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Rachel Clare - Garden Specialist


Thursday, August 20, 2020   |   Linda Taylor

Profile: Rachel Clare – Garden Specialist at Henderson North School

How long have you been involved in Garden to Table? I'm the Garden Specialist at Henderson North School in Waitakere. Our school began our Garden to Table journey last year. Before we moved to Henderson, my oldest son, Billy, was a student at Owairaka District School in Mt Albert. A legendary Garden to Table school, I was so inspired by the way Garden to Table is an integral part of the school's identity and how it enriches their curriculum. They have gardens all over the school that reflect the diverse cultural identities of the students. They even sell kawakawa ointment made from plants in their rongoa garden! After we shifted to Henderson, I raved about the programme to our deputy principal at Henderson North, and the next year we joined the programme. As a plantaholic and garden writer, I put up my hand to be the garden specialist.

Read more…

Announcing The Great NZ Seedling Sale!


Friday, October 19, 2018   |   Linda Taylor

Schools are always looking for ways to meet the costs of their Garden to Table programme, So, to help, we created The Great NZ Seedling Sale!,

We therefore wanted to create an event that would allow schools to fundraise for their Garden to Table sessions in their local community, with our support. The first Great NZ Seedling Sale is taking place during the last weekend in October (27 & 28 October) and schools all over the country have been busy growing seedlings to sell to their local community, with all funds feeding back into the school's programme.  Our wonderful Seedling Sale Sponsors, Tui, Gardena, Kings Seeds and Biogrow, have all provided schools with product to grow their seedlings, meaning all funds raised are able to directly support the students in the kitchen and garden.

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Foraging for the top prize, by Kristin Mooney


Tuesday, August 21, 2018   |   Linda Taylor

When it comes to mealtime at the Rickit household, it’s often the kids in charge - and if 10 year old Oliver has anything to say about it, he’s at the chopping board making lasagne, curries...or shepherd’s pie, a dish he first made at age 6. “I’ve kinda just got it in my blood.” Inspired by his grandfather, who was a chef in the Airforce, Oliver is a shining example of what passion set on fire looks like at a young age. His passion for cooking knows no end, from foraging the local forests for nuts and mushrooms, to perfecting a roux and practicing his knife and presentation skills. Oliver is obsessed with the entire process of making delicious food from scratch. He talks about cooking with a knowledge, maturity and confidence of someone much older.

Oliver is quite clear on his future career, he wants to be a chef. This is what prompted him to enter the Garden to Table Root to Tip cooking competition with his friend Nathan. The competition is designed to get kids inspired to cook creatively with seasonal fruits and vegetables whilst also minimizing waste.When asked what would be his favourite food to make at his restaurant in the future he replied “pizza and flatbreads” without hesitation. Oliver loves watching MasterChef and follows their movements and preparation techniques carefully. His skill has matured to the point where he has gotten the base recipes down pat and is now trying out different combinations of flavours and getting creative.

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Garden to Table at Home


Sunday, April 01, 2018   |   Linda Taylor

For the past decade Garden to Table has championed the kitchen and garden as real-world, authentic learning spaces.  As we experience this COVID-19 lockdown and look towards the start of Term 2, we are offering parents and households a discounted 6-month membership to Garden to Table's full suite of curriculum, garden and kitchen resources. Usually only available to schools, you can now access a range of resources and activities linked to all 8 learning areas in the NZ primary school curriculum. You will also receive weekly emails with tips, links and additional resources you may find helpful in this challenging time.

The discounted subscription price of $49.00+gst will help to support the Garden to Table Trust during what is for us, as for many charities, a challenging financial time. You can join Garden to Table by clicking hereOnce we have received your membership we will email you your login details within 12 hours.

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Spring bites, Niki Bezzant


Friday, September 22, 2017   |   Linda Taylor

Niki Bezzant is a Garden to Table ambassador. She is a food and nutrition writer, media commentator and Editor-at-Large of Healthy Food Guide.

Spring has sprung! What are your favourite spring veges?

Read more…

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Profile: Rachel Clare – Garden Specialist at Henderson North School\n
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How long have you been involved in Garden to Table? I'm the Garden Specialist at Henderson North School in Waitakere. Our school\n began our Garden to Table journey last year. Before we moved to Henderson, my oldest son, Billy, was a student at Owairaka District School in Mt Albert.\n A legendary Garden to Table school, I was so inspired by the way Garden to Table is an integral part of the school's identity and how it enriches their\n curriculum. They have gardens all over the school that reflect the diverse cultural identities of the students. They even sell kawakawa ointment made\n from plants in their rongoa garden! After we shifted to Henderson, I raved about the programme to our deputy principal at Henderson North, and the\n next year we joined the programme. As a plantaholic and garden writer, I put up my hand to be the garden specialist.

