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Students Enjoy Veggie Growing

Lynnette Thomas

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Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is supporting the Elizabeth Downs primary school in South Australia, one of the first schools to embrace a project that promotes healthy living. The foundation offers guidance, funding and training for primary schools to set up their own facilities and develop lessons for all age-groups, based on the full food cycle.

Before finishing with lemon pudding, the students had sat down to samples of rice biryani, polenta and a Caesar salad, spinach and tomato sauce. They had played a role in every step of the preparation cooking of the meal. It was a really inspiring scene to witness the thirty kids sitting down enjoying their veggies.

All the students have one lesson a week in the kitchen as well as one lesson a week working in the garden.

Kate Harbison, kitchen supervisor at Elizabeth Downs says “The focus of the program is not to ‘eat this because it’s good for you’. That’s the wrong way around for us. We eat it because it’s yummy, crunchy or fun. It’s all about embracing new things. ”

The school’s garden was established two years ago and proudly boasts a vast expanse of veggie patches, fruit trees and even a chook house. This area was once only filled with grass and weeds. The students do everything from building the plots, planting seedlings, making compost and tending the crop, through to preparing and cooking the vegetables.

“The teachers have noticed enormous changes in the attitudes of the students since the project has been in operation, ” says Kate. The benefits are vast and wide-ranging for both students and their families, particularly in an area of low incomes and high unemployment.

Tyson Johnson-Bell says “My favourite veggie is corn. It's a lot juicier straight from the garden". He is one of the students who has started a veggie patch at home. He sees the added benefit of picking it fresh, rather than buying it from the shop.

About the author,

Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys and her husband are CEO's and founders of YouMe Support Foundation, providing high school education grants for children who are without hope in a third world country. Wendy (aka Lyn Thomas) is also the author of and Geekoterre News Desk, ( ) with tips on parenting, humour and many more interesting subjects.

Feel free to contact Wendy on


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