On Tuesday Karangi Public School celebrated the grand opening of their new outdoor kitchen as part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program.
Guests who attended the launch enjoyed tasting the food which had been grown, harvested and cooked by the school students.
School Principal Sharon Rovere said the day was to acknowledge and thank everyone involved in bringing the 2 year project to fruition.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the grant from ETC’s Community Support Fund, the many volunteers who gave up their time, Coffs Harbour City Council, the parents and our wonderful teachers,” Ms Rovere said.
“We’re also celebrating children learning new life skills, making connections with the environment, taking that home to their communities and nourishing that into their adult life.”
The school implemented the Kitchen Garden program into their curriculum two years ago and has now made it a sustainable ongoing project.
“Initially it was difficult for us but we persevered. It fits with our school philosophy and every student K-6 is participating in the program,” Ms Rovere said.
“We had previously been using the cramped inside kitchen but now we have this fantastic new outdoor facility. The gazebo type setting is equipped with long stainless steel benches, plenty of storage and two new barbeques.”
Parent and garden specialist Samantha Mihelffy said the benefits of the program and new kitchen were tremendous.
“So many parts of the school curriculum are incorporated into this – Science, Maths, English,” Ms Mihelffy said.
“The kids have been so enthusiastic and I’ve seen their confidence grow. They’ve learned so much about nature and the experience of sharing, team work and support.”
Ms Mihelffy said the new kitchen is situated close to the garden so the students have easy access to the herbs, vegetables and fruit.
“Now we have this amazing new space where the kids can come outside, they have shade and room to move around. It’s giving them responsibility for the whole process,” Ms Mihelffy said.
“This program is giving them life skills for when they’re older so can be self-sufficient and know how to eat healthy food.”