This year saw the introduction of a Farm to Table program with class 7. Lindsey Ellison is the inspiration behind the project and she joins the class once a week. The aim is to teach practical life skills, create a positive food culture and foster community around sharing food. For the students the learning is hands-on, fun and real. The class divides into two, half go with Warwick to work in the gardens and the other half work in the kitchen with Lindsey. The day finishes with a shared meal.
One Thursday the kitchen was the outdoor pizza oven. Students learned to light the fire and manage the temperature. They made the dough and prepared toppings, enough to share with the whole school.
During winter students have made seedling trays and will soon sow seed for spring planting. The next project is to expand the garden beds so there will be space for all the seedlings.
The highlight so far was the opportunity to run a real café for two days. Aaron and Yara from Riverside café became teachers for two days and helped the students run every aspect. Menus were planned using local seasonal produce, a special meal was advertised to the school community, bookings taken and food prepared. Yara taught students about ‘service’ and front-of-house skills, while Aaron was in the kitchen sharing his professional skills with some budding chefs.
After lots of learning, hard work, a few nerves and some bloopers the time came and the guests arrived. Guests were rewarded with a delicious three course meal and friendly service. The students were clearly proud of their achievements. They had achieved so much in a short time and gained an appreciation of everything that goes into good food and good service.
We are only half way through the year and spring and summer are coming. Students will soon be sowing seeds, preparing garden beds and making compost piles. They are using biodynamic methods in the garden which requires careful observation and working with nature.
Another project for this spring is to set-up an outdoor kitchen and learn how to prepare great meals with limited facilities.