School Garden and Canteen Manual


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School Garden and Canteen Manual
For more information, Please see websites below:
Organic Edible Schoolyards & Gardening with Children
Double Food Production from your School Garden with Organic Tech
Free School Gardening Art Posters`
Companion Planting Increases Food Production from School Gardens
Healthy Foods Dramatically Improves Student Academic Success
City Chickens for your Organic School Garden
Simple Square Foot Gardening for Schools - Teacher Guide

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School Garden and Canteen Manual

  1. 1. school garden and canteen manual
  2. 2. Acknowledgements The LEAN School Garden and Canteen Manual has been developed as part of the LEAN Project in partnership with Oberon Public School and Julie Middleton (Dietitian). The Local Exercise and Nutrition Project (LEAN) is a project funded by the Australian Governments’ Department of Health and Ageing under the Rural Primary Health Services Program. The projects is funded from 1st May 2010 to 30th June 2013. The lead agency is the Western NSW Medicare Local (WML). WML is a primary health organisation established to coordinate primary health care delivery, address local health care needs and service gaps in our communities through high quality primary health care. The LEAN Project will assist rural families to improve their health and wellbeing through good nutrition and increased physical activity by: • Promoting healthy eating in communities with restricted access to fresh and healthy food options. • Increasing the awareness of the benefits of physical activity in communities. • Building capacities for communities to sustain relevant projects beyond our involvement. For more information contact: Westerm NSW Medicare Local Dubbo Ofice Bathurst Office 106 Talbragar Street 265 Durham Street PO Box 1834 Dubbo NSW 2830 PO Box 175 BATHURST NSW 2795 Phone: 02 6884 0197 Fax: 02 6884 0198 Phone: 02 6333 2800  Fax: 02 6332 6648 Medicare Locals gratefully acknowledge the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Special thanks to: Principal, teachers, parents and students of Oberon Public School Julie Middleton Dietitian for the LEAN Project StartleArt Graphic Design
  3. 3. NOTES
  4. 4. LEAN School Garden and Canteen Manual Introduction Aims and Objectives Section 1: School Garden Planning • Linking School and Community 2 • Gathering Support 2 • Funding, Donations and Fundraising 2-3 • Costing and Quotes 3 • Budget 4 Selecting the Garden Site • Factors that affect Garden Site Location 5-6 Determining Soil Type • Soil Types 6 and Requirements • Soil Requirements 6 • Soil Preparation 7 • Soil pH Levels 8 Infrastructure • Garden Bed Design 8 • Pathways 9 • Water Tanks 9 • Tool Storage 10 • Garden Trellis 11 • Compost Area 12-13 Materials • Compost 14 • Mulch 14-15 • Tools and Materials 16 Putting Your Plan into Action • Planting - What to plant 17 • Planting Guide for the Tablelands 17 - Summer Growing Vegetables 17-25 - Planting Fruit Trees 22 - Autumn Planting 28 • Sowing Seeds/Seedlings 29 • Plant Care 29 Maintenance • Weeding 29 • Fertilising 30 • Pest Control Methods - Organic and Non-Organic 30 • Companion Planting 31 • Crop Rotation 32 • Worm Farms 32 • General Maintenance 33 • Holiday Care of your School Kitchen Garden 33 Harvesting • Regular and Continual Harvesting 33 • Storage of Produce 33 • Selling the Produce from your School Kitchen Garden 33 School Garden Website Links and Publications 34
  5. 5. Section 2: School Canteen Why have Healthy Food in the School Canteen? 37 Ways to include the five food groups in your everyday eating 38 Adding Healthy Options to the Canteen Menu 39 Examples of Newsletter Snippets 40-41 Managing Canteen Stock 42 Implementing the New Menu 42 Volunteers 43 Food Presentation 43 Aims of having Fresh School Produce in the Canteen 44 Using the School Garden Produce in the Canteen 44 Example of Seasonal Produce Chart and Seasonal Recipes 45 How to keep the Healthy Canteen Viable 45-46 School Canteen Website Links & Resources 47
  6. 6. Introduction The LEAN School Garden and Canteen Manual has been developed by the LEAN Project as a guide for schools to set up a school vegetable garden and to then use the produce in the school canteen. The first section of the LEAN School Garden and Canteen Manual takes you through all the steps of setting up a school garden project, through to harvesting the produce. Please note the manual does not aim to give you detailed horticultural advice for all situations. For this you will need to consult your local horticulturist. The second section of the LEAN School Garden and Canteen Manual takes you through all the steps of running a healthy school canteen, from incorporating produce from your school garden, to running healthy food specialty days. The LEAN School Garden and Canteen Manual is a collaboration of hands on learning experience, information from professionals, and a wide range of resources which the LEAN Project has included for further reference. We have selected what we felt are the key points and designed the manual as a step by step guide. Aims The LEAN Project aims to engage students, teachers, families and community members in identifying and undertaking projects to improve nutrition through the implementation of a school kitchen garden. Objectives • Educate users about the benefits of healthy nutritional habits with the aim of decreasing the onset of chronic disease later on in life. • Develop participants’ skills to grow healthy food and to utilise these skills in everyday lifestyles. • Build a school environment that will enhance nutritional outcomes and participation in physical activity via a school kitchen garden. • Provide a cost effective meal service based on healthy food options to the school community.
