SGAE Hamilton have this term launched their brand new Garden to Plate program, using vegetable gardening and meal preparation to enhance language, literacy, numeracy and technology, and build skills for everyday living! It's an innovative approach to students obtaining a Certificate in Transition Education. Running one day a week for 12 months, the program is still in its infancy and welcomes more participants along for the ride.
Current Garden to Plate participants, cooks and carers; Anthony Stockwell (Chef), Vicki Hollard (Trainer) and Korey Banfield (participant), Joel Roache (participant), Sallie Glare (Mulleraterong) and Geoff Murray (participant)
This week, the Garden to Plate cohort hosted a ‘Winter Christmas’ themed lunch at HIRL, showcasing some of the fresh produce they have nurtured, and the cooking skills they’ve developed so far. Participants, families, support workers, peers, garden volunteers, SGAE Staff, and councillors gathered to learn about the program and enjoy a healthy hearty lunch! Due to the winter start, participants have been able to utilise some of the produce already flourishing in the HIRL garden whilst their own seedlings mature in the hothouse ready for planting when spring time hits. HIRL garden volunteer Glenice says it’s important for participants to embrace the whole life cycle of the plants, ‘they’re nourishing these little seedlings in the hothouse at the moment before planting, they’ll be seeing the growing process from start to finish’.
Darren Osborn, Support Coordinator at Southern Stay Disability Services enjoyed the winter Christmas event and sees the evident value of the program, ‘the lunch was delicious, and it’s very clear that everyone involved love being a part of the program and get a lot out of it’.
Garden to Plate is much more than a gardening or cooking course, it’s about building life skills, utilising kitchen gardening to do so. Participants grow their social and organisational skills, problem solving abilities and more on top of learning about weights, measures, budgeting and shopping.
If you know of someone living with a disability who might be interested in Garden to Plate, get in touch with SGAE 48 Thompson Street or on 5571 9900.
Is your organisation, club, community group or school making a change so that the healthier choice is the easier choice? Let us know about it! Get in touch with Ebony at [email protected] or 5551 8475 for support or to share your story.