Warburton Primary School is dedicated to sustainable gardening practices, where students grow fruits, vegetables and herbs used to cook meals in their harvest café.
Kelly Frost is responsible for the school’s sustainable garden program and said the harvest café operates under the motto ‘sow, grow, eat, repeat’.
The school grounds feature a large veggie patch, herb gardens, composting and worm farms, and several trees that grow apples, oranges, lemons and mandarins and stone fruits.
School captain, Tom said he enjoys being able to cook and eat the things that he sees growing in the gardens.
“We made some gnocchi last week which was nice. We’ve had apple and rhubarb crumble at some stage too.”
On Tuesday 11 June the students were cooking up damper with bush tomato and lemon myrtle dukkah with apple and pear chutney.
Other students were making apple and blueberry jam to be used for the school’s breakfast club, while snacking on slices of dried apple made from a previous class.
In the class next door, students were busy painting signage to help highlight what is growing in each area of the school.
Outside, other students are working hard to shovel mulch into wheelbarrows to transport around the school, raking leaves and maintaining the gardens.
But it’s not just cooking and gardening for students as they are currently learning about the Irish Potato Famine and the historical aspects of foods.
“We try to connect it to our curriculum, so history is our focus right now so we’re looking at how food has changed over time and the impact that food has had on the world,” Ms Frost said.
The school is about to celebrate the upcoming citrus fruit season, and Ms Frost said the students were quick to learn the ways in which lemons can be added to a recipe.
“Initially they said ‘we don’t like lemons’ and only knew it as the little piece of fruit you get on the side of your fish and chips,” she said.
“They’ve soon worked out that lemons are pretty amazing and are underrated.
“If we don’t grow it, then generally we don’t use it. So we just look at what is growing well in our garden and then look at ways that we can use it.
“At the moment apples are pretty prolific and they are at their best, so we have a lot of apple recipes happening,” Ms Frost said.