  7. 7. NOTES
  8. 8. Children love to grow plants, it is part of learning about the wonder of the world. What better thing can we teach our children than to live a sustainable life growing and eating their own food. In a world rapidly losing touch with the earth and nature we should all take a step back and experience the joy of growing our own food. Section 1 School Garden
  9. 9. Planning Linking School and Community The school principal would be your first point of contact. You will benefit from the support of teachers, other staff members and students of the school. The school principal may need to inform the Department of Education of your plans for a garden. Public Liability insurance will need to be discussed and sorted out to cover any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. Gathering Support Find out who is interested in being involved in the school garden and healthy canteen. Communication methods to promote your garden you may like to use may include the following: • Word of mouth • Flyers in letter boxes • P&C meetings • Articles in the school newsletter • School website You should try and involve members from the following groups: • School staff - principal, teachers, garden maintenance staff, etc • Students • Parents • Local gardeners • Community members • Local agriculture and health services • Volunteer organisations such as NSW Farmers, Rotary, Lions Clubs Keep a record of all interested participants, and ask what skills and/or experience they can contribute to the School Garden Project. • You could include preference of days for availability to work in the garden. • Decide who is going to be the ‘garden leader’. • Form a garden committee. • Hold regular communication/planning meetings to discuss progress and to get suggestions from all interested parties. • Decide on the aims and objectives of your school garden. Funding Where will you get the funds to support the school garden? School Grants Visit The information on this website is updated regularly from a range of websites, publications and organisations. It provides advice, contacts and information to assist schools in applying for environmental projects or activities. Stephanie Alexander School Garden Foundation 2
  10. 10. The school may like to undertake some of the following ideas for fundraising: Donations • Send out flyers. • Word of mouth - ask garden participants and volunteers to spread the word. • Put articles in the local newspaper and the school newsletter. • Ring around local businesses, rural shops, hardware and garden stores. • Donations may come in the form of materials, labour or expertise. Fundraising • School raffle • School trivia night • Mini fete • Mufti day • Aluminium can collecting eg. Oberon Public School raised over $1000 collecting cans Healthy Fundraising Australia Website This website has some fantastic ideas that the school may like to undertake. Costing and Quotes Decide where you would like to build the garden. To achieve the optimal site for your school garden you should consider the following factors: • Sun • Water availability and storage • Drainage • Access • Tools and storage • Design of paths • Shade availability • Number of plots - per class, or a specific number that everyone shares • Type of garden beds - ground, flat, no dig or raised garden beds • Soil type • Materials and equipment • Seeds and seedlings • Security/fencing Once you have taken into account the above factors you will be able to put a draft plan together. It is best to obtain quotes and costing of materials from more than one source. Then stablish a baseline budget. 3
  11. 11. 4 Budget Example Budget Budget Items 1st Year 2nd Year Income/Revenue Grants Fundraising Donations Balance from previous year Total Income Costs Water Bill Hoses/Fittings/Irrigation System Tanks Shed Tools and Equipment Compost Mulch Public Liability Insurance Infrastructure for Garden Beds Seeds/Seedlings Soil/Potting Mix Fertiliser Pest Management Products Weed Killer Printing of Flyers, Advertising Garden Sign Fencing/Security Notice Board or White Board A baseline budget is an essential starting point. Seek all donations and grants available to you. Organise fundraising events as early as possible. You will know what resources and funds you will need to source once you know what you already have available. Other costs associated with the garden may be: • Advertising, promotion and other administration costs such as postage • Insurances • Maintenance costs such as water and ongoing material supply such as mulch, seedlings and fertiliser. Once you have taken into account the above factors you will be able to put a draft plan together. Obtain quotes and costing of materials from more than one source.
