Kitchen Garden Program for Early Childhood announced – first of its kind in Australia
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation officially launched the new Kitchen Garden Program for Early Childhood yesterday, the first of its kind for preschool-aged children in Australia.
Clarendon Children’s Centre Co-operative in South Melbourne was chosen for the official launch of the program, where children made newspaper planting pots and foliage prints with the kitchen garden team.
Platters labelled with hand-drawn signs were full of delicious food prepared by the children, using ingredients they had grown and harvested. Mini okonomiyaki was enjoyed alongside rice paper rolls, cups of dahl and roast pumpkin, chickpea and sage sausage rolls.
Kitchen Garden Foundation Founder Stephanie Alexander AO said the children had done an amazing job in preparing for the big day, sharing that the children had been taking care of the plants, and patiently waiting for them to grow, noting the “great pride” the children had in showing visitors their garden spaces.
An onsite pop-up market was held which raised funds for the centre by selling home-made gingerbread, curry sauce and worm wee with labels saying “from our garden to yours”.
The Foundation’s work in the early childhood sector is “uncovering a community of early childhood managers, centre cooks and educators interested in exploring how to teach very young children through cooking and gardening experiences,” a Foundation spokesperson said.
Clarendon Children’s Centre Cook and Healthy Eating Leader Julie Lemmon emphasised the powerful influence the garden played on setting children up with lifelong healthy habits.
The Kitchen Garden Program for Early Childhood offers educators “a comprehensive package of professional development, educational resources and support. Members will find our brand new workbooks, especially developed for the early year’s sector, on the Shared Table,” the spokesperson noted.
More information on the three-year pilot and the Foundation’s work in the sector can be found in this infographic summary, and those wishing to remain up to date with the work of the Foundation may sign up to the newsletter here.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program for Early Childhood was made possible with support from The Ian Potter Foundation’s Alec Prentice Sewell Gift.