By now, many of you will already have visited and “liked” our MRPS Kitchen Garden Facebook page, but to tell you more about this new window into our kitchen garden program, I interviewed our Garden Specialist, Terri Sharpe.
I asked her why she had started the page and what she hoped to achieve?
As we see it (Geoff, Sarah and myself) the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is about promoting and encouraging life-long healthy eating habits in children. Whilst at school the kids are actively engaged in that process in a direct and hands-on way via the gardening and cooking skills they develop, we have often wondered – what happens at home? Are any of those skills and attitudes that we promote in the Program transferred into the home setting? Our Facebook page provides one potential avenue linking what the children do in the program with their homes – and the easier it is for parents/friends/relatives/students to access what happens in the Program back in their homes, the better chance we have of making a difference in that sphere.
I asked her how the community can get involved?
And it’s two way – we tell the community about what the kids actually do in the Program (it’s a mystery to some parents/caregivers despite their best efforts to find out from their kids), we can advertise the volunteer roster, promote fundraising activities, and advertise produce for sale or swap; while the community can tell us what they like about the program, follow the weekly recipes and encourage their kids to cook and garden at home, post their own recipes, let us know of any surplus produce they may have, and donate to the Program. They may even get their own kids to cook one night a week – if they made it at school theoretically they should be able to make it at home! All people need to do is “like” the page.
Terri summarised what you will find when you visit the site as:
You will find information on:
- what students actually do in the kitchen and garden
- weekly recipes
- tips on creating healthy eating habits in your children
- workshop information
- gardening tips to help you get the most from your fruit and veggies
- problem garden pests and how to beat them
- the larger Stephanie Alexander program and the history of our garden and kitchen program
- the 2018 timetable of classes
- curriculum links (for parents and teachers)
- produce and plants for sale
- how to make a donation
- and a whole lot more…
In Terri’s own words the main reason for launching the Facebook page is “to link what goes on in the Program to the wider community”.
Congratulating Terri on this innovation and its obvious early success, she was quick to remind us of the great Kitchen Garden team who make this such a successful program.
I may have originally raised the idea, but in order to make sure it ticked all the right boxes, it took 6 months before it was fully approved and ready to be launched. So, it’s obviously a team effort – it wouldn’t really work if we weren’t all passionate about the Program.
Our SAKG Program has a fabulous and hard-working team at school but we really appreciate and rely on the support of our wider school community with donations of time, resources and your work in our busy bees. Thank you all.
And remember, for this Facebook page to be the successful direct communication and sharing vehicle it can be and to “truly reach its full potential, you need to “like” the page and spread the word”. MRPS KITCHEN GARDEN FACEBOOK PAGE (click for link).
Written, photo and posted by D. Veary