  12. 12. Selecting the Garden Site Factors that affect garden site location Consider environmental factors: • Sun - at least six hours of direct sunlight is required for optimal growth. Be aware that sun conditions will change through the seasons. In a tablelands environment little growth occurs between May and September so sunlight is critical between October through to April. • Soil - the ideal soil for vegetables is one with loose, open texture and a crumbly structure that drains well, holds and absorbs essential nutrients and water. Clay soils are heavy and can be nutrient rich while at the same time lacking air movement. Gypsum may be used as a clay breaker which may help to open up the soil. Compost, rotted animal manure, and sand can be dug in to improve soil structure. Sandy soils - sandy soils lack the ability to retain moisture. Organic matter such as well rotted animal manure and compost can be added to improve the soil structure, nutrient content, plus add to moisture holding capacity. • Wind Protection - an area that is over-exposed to wind can weaken plants and dry out the soil surface. Wind protection can come in the form of hedges, fences, trees and buildings. The wind protection should be far enough from the garden not to cast a shadow but close enough to reduce the wind impact. • In the higher parts of the tablelands the shelter of a brick or stone wall on the Southern side of the garden is very desirable. Not only does this provide shelter from prevailing cold winds but the wall can act as a heat bank, a place where tomatoes and other frost-tender plants can grow and produce ripe fruit. Perfect aspect for a tablelands garden. Behind the photographer (West) is a building; the old brick building is due South creating a heat sink and wind shelter; a distant building behind the garden and a building to the north provide shelter from the East and North as well as giving security. 5
  13. 13. Further factors to consider when selecting a garden site: • Is there access for delivery vehicles? • What protection do you have from pests? • Do you need netting, rabbit proof fencing or raised garden beds? • What security measures are in place? You may have to consider security fences. • Water availability and storage close by. • Types of garden beds you intend to use. Will the slope of the land affect the type and cost of materials you may use for your garden beds? How many garden beds are required? • Tool access and storage close by? • An area for making compost close by? • An area for worm farms close by? • Your design may be influenced by what you intend to grow. Do you have a site with an adequate area to grow vines and fruit trees? • Will the garden site need to be cleared of trees, rocks, plants, weeds, lawn, or rubbish? • An area of open grass where classes can be seated is very useful. • A whiteboard or chalkboard on a wall is very useful when talking about planting or planning vegetable beds with children. Determining Soil Types and Requirements Soil Types Soil types can be determined by performing a simple “thread test”. Mix a small handful of soil with water and roll it between your hands to form a sausage shape. If the sausage shape is easily formed to a smooth, slippery, bendable shape without crumbling then it is said to be heavy and clay-like. Sandy soil will be hard to form into a sausage shape and will easily crumble. Loam soil will form into a sausage shape and be able to be bent slightly, but will crumble when bent too far. Clay Soil Clay Soil is dense, heavy and difficult to cultivate. This soil is often rich in nutrients, however the lack of air in the clay prevents the nutrients from moving through the soil. Sandy Soil Sandy Soil has a high proportion of sand and lacks sufficient organic matter to retain moisture and nutrients. Loam Soil Loam Soil is the ideal soil for growing productive crops. Loam soil will retain moisture and nutrients. Soil Requirements The ideal soil for vegetables to grow in is one with a loose, open texture and a crumbly structure that drains easily but also holds and absorbs water and nutrients. Soil structure can be improved by adding organic matter and animal manures. Mulch can be added to the top surface of soil to help retain moisture. This will break down over time and add valuable nutrients to the soil. Gypsum can be added to heavy clay soils to help break the structure up and therefore allow air to pass through more easily. 6
  14. 14. Soil Preparation After you have determined the state of your existing soil it is time to get to work. Purchasing soil is expensive so try to make do with what you have. Start putting the effort in well before you begin building the garden, as this will give you a great start. Turn over the entire space of your garden beds. This can be done manually or with a small tractor if access is not a problem. A depth at least equal to your topsoil should be worked. Leave the area roughly broken up and loose for as long as possible. If the soil is heavy clay try adding organic matter, gypsum and some sand. If the soil is sandy add organic matter. Almost all soil can be improved by adding organic material so start collecting materials to get the job done. What will vary is the amount you will need to incorporate. So start making compost early. This can be done easily on most school sites as there is always a large amount of vegetation that needs to be disposed of. See page 12-13 on composting for easy ideas and start at least 4 months before you plan to plant. Perfect friable loam forms a ball in your hand when squeezed but collapses with just a slight pressure when touched with thumb 7
