Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden-Stephanie with students

First and foremost, we want to enchant and engage the children. Children are unimpressed by lists or pyramids that separate the ‘good for you’ from the ‘not good for you’ foods’.

But get them digging and planting and picking, or get them mixing or rolling or chopping, or get them around a table with their own freshly baked pizza topped with their own tomato sauce, liberally scattered with herbs from the garden, and the result is enthusiasm, real learning and great flavours.”

Stephanie Alexander

The Kitchen Garden Program was first established in 2001 at Collingwood College, as an experiential learning pilot program by Stephanie Alexander and Collingwood College.  Each week 180 children in Grades 3 to 6 spend forty-five minutes gardening in their organic vegetable garden and orchard which they helped to design and build, and now maintain in our school grounds.

Kids in the garden

The children also spend one and a half hours each week in the purpose designed and built K.G kitchen, preparing and sharing a delicious seasonally inspired menu created from their produce. The culmination of this experiential learning model is the sharing and eating together at the end of each lesson.

In the kitchen and garden classrooms, each class of students work in small groups with the support of volunteers and under the supervision of the Kitchen Garden Specialist and a classroom teacher.

The KG program operates with two part-time specialist staff, a gardener and a Chef. The KG program greatly appreciates the dedication and enthusiasm of our wonderful KG volunteers in supporting our KG specialist teachers and students.

“The thing I value in the KG program are the volunteers. “- Iain

“I like cooking. We cook rice and we cooked vegetables. I like when we’re cooking the rice and vegetables because it is so fun to cook. I cook with a big man called Paul. He’s nice and he’s good with cooking.” – Mohamed

Many schools have established gardens in their grounds to enhance student learning about the cycle of food from seed to table. At Collingwood College, our students are involved weekly in the growing, tending, harvesting, cooking, serving and tasting their delicious gardening efforts.  The SAKGF program is not an occasional lesson, however, it is part of our student’s weekly curriculum for 4 years.

“I love coming to school knowing that I am going to do the Kitchen Garden program that day! My favourite thing is knowing that we have grown the food and cooked it and then eaten it!” – Tilly

”I like holding sharp knives and using them to chop up the veggies. I loved the cupcakes that we made and the rice dish with corn and herbs. I’m learning to cook and taste tasty food. In the garden we have planted beetroot, spring onion and onions. Planting them was easy but maybe looking after them might be harder.”- Traynor

“One thing that I have learnt in the kitchen is how to chop lots of different vegetables. I have also learnt to try lots of different varieties of food. I look forward to Wednesdays! It makes me feel excited”- Bethany

“I like cooking because it is fun. I’ve learnt how to carry knives correctly and making sure I place them facing away from me on the bench. I love cutting stuff up and learning about looking after sick plants and trees. One of my favourite things we have made is the bread.”- Taylor


Harvest Time

Our school is very proud to be the pilot school of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and a source of inspiration to other educators and their communities. Collingwood College continues its important partnership with TSAKGF in the development of our new K.G Learning facilities at Collingwood College and with the launch of TSAKGF National Learning Centre at our school. To find out more about the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College, including garden tour dates, Subscriber program, public workshops, curriculum links and how to support the program visit the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

“From little things-big things grow.”

Thanks to…

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
Felton Bequest
Department of Education and Training
Education Foundation
Stephanie Alexander
Francis Laurino
Barbara Heine
Anna Dollard
Maggie Beer
Freda Thornton
Basil Natoli
Stanley Pamieta
Collingwood Rotary
Boroondara City Lions Club
Rysett Australia
Ficher Pykel
Ceres-Propagation Team
Diggers Club
Cultivating Community
Solid water Furitechnics
Philiipa’s Bread
Biviano & Sons Fruiters
Organic Gertrude
Organic Greengrocer
King & Godfrey
Dobson’s Potatoes
Silvergrove’s Olive Oil
The Chef’s Toolbox
Will Studd
Flemmings Nursery
Nolan’s Olive Oil
Melbourne Market Authority
Books for Cooks
Rod Eastgate
John Padolfini
CC Spring Fair Committee
CC Parents Committee

