-iny kichen’, meaning 'Bush Cook Kitchen' in Wadandi their local language. We are excited to welcome Margaret River Independent School into the kitchen garden community and look forward to seeing what comes out of Moonda Dookoon-iny kichen on the Shared Table.

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