The greenfingers amongst us have long recognised the benefits of creating food sources in our very own backyards and, with a growing recognition of the health and happiness benefits inherent in growing your own goodies, garden to plate initiatives have been increasing in popularity.
“We’ll discuss the importance of green cropping, and cover topics such as companion planting, orchard planting and crop rotation,” says Curator’s House gardener Louise Young.
Run twice yearly in autumn and spring, Louise co-presents the sessions with sustainability expert Rhys Taylor. “With Rhys and I coming from quite different work backgrounds, the benefit of our sessions is that participants get two points of view and two paths of information.”
Louise says the sessions are not only accessible to non-gardeners, but they are also great to upskill and update experienced gardeners.
“We want participants to leave our session really inspired to put in a vege garden, and also to have a bit of confidence in trying new techniques,” Louise says. “We have quite an organic approach to vegetable gardening – looking after the soil and the environment is very important.”
There will be the tastiest of tapas treats provided during the session from the Curator’s House restaurant. “Our tapas will focus on in-season produce from the Curator’s garden,” Louise says.
Participants in the session need only bring a pen and notebook, plus suitable footwear for walking around vegetable beds.
The Curator’s Edible Garden Session – Sunday 22 April, 10am to 12.30pm.
For more information and to book visit www.eventfinda.co.nz.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be”. While some people are quite content to maintain the status quo, others see opportunities for improvement.
This is certainly the case for a Christchurch food technology teacher who is putting her heart and soul into improving food education programmes and resources for local schools.
Casebrook Intermediate’s Lauren Dick-McCann has made it her mission to teach her Year 7 and 8 students how to grow, harvest, prepare and share good food through a nationwide food education and literacy programme Garden to Table. Now she has become known for her thriving garden which she refers to as her ‘outside classroom’.
“Food education goes beyond the ability to identify a fruit or vegetable,” Lauren says.
“It’s about giving our younger generations the tools to develop this necessary life-skill and the knowledge of how to feed themselves well.”
A collaborative and hands-on programme which aims to change the way children approach and think about food, Garden to Table has armed Casebrook’s students with the resources they need to make better food choices. The programme operates as part of a core specialist course at Casebrook and works in conjunction with the school’s Food Technology curriculum.
Casebrook Intermediate Principal Sharon Keen is supportive of the approach, crediting it with improvements in other facets of school life, such as better attentiveness, socialisation and class attendance.
Locally, Diamond Harbour Primary, St Martin’s Primary School, North Loburn School, Kaiapoi Borough School, Riccarton Primary School (in partnership with T&G Global), Victory School Nelson (in partnership with T&G Global) and Casebrook Intermediate have all been benefiting from the programme.
For more information, visit www.gardentotable.org.nz.