Good to Grow: Slow Food Noosa
Deb Caruso meets some kids who are literally growing a micro business thanks to Slow Food Noosa’s School Garden Project.
In 2007, chef and then-President of Slow Food Noosa, Matt Golinski initiated the first School Garden Program, with funds allocated to schools to further children’s understanding of the value of fresh food and the joys of producing and using it.
Since then, more than $50,000 has been raised by Slow Food Noosa members and provided as sponsorships to local schools to help begin or develop school gardens.
It’s aligned within the global Slow Food movement that seeks to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread the education of taste, and link producers of excellent foods to consumers through events and initiatives.
This year, despite the challenges, the School Kitchen Garden program is growing thanks to an initiative with the team behind the Noosa Environmental Education Hub (Noosa EEHub) who are integrating School Gardens not only into all local schools but most importantly, into the curriculum.
Co-Directors of the Noosa EEHub, Annika Patrick, Di Seels and Dalia Mikhail are people with an ideology: Our Patch, Our Passion, Our Purpose: delivering outdoor, hands on, environmental education to school children from prep
to year twelve.
Project Coordinator Di Seels said children were learning that Slow Food, not fast food, was the key to a healthy lifestyle.
To support this, Slow Food Noosa have contributed funds to a project that is teaching children to successfully propagate micro greens to sell to the community.
One of Slow Food Noosa’s newest Snail of Approval recipients, Sharon Koski from The Green Shed in Palmwoods, is working with the children to teach them how to grow easy and nutritious micro greens.
“Micro-Greens are highly nutritious and fun to grow, they are a food source that children can easily propagate in containers and reap the rewards in a week,” she said.
The year two students at Sunshine Beach State Primary School were the first to learn the tips of the trade from Sharon under the “Good to Grow” curriculum.
Slow Food Noosa President Carolyn Winkler said the project was delivering a rich curriculum extension and hands-on engaging experience with strong community connections.
“Educating our next generation on Slow Food’s ideology of eating local, seasonal and fresh food is extremely important for the future health of our people and our planet,” she said. “The chance to connect the children with some of our outstanding local producers and businesses is also a great outcome.”
Di said the opportunity to partner with Slow Food Noosa and further share the message of good clean eating within the school community was very exciting for students and the Hub.
“Micro greens are perfect for this type of program as they are easily grown with minimal space requirement making them perfect for any household,” she said.
“The children are not only learning how to grow the micro greens, they are also learning about organic certification and how to run a micro-business and also about marketing through preparing a product for sale and developing an information kit to go with end product.”
Sunshine Beach State School and Montessori Noosa have been participating in the program with the children having the opportunity to sell the micro greens at an upcoming Slow Food Noosa event.
For more information or to register your school visit www.noosaeehub.com.au
Slow Food Noosa launched Australia’s first Snail of Approval program in 2017 to recognise local producers, food artisans, chefs, restaurants and venues that were champions of the global Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair food. Look for the Snail of Approval icon to ensure you are supporting leading local businesses.