Kitchen and Garden Specialists:

Lindy Barnett, Poppy Turbiak, Carolina Corderio, Heidi Sanghvi , Peter Christensen,  Liz Moore Desley Insall, Peta Heine, Karen Yann,Our Volunteers-past and present:Marguerita Wu, Jill & Peter Friend, Susan Williams, Peter Arnott, Merran Fergusson, Dianne Park, Katie Burke, Dennis Staight, Jenny Fitzgerald, Sally Slattery, Jenn Kitchen, Ann Polis, Paul Healy, Nancy Fergusson, Annabel Woolcott, Daisy Schwab-Russel, Seona  McFae, Linda Cornelissen,  Jeni  Nathanielsz, Anna George, Jeanette Shaw, Tania Petrucci, Charli Si, Keryn Ursi, Jane Thornton, Jean McPhearson, Marjory James, Susan Clarke, Rick Matear, Fiona Basile, Rowena Booth, Frances le Plastrier, Sarah Stoic, Liz Arnott, Brooke Cauberg, Julia Davidson, Louisa Allen, Angie Fox, Maria Wilson, Rachel Heyworth, Margaret Finger, Pauline Kee, Alex Morrow, Julia Efron, Phillip Huynh, Delia Baron, Alice Nugent, Toni Gianfreda, Stephanie Willaton, Judy Ifergan, Teresa Flynn, Janine Conigliaro, Janine Hill, Andy Sutton, Anne Conran, Carolyn Schwab, Margot Bullen, Tania Ivanka, Roslyn Aikman, Kate Bucovaz, Magela Gutierrez, Paulina Mery Satt, Peter Huff, Campbell Gnome, Sarah Lorenz, Kate Pendelbury, Jenni Smith, Michelle Flood, Josephine Bruce, Phillip Huynh, Lisa Nicholl-Cooke, Shane Quinn, Trevor Andrews, Mary- Ann De Carlo, Ken Watson, Kevin Conroy, Marcello Gutierrez, Peter Ginnavin and the many teachers, parents, carers and students of our community whom have supported The Kitchen Garden Program since 2001.

Victorian Schools Garden Awards- (VSGA)


2013      Northern Regional Winner (P–9, P–12 and all Secondary Colleges)

2011     Northern Regional Winner (P–9, P–12 and all Secondary Colleges)

State recipient -Awards of Merit- Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Award

2010     Northern Regional Winner (P–9, P–12 and all Secondary Colleges

State recipient – Awards of Merit- Maxicrop Award

2009     Northern Regional Winner (P–9, P–12 and all Secondary Colleges)

State recipient-  Awards of Merit- Maxicrop Award

2008     NAB VOLUNTEER AWARD – (Education & youth development)

Awarded to Kitchen Garden staff -for best practice volunteer development & management


Excellence by a SSO- Desley Insall –Kitchen Garden Specialist (highly commended)


Our students also have many opportunities to showcase their K.G learning in the public forum. Events such as Slow Food Victoria, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, TSAKGF Launch, TSAKGF Sponsers Thank-you event. These hands on cooking and gardening events have enabled our students to demonstrate their learning to the interested public.

Peter Garrett comes to cook!

Our K.G students have also appeared in many media, such as filming for Maggie Beer -“A cook & a Chef”, Jamie Oliver -“15 Foundation series”, Huey’s Cooking Adventures, 60 Minutes, Lateline, 7.30 Report A.B.C, A Current Affair. They have also been interviewed and demonstrated their skills and knowledge in many print magazines, newspapers, articles and Educational papers.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.


We welcome potential volunteers from our school and wider community.  Our many valued K.G volunteers, find their time learning alongside our students fulfilling and fun. The support these wonderful individuals give our K.G Specialist teachers and students, is highly valued by our students, staff and parents.

For more information about volunteering see the Kitchen Garden Community Page.

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