  15. 15. Soil pH Levels The pH is the hydrogen ion concentration of a soil, this is measured on a scale from 1 to 10. A pH of 6 is ten times more acid than a pH of 7. Values below 7 are acid whilst values above are alkaline. Plant uptake of nutrients is governed by the pH of the soil in which it is growing. Soil pH can be a vexed issue as various pH values will produce different trace element deficiencies, for example plants growing in a pH of 7 will be starting to exhibit an iron deficiency, whereas uptake of other nutrients such as Molybdenum will be at its maximum. The effects of small changes in pH to plant health are profound. The simple view is that a pH between about 6 and 7.5 is adequate. A soil test kit can be purchased from most garden centres or hardware stores. Test a number of sites in the garden as conditions may vary over the area. Place a small amount of soil on the test plate and add the chemical. The colour achieved when the litmus is added is then matched to the samples. If your soil is acidic, which is most likely, add agricultural lime but don’t overdo it! It is much easier to add more after you have retested than to try to correct alkalinity. Alkaline soils are more difficult but keep adding lots of compost and organic matter; this is a good non-chemical way of dealing with this problem. It may take some time to achieve a close to neutral result. Don’t be overly concerned with pH as only the most acid or alkaline soils inhibit growth to the point where you cannot crop. Make a start growing and slowly make the changes. Infrastructure Garden Bed Design • What Garden Beds will best suit your needs? • How many Garden Beds do you require? • What soil type do you have? • Is there good drainage? • Materials used to build beds out of? • Types of garden beds: Raised Garden Beds – consider height of the students when choosing your design No Dig Beds Flat Beds A simple method is to use railway sleepers on edges. Mark out your beds you may choose to make them 2 sleepers long and a half sleeper wide. This is a convenient size for children as they can sit on the edge of a sleeper to weed or plant and they can reach approximately half way across without walking on the gardens. Use garden lime to make the lines and use a string line with stout pegs. Start by shoveling the best topsoil onto the beds from the paths you have marked. Make sure that a wheelbarrow will fit between the beds. This will give you some extra soil to start with. The next step requires some heavy lifting and this is where you may need some assistance. The sleepers are simply secured with coach screws and flat steel plate joining sleepers, and angle iron for corners. 8
  16. 16. Pathways When all of your garden beds are constructed the soil can be levelled and the pathways constructed. You may be able to obtain wood chips. This material keeps mud off shoes and is easy to walk on. Even better, once the wood chips break down you can simply shovel the organic matter onto the beds and replace it. Gravel is suitable, however it is important to keep lawn well away from the edge of beds. This will minimise weed and grass encroachment. Edged pathways keep grass away from beds and mud off shoes when returning to class. A tank can be installed to allow children to water using rainwater. A strong outdoor table is very useful as a work bench. Water Tanks Water tanks can be used to store and collect rainwater runoff thus reducing reliance on main water systems and helping to sustain your vegetable garden water supply. Factors to consider when choosing a tank for your vegetable garden: • Size • Capacity for collection of water • Site - will the tank need to have structures built for it, or the ground surface levelled? • Cost • Material - will the tank be made out of plastic or steel? Oberon Public School chose a coloured steel product that would tie in with the beautiful ‘Australian’ theme they are developing (see picture above). An important consideration is whether you need to pump the water from the tank or use gravity and watering cans. Vegetables grow particularly well with rain water. 9
  17. 17. Tool Storage • Do you have a secure place to store your tools? • Can you use an existing storage area? • Is the storage area close to the school kitchen garden? Types of storage areas: A strong secure garden shed close to the garden is a valuable investment A small two metre square shed will fit all the materials needed 10
  18. 18. Garden Trellis What is a garden trellis? A garden trellis is a structure used to support plants either by tying the plants to the trellis or by allowing climbing plants to bind themselves to the structure. A trellis can be made of horizontal, vertical, or diagonal bars usually spaced and arranged to form a decorative structure. The materials can be wood (either hardwood or treated softwood), metal (e.g. galvanised iron), or plastic. (Sourced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). What can I grow on a garden trellis? Many plants require support to climb on, and many that you wouldn’t expect do far better when grown off the ground. The obvious ones are tomatoes that do really well when staked using stout wooden stakes. However many plants will benefit from having support. Capsciums, broccoli, dwarf peas and beans enjoy the support of a stake or string to grow along, especially in windy weather. Many other plants grow very well on mesh or lattice. These include climbing peas, beans, smaller pumpkins like butternuts, and cucumbers. These plants become unmanageable and unproductive if left to their own devices. A simple piece of concrete reinforcing makes an excellent inexpensive trellis. A fun way of growing climbing peas is to sow the seed at the base of your corn stalks in February. When the corn is harvested the peas make themselves at home on the spent stems 11
