For those who are new to our school and unfamiliar with the garden program, we invite you to visit the school during our garden sessions and see the program in action. This invitation extends to all parents of the garden classes as well as those of you who are considering helping out in the garden.
Following is an outline of our current position with the garden and plans for the future.
The garden is where it is right now because of the sustained efforts of a small group of worker supporters. Margaret River Primary School does not receive any special funding to allow the Kitchen Garden to function. It operates by the goodwill of a small band of worker supporters and the generosity of the local community who assisted us in the establishment of the garden area. The garden has been fortunate to receive grants from the South West Development Commission, Synergy and Margaret River Rotary.
We have also received donations from some local service clubs, businesses and community families, for which we are extremely grateful. The support from the community highlights the value of this program to the students and the school community.
Our dream would be to have all of the students in the school directly involved and working in the garden. Realistically, we don’t have the funds to employ a full-time garden teacher to fulfil this dream. We are so grateful for the passionate garden teachers who already put in an enormous amount of personal time in the garden.
We are currently running six classes in the garden. They complete many tasks associated with operating a successful garden. Our school has decided to run the garden program with Year 4 and Year 5 classes. Each class is divided into two groups so effectively each child has one garden session every four weeks. Other Year levels will be involved in a host of different school sustainability activities. They include collecting food scraps for the worms, cultivating seedlings and recycling paper.
What to look forward to this year:
- We are very excited to announce that soon we will be supplied with a demountable which comes as a shell ready for us to convert into a kitchen. The kichen will be capable of providing real cooking experiences for up to 30 students, with the help of a kitchen teacher and community volunteers. It should be here within a few weeks. The cost of fitting out the kitchen will be in the vicinity of $50,000.
- To make this happen, we will be planning some fundraising and making applications for grants from relevant organisations. The Stephanie Alexander Foundation is one such grant that we will pursue and in fact, it is this model that we have based our whole program on.
- the extension of the school garden area … but let’s get the kitchen operating first. Of course, if you are able to help us out with the garden extension, we would love to hear from you!
- kids continuing to have fun in the garden and the kitchen! 😎