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The Programme

Garden to Table students harvesting food

Pleasurable food education: skills for learning, skills for life

The Garden to Table programme aims to build skills for life through highly practical hands-on child centric classes - not only teaching growing and cooking skills but also building awareness of individual and collective responsibility for the environment, healthy eating and community connectedness. It is an opportunity to allow children across the country to get their hands dirty and learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food.

The New Zealand programme was developed with the support of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program which began in 2001 in Melbourne when cook and food writer Stephanie Alexander OAM joined forces with an inner-Melbourne school community to establish the Kitchen Garden Program. Stephanie's fundamental philosophy is that by setting good examples and engaging children's curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits. This philosophy is also at the heart of the New Zealand programme.

The first three Auckland schools delivering the programme in 2009 has now grown to a nation-wide family of schools, delivering well over 200 hours, every week, of gardening and cooking lessons, connecting and empowering close to 4000 children with practical skills and making food choice a reality.

Garden to Table schools commit to a dynamic and innovative model where primary school children spend time in a productive veggie garden and home-style kitchen every week, where they learn skills that will last them a lifetime, connect the practical lessons back to curriculum outcomes, and discover just how much fun it is to grow and cook their own seasonal vegetables and fruits.

We have welcomed schools from all decile levels and each has its own challenges and successes. But all are united in their passion to bring the benefits of food education to their students.

Learn more about how to become a Garden to Table School.

You can help us to ensure all New Zealand children have this opportunity.

Learn how you can help.