A wonderful team of teachers, students and volunteers make our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program highly successful. This program connects students with their environment, involves them in cultivating, harvesting and preparing the food they eat. Each week children from Grade Three to Grade Six spend one session a week working in the garden. This involves planting a huge range of different plants and harvesting fruit and vegetables to use in their kitchen sessions.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program brings children and the school community together to grow, harvest, prepare and share a meal.
It teaches many life skills and promotes the enjoyment of fresh seasonal produce. The program provides many opportunities for children to problem solve, be risk takers, to be designers and to use their imagination.
We are so fortunate to be part of such an amazing and dynamic program.
In the garden
Come rain or shine, each class from grades three to six have a gardening lesson each week. Under the supervision of our wonderful gardening teacher, class teachers and an amazing array of volunteers, the children sow, tend and harvest produce to use in the kitchen. Preserves, plants and any surplus produce are also sold at our weekly Thursday market.
We have two productive gardens – one based on permaculture principles, the other a rotational 'European' garden. Additionally we have an orchard of fruit trees weaving its way through our beautiful grounds.
In the kitchen
It’s all hands on deck in the kitchen too while groups of children prepare each part of the meal they share. The children learn a huge range of skills from preparing ingredients to knife skills and food presentation. At the end of the lesson we all sit down to share what we have created.
The Kitchen Garden Program relies on many people to work to its full potential, and the volunteer group is one of the most important parts of the project. We have wonderful parent and community volunteers each week but are always looking for more!
Volunteers can assist with kitchen classes, garden classes or both. You will assist with the hands-on learning through supervising small groups of children to undertaking garden activities in garden classes or helping prepare dishes as part of a planned menu in kitchen classes.
For more information please contact the school on 9570 3525.
All our favourite recipes from our classes have been collected into a wonderful East Bentleigh Primary School cookbook. It is filled with a marvelous collection of tasty vegetarian dishes - all kid-tested and approved! (Available from the school office or email us).
From the children
“It’s a lot of fun. You get to do stuff with friends. The best thing about cooking is eating. I love catching the butterflies.”
“We get to saw, shovel, use knives and pans. It’s fun because you get time out of the classroom and don’t have to sit in chairs the whole time. You get to learn new stuff and cook new stuff. We like building stuff.”
Our Garden in the News
Find Out More About the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program