A Kitchen Garden
Middle Dural Public School
Background ... 2007
In Term 3 of 2007 the P&C association of Middle Dural school erected
and established three raised rectangular garden beds. This saw the in-
terest and involvement of all students from our three classes, in plant-
ing, maintaining and nurturing our new vegetable gardens.
This continued throughout the next term, producing a plentiful bounty
of fresh produce that we made into salads, shared with staff and fami-
lies and sometimes just ate for fun.
Over the Christmas break our beautiful vegetable gardens became in-
vaded by kikuyu grass and ant nests, the soil drying out. Our school had
also dropped in numbers, resulting in the loss of one class and valuable
teacher. Our focus was directed elsewhere, as the task of reviving the
vegie beds seemed onerous. All produce was picked and old plants re-
moved. The now warped wood removed by our GA so as not to become
As the 2008 year was nearing the last term and we had settled into the
running and work load of a two-teacher school, the concept of a vegeta-
ble garden was re-introduced through the interest of Debbie Farckens
( a valued parent and P&C member) who very kindly organised and fol-
lowed through with the ordering of two large, oval, metal raised garden
beds. The P&C paid for these items.
These new colorbond garden beds arrived in Term3. It was decided that
they should be erected on a concrete pad to keep weeds and grasses at
bay. Thanks to the interest and effort of Chris Smith, David Smith,
Dave Raymen (our GA) and Chris Buckingham these beds are now
erected and filled awaiting the tender care and interest of students and
Assistance ... 2009
Inspired by the knowledge of new vegie beds coming and by reading
about the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, ideas began to
Early in Term 1 the students participated in a health promoting chal-
lenge called “Live outside the Box”. This was run by the Northern Syd-
ney Area Health. Students were encouraged to be mindful of the quan-
tity and quality of the foods they ate and how their time was spent each
day. They were rewarded with points for healthy choices.
Capitalising on the interest generated by this challenge, an application
was made for a “Seeding Grant” being offered to worthwhile health pro-
moting programs by The Northern Sydney Area Health Service.
Our school was successful in receiving an amount of $900 to assist us in
our own Kitchen Garden Program. Mrs Mills went with our two School
Captains Minna Nati and Samuel Dominello to receive this cheque and
give a short talk about our project.
Our captains, Minna and Sam receiving the cheque for $900
Minna and Sam with some Healthy Fruit!!
This is what we want to achieve......
The money we receive from this grant will help us to re-establish our vegetable gar-
den beds and establish a herb garden, so that we can experience and learn about
growing our own fresh, healthy and organic produce.
This money will also allow us to set up our kitchen program to accompany our vege-
We will be learning about the many different ways to prepare and use these deli-
cious fresh items, as well as the essential aspects of nutrition, hygiene and safety in
the kitchen and garden.
We are extremely grateful to the Northern Sydney Health Promoting Schools Com-
mittee for making this possible for the students of Middle Dural Public School.
Our program will develop life-long skills, values, knowledge and attitudes associated
with a healthy lifestyle... Preparing, cooking and eating as well as being physically in-
volved with growing and maintaining a kitchen garden.
And so let us begin..........
Thursday 17th September... A visit to Bunnings Dural for a talk on sus-
tainability resulted in the presentation and acquisition of a new compost
bin, some seedlings, and a generous amount of bulbs for flowering
plants. We are very grateful for the gifts, interest and involvement of
Bunnings Dural and, in particular, Di and Barry who assist us in so many
Friday 2nd October.... On this last day of term the students from
K/1/2 potted up the seedlings given to us by Bunnings. Potting mix was
placed in a 2-tiered system of pots and each child was responsible for
planting and watering these seedlings of parsley, spring onions, beet-
root and spinach.
Friday 9th October .... Saw the first of our lunchtime gardening clubs.
Donning lovely new garden gloves and armed with trowels, forks and wa-
tering cans, a number of K/1/2 students and one Yr 6 student partici-
pated in some general weeding and watering of garden beds around our
Wednesday 28th October ... The first of our official Kitchen Garden
“lessons” took place at 1.30pm. Children assembled in peer groups.
Groups 1 & 2 started with gardening while Groups 3 & 4 commenced
cooking activities. After 30 minutes the two groups swapped areas.
