Kitchen Garden Program FAQs from parents

Friday, January 12, 2024

“I tell parents from other schools about it, and they are amazed at what a great program it is and the skills the kids learn — it blows them away. It brings the school from being a place of academic learning to a more community-oriented, environmentally friendly place to learn life skills.” — Parent, Community Survey 2021

Every child in Australia should have the chance to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, delicious food! Our globally recognised Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is active in over 1000 early childhood services, primary schools and secondary schools right across Australia.

At the heart of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is pleasurable food education, which inspires children and young people to understand and connect with fresh, seasonal, delicious food through fun, hands-on learning in the kitchen and garden. This approach empowers children and young people to develop practical skills, an appreciation of seasonal produce, and a positive, confident and healthy relationship with food — for life. 

There are so many benefits our program has for children and young people, their families and the community. Evidence shows the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program greatly impacts:

Learning outcomes

  • Children love our fun, hands-on learning experiences in the kitchen and garden! These experiences increase their engagement and comprehension of a vast range of subjects including literacy and numeracy, sustainability and STEAM subjects.
  • Being outside a traditional classroom sparks renewed interest in these subjects and particularly encourages reluctant learners to reconnect.
  • Children's knowledge, confidence and skills in cooking and gardening are increased, as well as their willingness to try new foods.
  • Plus, every kitchen and garden session nurtures children to develop practical life-long skills of leadership, communication, problem-solving and critical thinking.

Environmental sustainability

  • Children experience enhanced environmental awareness about their region and learn how to grow food seasonally and naturally.
  • They develop a sense of purpose by responding to climate change and reducing food waste through composting principles.

Health and wellbeing

  • Being active in the garden, gives your child the chance to explore the natural environment, keep fit and give them a space to feel calm.
  • They enjoy teamwork and inclusivity, which gives them the confidence to prepare and share nourishing food that celebrates the individual, their culture and the diversity of their community.

 

Free Family Recipes Booklet

Free family recipe booklet

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for recipes, garden ideas, news and events – and to get your free family recipe booklet!

 

If you'd like your child to experience the holistic benefits of the Kitchen Garden Program, follow our suggestions for raising awareness in your school or early childhood service. You can also share or email this flyer to help spread the word.

  1. Start a conversation! Reach out to other parents and check in with the Class Representatives or the Parent & Friends Committee. You’ll soon find a group of individuals ready to explore the benefits of the program and maybe lend a hand as a kitchen or garden volunteer.
     
  2. Find an educator or staff member who shares the same vision. This might be a Wellbeing Coordinator, STEM Teacher or Language Teacher. Think outside the box — a Canteen Manager, Cook, Grounds Keeper or the school’s Environmental Club might be interested in linking the garden and kitchen to their lesson plans and experiences too.
     
  3. Consider some grants. Membership is very affordable, but a helping hand from a grant can be a great first step. The Foundation updates a free list of grants on our home page that will tip you off on all the current funding opportunities, nationwide. 
     
  4. Connect your decision-maker to the Foundation. With the people power and funding know-how in your back pocket, you’re ready to chat to the principal or decision maker about having the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program in your school or service. They can attend a free information session to find out more or contact us for one-on-one advice about the benefits of the program in their community.

 

Learn more

Join a free information session for parents and carers!

 

FAQs from parents

Where is the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program available?

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is available to early childhood services, primary schools and secondary schools in every State and Territory across Australia. From tiny regional schools to bustling city centres, our program fits the size and capabilities of every community.

How do I know if my school or service has the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program?

You’ll probably see a big red watering can or our signage sitting proudly in your school or service! If in doubt, search on our map, ask the principal or an educator, or contact our Support Team on 1300 072 543 or membership@kitchengardenfoundation.org.au

    What does my school or service need to get started?

    The benefits of running the Kitchen Garden Program are enormous, but the set-up costs don’t have to be. No matter the size or budget of your child’s school or service, we encourage everyone to ‘start small, dream big’. For instance, kick things off in the garden with a few pots of herbs and cherry tomatoes. Once you have some produce ready to pluck, swap a ‘classic’ kitchen for this achievable kitchen trolley.

    How will my school or service be supported by the Foundation?

    With 20 years of experience behind us, the Kitchen Garden Foundation has developed all the resources and solutions to support educators to deliver pleasurable food education. Educators receive access to our online resource library and community hub, the Shared Table, which contains over 1000 recipes, lesson plans and activities. Staff can attend professional development events, webinars, and access one-on-one support from our dedicated team of experienced, friendly staff.

      Keep in touch with all our news on Instagram and Facebook. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for monthly recipes, gardening tips and events.
       

       



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