What a great day for Moonah Primary School and for the community. It is one of those days that students will remember as a highlight of their school years. It is the day that Stephanie Alexander herself came to open the kitchen garden. It is also the day they all nearly froze as they sat very patiently throughout the proceedings held outside with the wind off Mt Wellington reminding us all that clean air can also be very crisp.
The garden had grown a lot since I was there a couple of months ago. It was lovely to see Patrick Johnston, who had designed the garden and worked with the students on all the initial plantings come back to the school for the opening.
The veggies looked very healthy and the new kitchen and dining room is finished and in action. The students are having fun cooking lots of soups, veggie fritters, dips etc and are learning how to set tables, enjoy a meal and conversations around a table. They also learn how to make calculations about planting and growing times, water use, making compost, cooking instructions and also have a reason to read and look things up on the internet. They get their hands in the dirt and learn about how things grow, when they are ripe and to taste the difference between fresh and seasonal as opposed to processed or packets. I have invited them to join this blog to tell us all about what they like about gardening. In commemoration of the occasion I am donating some blueberry bushes to the school to compliment the fruit trees and raspberry canes they already have.
The students sang “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”, and it is certainly true as I noticed many parents and volunteers there at the opening. From this garden the school builds healthy, happy children and contributes to a healthy, happy community and does its bit on reducing food miles in an era of climate change and food insecurity. This project is a demonstration project for Tasmania and so is open for other schools to come and visit and maybe set up their own. Hospitality writ large. It was great to be there.