  19. 19. Compost Area Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed, recycled as a fertiliser and as a soil conditioner. Kitchen vegetable waste, leaves, grass clippings, and shredded prunings are all ingredients that can be used in the compost heap. An area will need to be put aside for you to make your compost. You need to decide on what compost system you will be using and dedicate an appropriate sized area for your composting system. There are several options for making and storing compost: For bulky materials such as leaves and prunings a simple open wire mesh cage can be used. This will enable large amounts of material to be added. Concrete reinforcing mesh is ideal and relatively cheap. Having two heaps allows one to finish decomposition whilst the other is being built. The more varied the material the better the compost – every now and then a sprinkling of high nitrogen manures or blood and bone between layers improves the quality greatly. If you have time turn the materials over using a garden fork. This speeds up the process of decomposition. Avoid large woody twigs which take too long to break down. Always build your compost heap on the open ground but remove any troublesome grasses such as couch which can grow up into the heap and cause problems later. Almost every soil can be improved so start collecting materials to get the job done. What will vary is the amount of organic matter you will need to incorporate. So start making compost; this can be done easily on most school sites as there is always a large amount of vegetation that needs to be disposed of. Large open compost bins with a gate swinging across the front of these twin heaps 12
  20. 20. Food scraps are best not placed into these open composting methods. Vermin such as rats enjoy making homes in them when you serve them meals each day. Place these materials into sealed compost bins such as a tumbler. These only produce small amounts of compost. Compost is a great way to build up the height of a garden rather than bringing in soil. Soil is expensive and the source is rarely known to purchasers so you really don’t know what you are buying. A cheap but effective method to create a compost bin is to obtain disused shipping pallets. These can be wired together in cubes and built on in succession. Fill the first and keep going, each one will be at a different stage of decomposition, this helps as you always have somewhere to put new material. When the compost is matured simply undo the wire and remove the pallets. The block of compost is then ready to go. A word of warning, avoid using materials that contain vegetable garden waste. Often this waste is filled with pathogens that are not broken down in this cold method of composting. Therefore you would simply be transmitting pests or diseases to new garden beds. Beautiful compost nearly matured using the pallet method. If you are making compost in the Spring try planting a few potato tubers in the heap as you build it. You will be surprised by how well they crop and they don’t affect the quality of the compost at all! 13
  21. 21. Materials Compost Materials that can be used for composting include the following: • Woody plant material • Hay • Dry leaves • Grass clippings • Shredded newspaper • Plant and vegetable scraps • Animal manures such as chook, cow, sheep, and horse Factors to consider to aid the composting process are as follows: • A correct temperature range is necessary for composting; maximum sunlight and heat is required. • Moisture is necessary for the organisms in the compost pile. • Adequate aeration is needed to provide the organisms in the compost heap with oxygen. • Size of the materials placed in the compost heap; the smaller, the faster the compost will mature. • The way the materials are placed in the compost heap will influence its success. • Composting is an ideal way to recycle garden waste. • Compost improves soil structure, provides nutrients for the soil and plants, and reduces water use. • Spread compost before planting and potting, also place it around growing plants every couple of weeks. Cover with mulch to prevent the compost from drying out. Mulch Benefits - mulch conserves water by helping prevent evaporation. It keeps the surface of the soil open to allow water to easily enter. There is considerable evidence that it stops disease spread by stopping splashing from the soil by heavy rain or watering. A good mulch will inhibit weed growth. Almost anything can be used as mulch, however some materials are best left to compost first as they are sources of weed seeds. Lawn clippings and weeds removed from other gardens should be left to break down over time. Other materials such as paper shreds can look untidy so they too should be added to the compost. A good even layer of your well made compost is a great mulch. If you do not have any available try sourcing rain-spoiled Lucerne Hay from local farmers; second cut is best as it will be virtually weed free and farmers will often be happy to let you have some. Spoiled Lucerne Hay is a great addition to the garden 14
  22. 22. A great mulch to use is old carpet underlay as long as it is the type made solely of organic materials. This can be cut to size and placed around plants. This is a great help in drought conditions as it conserves every drop of moisture. Note the excellent weed suppression of old carpet underlay. It is particularly useful for individual plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and fruit trees. 15
