Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program (SAKGP)
The aim of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is to introduce pleasurable food education into as many Australian primary schools as possible. Our Program emphasises the flavours as well as the health benefits of fresh, seasonal food. Dishes cooked reflect the vegetables, herbs and fruits grown, season-by-season, by the children in their organic gardens.
Our Kitchen Specialists and classroom teachers emphasise balance and moderation, and endorse the concept of preparing fruit-based desserts ‘sometimes' only.
The Program is designed to be fully integrated into the primary school curriculum as it offers infinite possibilities to reinforce literacy, numeracy, science, cultural studies and all aspects of environmental sustainability.
In addition, the Program delivers observable social benefits to all students, including those with special needs.
As participants in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program, eight to twelve year-old children discover the pleasures of hands-on food education, through regular classes in a productive vegetable garden and a home-style kitchen classroom.
Students learn to build and maintain a garden according to organic principles, and to grow and harvest a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. An abundant vegetable garden is created within the school grounds to provide edible, aromatic and beautiful produce for the school kitchen. The creation and care of the garden teaches students about the natural world, its wonders and beauty and how to cultivate and care for it.
In our kitchen, students prepare a range of delicious dishes from the seasonal produce they’ve grown. The finished meal is arranged with pride and care on tables set with flowers from the garden. The shared meal is a time for students, specialists, teachers and volunteers to enjoy the fruits of their labour, and each other’s company and conversation.
The fundamental philosophy that underpins the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, one can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.
Experiences in the kitchen and garden classes support and extend learnings across subjects such as English, maths, science, history and languages. Students learn to calculate, measure, analyse and articulate their experiences in a real-life context as they engage with new cultures through enticing flavours, leading to intercultural understanding.