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Planting the seeds for a healthy life

Tuesday, 18th October, 2011

GROW A GARDEN: Alma Public School teachers Hamish Rae and Allan Johnston with the students who can’t wait to get gardening. GROW A GARDEN: Alma Public School teachers Hamish Rae and Allan Johnston with the students who can’t wait to get gardening.

Alma Public School has become one of 50 schools around Australia to receive funding to grow a garden and expand their kitchen.

Teachers Allan Johnston and Hamish Rae applied for the federal funding on behalf of the school and Mr Johnston said the money will go towards raised garden beds and building four more work stations in the kitchen.

“Every primary student has three metres squared of land and we are looking at an area of 500 metres squared (for the garden),” he said.

Mr Johnston said Alma’s garden was still in the planning stages but they were looking to get help from horticulturists at Robinson College.

“We thought it would be fantastic for the South community. Also, having an established kitchen will mean getting the kids more involved,” he said.

“Students will be growing the produce, cooking the produce then eating the produce.”

Assistant principal, Sharon Degoumois, said it would “take a bit of time” to get the project off the ground but that it was “very exciting, especially for our community. 

“Our aim is to get as many volunteers from the local community to help out and be involved,” she said.

The funding comes from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said that teaching children how to make healthy food choices was an investment in their future.

“Engaging kids in growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh food promotes healthy eating and healthy lifestyles that will see these kids grow into healthy adults,” Ms Roxon said.

She said the $12.8 million program had now provided 178 schools around the nation with up to $60,000 to help with their kitchens and gardens.

Alma Public School received $58,000 and Wilcannia Central School $60,000.

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