  23. 23. Tools and Materials You need to estimate how many people will be working in the garden at the same time. Will you be taking groups of children or whole classes? Tools you may consider include: • Spade/shovel • Rake • Garden hoe • Hand tools • Secateurs • Wheelbarrow • Watering cans • Hose and fittings • Drip water systems • Buckets • Garden stakes and string or ties • Gloves • Mulch • Seeds and seedlings • Fertiliser/pest sprays A well organised tool shed is a very worthwhile investment. If funds are short perhaps a disused storeroom could be used. 16
  24. 24. Putting Your Plan into Action By now you should have your budget, fundraising and/or donations sorted as well as resources ordered and organised. • Hold final garden committee meetings - plan future working bees. Allocate tasks between your working bee volunteers prior to the date of the first working bee. • Advertise and send out flyers. • Organise a date for the first working bee to coincide with delivery of materials. Confirm that all materials and resources will be ready for delivery prior to the day. Have adequate sun protection and water available for volunteers. • Do you have storage for materials and supplies? • Have security measures been put in place? Planting What to plant? The climate, soil type and size of your garden will determine what you can plant. What do you intend to use the produce for: • Will it be used in the school canteen? • Will the school hold market stalls? • Will students take the produce home? By taking in the above factors you may be able to get a gauge on what you will need and therefore what to plant. Will the costs of planting seeds or seedlings fit best in your budget? Planting Guide for the Tablelands Summer Growing Vegetables Sow seeds in warm conditions by placing under glass in September or sow direct into the soil in early November. A warm window sill is a great place if you do not have a glass house. Planting out time into the soil will vary but always have spare plants to replace those knocked by a late frost. In high areas of the tablelands frost or even snow can occur in any month. Be prepared to cover your early plantings if you suspect cold weather is on its way. Plastic tubs, hessian or any barrier works however it must not come into contact with the plants. It is always better to delay your planting rather than have plants suffer a setback. Even and steady growth produces the best vegetables. Pests are rarely a problem if the plants are grown in good conditions. Some common pests are dealt with in specific vegetable sections. We have kept to the more popular easy to grow plants but as you experience success with these common varieties you may like to experiment with more exotic varieties and types. These are tried and true selections that children love to grow and eat. 17
  25. 25. Beans French Beans are just about the best vegetable children can Dwarf- grow. They are fast, productive and carefree. Children Brown love to eat them straight from the garden. Beauty Plant them in rows, direct where they are to grow in well Hawkesbury prepared soil, and don’t add fertiliser at planting. Simply Wonder push them into the soil as deep as the first joint on your Climbing forefinger about a hand space apart. Water them well once, Blue Lake unless it is very dry. They should be up in 7 days. Purple King Dwarf beans may need a string suspended from two strong garden stakes at the end of each row. Tie plants off to the string to keep them from falling over in windy weather. Climbing beans need a strong trellis to grow on. A piece of steel mesh between two stakes is great. Keep plants moist and pick the beans regularly, even if they are small. This encourages the plant to keep producing. A side dressing of Blood and Bone as they flower will help to produce a bumper crop. Beetroot Red Globe Beetroot does best in soil that was prepared for a gross Early feeder the year before. It is very simple to grow. Just sow Wonder where they are meant to grow in rows and cover thinly. Make sure the plants keep growing quickly otherwise the roots will be tough. Children enjoy picking their own beetroot for hamburgers. The young leaves of plants are a tasty addition to salads. Brambles Blackberry If you have room these easy care fruits are a great favourite Loganberry for children. The main care requirement is to keep them in Boysenberry order. They are a great addition to a fence where they can Raspberry simply be cut back to keep under control. Raspberry plants should be cut back after fruiting. Blueberry Although not a bramble, these delicious berries are a speciality for the cool wet Highlands that are similar in climate to their North American environment. Ask your nursery for late fruiting varieties that have a high chilling requirement. Feed with well rotted manures and enjoy watching the children sneaking a nibble. Strawberry Rather than plant these in your vegie garden where they can become invasive, spread them around the general garden as a groundcover. They spread quickly and children love to discover the ripe berries. Young Blueberry plants starting to shed leaves in Autumn 18
  26. 26. Capsicum Yellow These heat loving plants are not easy to grow in the Hungarian Tablelands however Yellow Hungarian will crop well in most Summers. Sow the seeds in September inside under glass. Transplant into rich well prepared soil in late November. Keep the plants growing well by fertilising and water well. Start harvesting as soon as capsicums are as thick as your thumb. These have long yellow banana shaped fruits. Children enjoy adding them to salads. Give plants fertiliser as they flower to keep them producing. Capsicums can be grown if you choose a warm spot and the right variety Carrot Western Red Sow directly into the soil and as thin as possible. It is very Early Horn important not to use too much organic fertiliser in your soil Chantaney preparation. Overly rich soil will produce forky roots. Cover with Topweight no more than 2mm of soil. A tip for great germination is to place carpet underlay over the row and then walk on the seed carefully. Water through the underlay. Remove the underlay after about 6 days. You should see the beginnings of germination. This helps in keeping the carrot seed from washing out of the ground, as it is very fine and ensures good soil adhesion to the seed. Thin the rows diligently to allow for growth. Baby carrots can be pulled after about six weeks but leave each alternate carrot Children love doing this and eating them while they work. Do two sowings the second in February. These carrots can stay in the ground and can be harvested right through to September. Thirty centimetre Western Red carrots – still lovely and tender 19