\n

Why is Garden to Table important to you? Knowing how to grow and cook your own food is empowering! Eating a salad made from lettuces\n and radishes and spring onions you've sown from seed gives you a wonderful sense of agency over your own life. We should all have the opportunity to\n learn these essential life skills, particularly as we begin to shift toward more community-based food-growing models as part of our response to climate\n change. Growing food can be really expensive and too often people judge others for not growing their own fruit and veg or cooking their meals from\n scratch. But in order to know how to be able to grow food and cook on a budget, you need to have some mentoring and hands-on experience, and Garden\n to Table is an excellent place to start. Beyond that, I'm really focused on the sense of well-being that gardening and cooking bring to us. Studies\n have shown that particular bacteria in soil boosts mental health, so we should all get our hands in the dirt!

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What benefits/impact do you see in the GTT Programme? School life becomes richer and more varied. There is\n a real sense of joy about the programme. Students love getting out of the classroom and the hands-on tactile experiences of pulling out weeds or whisking\n up a bowl of eggs. For me, one of the highlights so far, which really epitomises what Garden to Table is about, was when the students harvested potatoes\n they'd grown in buckets. \"It's like digging for buried treasure!\" shouted one of the boys. His excitement and engagement made the learning seem incidental,\n yet at the same time the class was gaining important life skills by learning through doing.

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Creating new gardens around our school has also given the students a sense that they are kaitiaki of the school - this is their place and they are responsible\n for caring for it. This influences the culture of the rest of the school - students from classes who aren't even in the programme will approach me\n at lunchtime wanting to help in the gardens.

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Garden to Table has also provided our school with the opportunity to develop stronger intergenerational connections within our community as our volunteers\n come from our local retirement village. They enjoy sharing their lifetime of gardening and cooking skills and our students enjoy the opportunity to\n develop relationships with older members of our community. It's a reciprocal relationship where everyone benefits and feels a greater sense of purpose\n and belonging.

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Finally, coming together at the end of the session to eat kai grown, harvested and prepared by the students is a real celebration. There's always a happy\n buzz as they eat and chat with a shared sense of pride and belonging. It's pretty nourishing stuff!

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Schools are always looking for ways to meet the costs of their Garden to Table programme, So, to help, we created The Great NZ Seedling Sale!,\n

\n

We therefore wanted to create an event that would allow schools to fundraise for their Garden to Table sessions in their local community, with our support.\n The first Great NZ Seedling Sale is taking place during the last weekend in October (27 & 28 October) and schools all over the country have been busy growing seedlings to sell to their local community, with all funds feeding back into the school's programme.  Our\n wonderful Seedling Sale Sponsors, Tui, Gardena, Kings Seeds and Biogrow, have all provided schools with product to grow their seedlings,\n meaning all funds raised are able to directly support the students in the kitchen and garden.

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To find out if your school is involved visit the dedicated website at www.greatnzseedlingsale.co.nz and visit the list of schools. We know they'd love your support!

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When it comes to mealtime at the Rickit household, it’s often the kids in charge - and if 10 year old Oliver has anything to say about it, he’s at the\n chopping board making lasagne, curries...or shepherd’s pie, a dish he first made at age 6. “I’ve kinda just got it in my blood.” Inspired by his grandfather,\n who was a chef in the Airforce, Oliver is a shining example of what passion set on fire looks like at a young age. His passion for cooking knows no\n end, from foraging the local forests for nuts and mushrooms, to perfecting a roux and practicing his knife and presentation skills. Oliver is obsessed\n with the entire process of making delicious food from scratch. He talks about cooking with a knowledge, maturity and confidence of someone much older.\n

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Oliver is quite clear on his future career, he wants to be a chef. This is what prompted him to enter the Garden to Table Root to Tip cooking competition\n with his friend Nathan. The competition is designed to get kids inspired to cook creatively with seasonal fruits and vegetables whilst also minimizing\n waste.When asked what would be his favourite food to make at his restaurant in the future he replied “pizza and flatbreads” without hesitation. Oliver\n loves watching MasterChef and follows their movements and preparation techniques carefully. His skill has matured to the point where he has gotten\n the base recipes down pat and is now trying out different combinations of flavours and getting creative.\n
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Supporting him is his entire family, including his Mum Tracy. As a teacher at Hautapu School in Cambridge, she saw an opportunity to nurture Oliver’s love\n of cooking while also contributing to the wider school community, so she established a garden on the school grounds. Together with Oliver’s friend\n Nathan, they grow an impressive variety of vegetables and fruit, including celery, carrots, broccoli, gooseberries, pears, mandarins - and chickens\n to help keep pests down. Managed by the Gardening Club on a small plot, they regularly share the produce with the school.\n
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When Oliver entered the Root to Tip competition, Tracy realised this was the start of something bigger when he said “Mum, this is the first step!”\n
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As the regional Waikato Root To Tip semi final winners, Oliver and Nathan headed to the national finals in Wellington on 3 August, after wowing the judges\n with their falafel starter and their ‘forager’s loaf’ main, complete with nuts that they did in fact forage for. Their approach leading up to the finals\n was to work on their knife skills and plating - all part of the valuable feedback they received from the judges. What’s Oliver’s top advice for ambitious\n chefs? “If you’re stressed out or forgot something, take a breath.” Valuable advice for anyone we reckon.\n
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From Tracy’s perspective, Oliver’s involvement in Garden to Table’s Root to Tip competition has had a big impact on\n the wider family. As a family they are eating more fresh foods, trying new vegetables and ways to prepare them that minimise waste, shopping locally\n and Tracy has been receiving some much needed help in the kitchen! As Tracy puts it, “cooking at a young age is an essential life skill.” She sees\n the effect it has had on Oliver and is reassured that he will grow up to be an adult who can be confident in the kitchen and have a healthy attitude\n towards food.\n
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", "urlWithHost": "http://www.gardentotable.org.nz/blog/foraging-for-the-top-prize", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 743903, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2018-04-01T00:00:00", "author": "Linda Taylor", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://www.gardentotable.org.nz/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11023&PostID=743903&A=Trackback", "url": "/blog/garden-to-table-at-home", "title": "Garden to Table at Home", "postFeaturedImage": "/website curriculum.JPG", "metaTitle": "Garden to Table at Home", "metaDescription": "", "body": "