Mrs McLennan and Mrs Dominello instructed and supervised the Kitchen
aspects in the studio while Mrs Mills and Mr Smith instructed and su-
pervised the Gardening activities.
Plantings: 4 tomato plants in pots + silverbeet and lettuce
Cooking: “Orange Pops” using only oranges grown in our school orchard
and squeezed by the tender hands of our very own students.
Friday 30th October ... Today we enjoyed the coolness and sweetness
of our very own frozen “Orange Pops”.
.... And continued our garden club activities... Weeding and watering our
vegie gardens and flower beds around our school.
Wednesday 4th November .... A visit from our good friends Di and Barry
of Bunnings Dural also accompanied by Bill Flemming from Galston Gar-
den Club. Di and Barry were wonderful in their enthusiasm and interest
in helping us set up our Kitchen Garden beds, while Mr Flemming’s knowl-
edge of gardening guided us to position the plants appropriately. We are
most grateful to Bunnings for the generosity they continue to show us
through the supply of so many seedlings and bags of good quality organic
soil mix. ....Looking pretty tasty already!!
Wednesday 11th November... Today our peer groups were involved in
planting some bean seeds with Mr Smith. We used seed raising mix,
placing it inside four cardboard cylinders within a large yoghurt con-
tainer. Within each tube we placed 2 seeds, using different varieties
for each group. We then sprayed lightly with water to moisten the soil.
The Kitchen group were making “Salad Wraps” today with the assis-
tance of Mrs Dominello and Mrs Magro. Mrs Mills and Mrs McLennan su-
pervised each group through their relevant worksheets.
Thursday 19th November... The onslaught of a heatwave saw some casu-
alties this week. Thank you Mr Rossi for the shade cloth; our plants love
you! Our bean seedlings have to be seen to be believed!! Have a look for
yourself!! Its only been 8 days!! I like this toilet roll method.
Wednesday 25th November... This has been our final formal Kitchen/
Garden lesson for this year. We planted our been seedlings into our
large garden beds with the assistance of Mr smith. He showed us how to
mix the soil and compost to plant in our no-dig gardens. We gave them a
big drink. Our kitchen lesson today was very exciting as we used much
of our own leafy produce and tomatoes, along with some purchased
items, to make our own mini salads. Mrs Dominello showed us how to
make our own tasty dressing to go on top. All served with some nice
crusty bread. Delicious!!!!!! Completing the relevant work sheets for both
the Kitchen and garden just ensures that we are learning about aspects
of these areas and not just having a good time.
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
Squeeze the juice from enough oranges to make 1 cup and combine with
equal amount of purchased pineapple juice. Pour into small cups. Place in
freezer. When partially set, insert a popstick to act as a handle. Leave
overnight and enjoy your orange pops outside.
Mini Salad Wraps
Mountain bread ( cut in half lengthways)
Selection of salad greens from garden (washed and spun dry)
Hommus or mayonnaise
Lay out one half of the mountain bread on the sandwich board. Spread a
little mayonnaise or hommus on one short end (but not too close to the
edges). Arrange selection of ingredients to your liking on top of this,
being careful to not overfill your wrap. Roll this up like a Swiss roll.
Mini Tossed Salad and Dressing
Selection of salad greens from the vegetable garden (washed and spun)
Mini tomatoes, halved
Combine ingredients in small bowl. Pour over a small amount of dressing
and toss through, gently. Enjoy!!
1 part lemon juice (freshly squeezed) to 3 parts olive oil
1clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced.
Combine all ingredients in a small bottle (mini water bottle is useful) and
shake. Squeeze or pour sparingly over dry salad mix.
The staff and students say thank you to......
Mrs Dominello ... For guiding us in the kitchen activities.
Mrs Magro ... For assisting Mrs Dominello on occasions.
Mr Smith ... For guiding us in the garden activities and more.
Mr Raymen ... For his assistance throughout this project.
Mr Udy ... From Galston High for assisting us with mushroom
David Smith ... For assisting with bed construction.
Mr Rossi ... For donating shadecloth
Langlands ... For supplying such quality soil at a good price.
Mr Limberiou ... For organising and paying for this soil.
Our P&C ... For support, interest and finances.
Di and Barry ... From Bunnings Dural for interest and
continued support, plants and other goodies.
Northern Sydney Area Health Service ...
... For the generous grant making this all possible.