  27. 27. Celery South Sow these water loving plants into individual minipots under Australian glass. When plants are strong and about the length of your finger transplant without disturbing the roots into your rich well prepared bed and add a good dressing of Blood and Bone. Mulch with two centimetres of well broken down manure. Celery must not dry out while it is growing or it will quickly run to seed. So water it every day in dry weather. You can start pulling outer stems of celery as soon as they are big enough, but don’t overdo it. The plants will keep on growing while the weather is warm. When the plants are well established put an opened up milk carton over the plant. This whitens the stem a little and makes the celery a little less tough. Corn Twice Children love to grow corn and it is a very reliable crop. Plant as your corn directly where it will be growing, but wait until at least Sweet mid November. Prepare the area thoroughly and add generous Golden amount of organic fertiliser. A ten centimetre layer of manure Sweet bolstered with a cup of Blood and Bone for each plant once it is growing well should be enough. Keep well watered. It is important to plant your corn seed in blocks rather than rows. This aids pollination so that you will have nice even full cobs. Each plant should produce up to four cobs. They are ready to eat when the silks brown off at the end of each cob. In early February plant your climbing pea seeds at the base of each plant. You will have a trellis ready for your Autumn crop of peas. Don’t allow your plants to dry out, cobs will become tough and hard. Harvest while they are still milky when crushed. A fun plant to grow for children is Popcorn, try Snowpop. Just leave on the plant until fully dry and then strip from the cob. Corn ready to eat – note the brown silks 20
  28. 28. Cucumber Lebanese Cucumbers need lots of warmth to grow well so Tablelands plantings can be tricky. Sow your seed inside in individual pots. They don’t like their roots disturbed so be careful when planting out. They need a rich well prepared soil and a side dressing of Blood and Bone or an organic fertiliser like Dynamic Lifter. You need to grow the plant quickly to improve the flavour. They grow best off the ground so use a trellis of steel mesh. These plants stay disease free for longer and the fruit is long, straight and clean. A problem in our local climate is powdery mildew. This is a white fungus that usually grows when the weather cools down in March but can occur at any time. A great organic treatment for this is full cream milk watered down to one part in ten and sprayed onto both sides of the leaves. Plants will crop well if harvested regularly. Don’t allow cucumbers to stay on the plants after maturity as they will stop producing. Cucumbers grown in cold weather are rarely good to eat, becoming very bitter. Fruit Apricots If you have the space try planting a fruit tree but only if you have Stone Peaches the time and patience to work at the job. Plums Space may also be a problem if your area is small. Most nurseries Nectarines will have a good range of trees and be able to advise you on culture. Most of these stone fruits are generally self fertile so you can get away with just one tree. Dwarf varieties are also now available. Prepare the area well and add lots of organic matter before you plant. A spray program using copper fungicide is important in Winter to avoid Leaf Curl, Brown Rot and Shot Hole disease. These are not toxic unless directly ingested so just make sure the concentrate is locked away. Dwarf plants are a great option for childrens gardens 21
  29. 29. Fruit Apples These are a little more involved than stone fruits and do require Pome Pears more care and are subject to insect attack which is a problem in Persimmons school situations as the pesticides cannot be used. Some Quinces require cross fertilisation by having a second variety flowering at the same time. They need care with pruning and training to keep in control. Many are available on dwarfing stock but be sure you specify this to your nursery. They will also ensure you have the right pollinators. Espalier training is a good idea if space is a problem. This is done by training branches on wires or stakes. Planting Fruit Trees • Has an area been put aside to plant fruit trees? • Allow enough space to accommodate the fully grown tree. • Will the fruit tree shade over existing gardens? • Check if the species of fruit tree you have planted needs a partner for cross pollination. • Fruit trees require a good supply of nutrients to sustain fruit production; soil should be built up with plenty of organic material. • Ensure there is adequate drainage. • The hole into which the trees are planted should be at least 3 times the size of the root ball; a stake may need to be placed to support the tree if it is in an exposed windy position. • Mulch around the area the tree has been planted in. • Fruit trees should be fertilised in Autumn and Spring. Dwarf apples being trained against a wall 22