For the past decade Garden to Table has championed the kitchen and garden as real-world, authentic learning spaces.  As we experience this COVID-19\n lockdown and look towards the start of Term 2, we are offering parents and households a discounted 6-month membership to Garden to Table's full suite of curriculum, garden and kitchen resources.\n Usually only available to schools, you can now access a range of resources and activities linked to all 8 learning areas in the NZ primary school curriculum.\n You will also receive weekly emails with tips, links and additional resources you may find helpful in this challenging time.

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The discounted subscription price of $49.00+gst will help to support the Garden to Table Trust during what is for us, as for many charities, a challenging\n financial time. You can join Garden to Table by clicking hereOnce\n we have received your membership we will email you your login details within 12 hours.

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We have also been working hard to support our teachers as they prepare for the beginning of Term 2 in lockdown. Over the past week we have created\n a teacher-only Garden to Table google classroom with a selection of learning modules based around the kitchen and garden, that cover all aspects\n of the curriculum. If you are a teacher and would like to access the Garden to Table google classroom please email Victoria, our Curriculum Manager,\n at victoria@gardentotable.org.nz. \n
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We look forward to working together to support our children during this challenging time.

", "urlWithHost": "http://www.gardentotable.org.nz/blog/garden-to-table-at-home", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 716314, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2017-09-22T00:00:00", "author": "Linda Taylor", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://www.gardentotable.org.nz/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11023&PostID=716314&A=Trackback", "url": "/blog/spring-bites-niki-bezzant", "title": "Spring bites, Niki Bezzant", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/general/Niki-G2T-ambassador.jpg", "metaTitle": "Spring bites, Niki Bezzant", "metaDescription": "", "body": "

Niki Bezzant is a Garden to Table ambassador. She is a food and nutrition writer, media commentator and Editor-at-Large of Healthy Food Guide.

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Spring has sprung! What are your favourite spring veges?

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I eat a lot of vegetables, and I don’t like to eat vegetables out of season. But at a certain point late in winter, I get really really bored with eating\n the same winter veges day after day. So I really love those vegetables that burst onto the scene to break us out of the winter drab. The most obvious\n is, of course, asparagus. It’s almost like a countdown to the day asparagus is available (and not $8 a bunch) and then I tend to have a bit of a binge\n on it.

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During spring I also start to get back into salads, which I don’t feel like eating much in winter. I usually start with more substantial salads and slaws,\n and then graduate on to leafier things. So that means lovely spring carrots, courgettes, peas and of course, lovely new spring potatoes. And at some\n stage in spring I usually start eating tomatoes, since they taste like tomatoes again!

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Do you grow veges yourself?

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I live in a city apartment with no outdoor space, so I can’t grow any veges – I have to rely on our talented local growers. There is a small garden at\n our building, though, and so I can pick a few fresh herbs from there.

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Tell us how you like to prepare your favourite spring veges.

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With asparagus I start out by eating them in really simple ways, to celebrate their gorgeousness. I might have a plate of asparagus for dinner, just steamed\n and drizzled with hollandaise. Or spears dipped into boiled eggs, like soldiers. After a while, I start to cook them in more elaborate ways. I love\n asparagus roasted or grilled; it really brings out the sweetness. A little balsamic is nice to add to them. And I’ve recently done a delicious thing\n where you crumb the asparagus spears with a panko and parmesan mix and bake in the oven to make asparagus ‘fries’. They're really good with courgettes,\n too.

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With other spring veges, like carrots, I really like to use my trusty julienne peeler (who needs a fancy spiraliser?) and make a pretty slaw, dressed with\n a Japanese-inspired dressing of sesame oil, lemon, soy and mirin. It’s crunchy and sweet and delicious.

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What else do you like about spring?

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I like the days getting longer, daylight savings starting and the change in the light. There’s also that wonderful promise of summer in the air. And it’s\n lovely to start eating lighter, fresher meals with different flavours.

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