On Thursday, 1 June, an excited group of thirty gardeners and aspirant cooks gathered in our kitchen garden to share and learn together. All hailing from Stephanie Alexander Foundation Kitchen Garden schools, these representatives had come together for a SAFKG Networking and Skills Workshop to see how MRPS conducts the kitchen garden program and to enjoy the spoils of our kitchen garden with the delicious meals they cooked up in our kitchen.
Participants really enjoyed being in a different environment and meeting like-minded teachers, all passionate about the values of a Stephanie Alexander Foundation Kitchen Garden in their schools. They came from as far afield as Karratha, Dongara, Pemberton and Albany, with our SAFKG Ambassador, Ian Parmenter and Stephanie Alexander herself, big drawcards for this special event.
The main thrust of the day was sharing stories about each school’s journey with the SAKG program, finding common issues and concerns, whilst celebrating successes too.
Mel Somerset (our inaugural kitchen leader) was one of the attendees and she commented
It is so important for adults to experience firsthand what it feels like to have to work in a group to cook a dish in the kitchen, having to practise co-operative skills like taking turns and being responsible for different tasks. This gives teachers a much better understanding when asking their students to do the same.
Other participants mentioned how inspiring the day had been and how excited they were to take so many good ideas back to their respective schools.
Ian Parmenter led the discussion with Stephanie Alexander in a Q&A style forum, as Stephanie explained her motivation for starting the program, being her desire to teach children about healthy eating and how food is grown. Stephanie Alexander also recognised the work being done at MRPS, stating
this school is an example of the program working really well.
Inbetween washing up in the kitchen and chasing chooks in the garden, Geoff Mcleod said he was thrilled with the turnout and that the day was a big success. He said,
my advice to participants is to start small and to build relationships and support structures within your school and community to have the stamina and depth for the program to survive.
From the photos, you can see how much fun everybody had.
We thank Geoff Mcleod for his work and vision with the program and Sarah and Teri for their hard work teaching students about healthy eating and growing fresh produce organically, and for their hard work on the day.
Written and posted by D. Veary; Photos by D. Veary and A. Thomas