Monday, February 22, 2010

from seed to harvest - inspired learning for children

This year in 'Homage to the Seed' I will be posting on, and where possible, connecting more directly with programs that have a strong relationship to the importance of seed saving. Alice Waters launched the Edible Schoolyard, a program conducted by the Chez Panisse Foundation in the US in the mid 90's,  offering an extraordinarily valuable educational model of critical importance for the future.
When around 2000 the respected Australian cook, restaurateur, food writer and champion of the quality and diversity of Australian food Stephanie Alexander  was putting her incredible knowledge and enthusiasm behind a similar program and launching the Kitchen Garden Foundation I was heartened to think this opportunity might find its way to school children across this continent. Ever practical and wise Alexander and the Foundation grounded the program in a workable model before expanding. A brief early stint in secondary school teaching gave Alexander a keen awareness of how schools function and her business skills honed in successful endeavours over many years provided the knowhow for planning, bringing others on board, and getting the strategies in place that lead to individual schools working with State Education Departments partnering with govt and others to slowly launch this program in a growing number of school across Australia. The level of school and community commitment required to ensure the program thrives and the fact people are willing to go the distance on this speaks volumes as to the value and belief in this work that is being generated in communities.
To read a letter from a child and parent who have shared a remarkable story read here. This story is what inspired the post today!

A plan from the website for the garden at a local Brisbane school - Wellington Point State School.
A school kitchen garden as shown on website.
Please Note: The Brisbane Botanic Gardens holds many events throughout the year, some specifically for children. An extensive education program is highly utilised by schools over the year as well. Inquiries maybe made through the  the Garden's website for more information - Due to a temporary malfunction when attempting to load the weblink here if you google Brisbane Botanic Gardens and click on the link to Mt Coot-Tha you will have success.


Altoon Sultan said...

It's wonderful to see the growth of school gardening programs, all over the world. We have such a program here in Vermont, too. What a great way to teach children to value and understand the growing of food; it can change their relationship to eating for their lifetime, in a very positive way.

Sophie Munns said...

Thanks for visiting from Vermont tonight Altoon. Its interesting to see the incredible enthusiasm kids can have for this kind of learning - and awakened interest in foods they may easily have spent years passing up on.
I appreciate your comments,

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