  30. 30. Herbs Oregano These additions to the garden are best kept to separate areas Parsley as with the exception of basil they are perennial and some can Thyme become invasive. (Even basil has a perennial variety now). They Rosemary are wonderful sensory experience plants for children who love Mint to crush them to get the great aromas on their hands. This is a Basil great beginning for their cooking adventures as they grow and try the combination of flavours is great fun. Lettuce Cos Children love to make their own salads and fresh lettuce is a Mignonette great start. Pick and come again varieties are great for kids to Oakleaf grow and they are much simpler than the heading types. Plant your seeds under glass in September and plant out into rich soil in November. Make a second sowing in December as these plants will keep producing right through Autumn. Never let your lettuce get dry as it quickly becomes bitter. Start taking outer leaves off as soon as they are ready but don’t over do it as this will weaken plants. Watch out for snails. They will quickly wipe out your plants. Use the new non-harmful snail baits which are based on iron rather than the deadly poisons. Marrows Use dwarf Sow all of these plants in individual pots under glass inside Zucchini bush starting in September. Plant outside when danger of frost has passed. Squash varieties Children love to grow these rapid growing plants. When grown Pumpkins well they are difficult to keep up with and produce such heavy crops it is hard to think of ways to use them. At times zucchini in particular grows so rapidly they become over mature before you realise. So be observant it is better to pick them young and small as this increases the total yield. They are great to use in measuring lessons with children as they can grow many centimetres in just a few days. Make sure the ground is prepared with lots of organic material and stand back. The main problem with these plants is powdery mildew, see the section on cucumbers for a good organic cure. Fresh from the earth! 23
  31. 31. Onions Creamgold Onions need to be sown as early as possible. Make sure they Straight have made the majority of their growth by the longest day. (This Leaf does not apply to spring onions which can just about be grown (Spring Onion) all year.) Onions can be sown inside under glass in August and plant out in October in rows. Do not use a lot of organic fertiliser. A bed used for a gross feeding crop the previous year is good. Harvest when the tops bend down and yellow. This can be hastened by physically bending them over to start the maturing process. Onionscanbeharvestedandkeptinacool,airyplaceformanymonths. Peas Climbing Sow seed directly into soil and support with a trellis as you would Snow Peas for beans. Peas are a great favourite for children. Make successive Telephone sowings and you will have peas from Christmas to June. Dwarf Pea plants enjoy a neutral to acid soil so add a cup full of lime Green Feast (per metre of row) at sowing time. Plant as for beans and water William regularly. Climbing peas can be planted at the base of your corn Massey plants in February. This gives you a ready trellis as the corn dies in cooler weather. Watch for birds that like them as much as children do and keep picking regularly. Potatoes Sebago Probably the easiest of all vegetables to grow. You can get a great result growing these plants with little effort. Prepare your soil well with mulch and a small amount of manure. Dig a trench the depth of a spade and double the width. Keep the soil and extra manure aside, this is used to cover the potatoes as they grow. It is essential to cover the potatoes as they will turn green if exposed to light near the surface. Green potatoes contain a poison and should never be eaten. You can purchase seed potatoes from the nursery or produce store, but potatoes that have gone green in the kitchen can be used. Make sure they are good healthy ones, the size of a large egg are excellent. Place them in the trench about 40 cm apart and cover with about 5 cm of soil. Do this in mid November and you should avoid most frosts. Keep moist but not wet and keep covering with more soil as the plants grow. Harvest the potatoes once the vines die in Autumn, but potatoes can be left in the soil for about two months. Potatoes store well in the ground through to September but if you need the garden for other crops dig them and place in hessian bags in a cool, dark, dry place. If space is limited in your garden , try putting some of the seed potatoes in your cold compost. They grow really well and you can harvest them when you are preparing next year’s beds. 24
  32. 32. A great crop of potatoes grown from kitchen throwaways Silverbeet Fordhook Prepare a very rich garden soil with plenty of manure. Plant your Giant seeds directly in the ground in October and again in February. The later sowing will last well into the Winter. Watch for snails. Pull young leaves from the outside of plants to add to salads but don’t take too many even from mature plants. Can’t get children to eat silverbeet? Try adding to lasagne they won’t even notice! Tomatoes First Prize In some seasons tomatoes fail to ripen in the Tablelands. Pick a Grosse- warm micro-climate facing North and against a brick wall if Lisse possible. Build up the soil with plenty of manure. Cherry Plant seeds in pots inside under glass in September. Usually you Tom-Thumb can get plants into the garden in November but be prepared Green-Zebra to cover the plants with a bucket or large pot if a frost is likely. Black-Russian Plant them about 30 cm apart. Stake plants and tie up as soon as they start to grow in the garden. Tomatoes can be planted quite deeply pushing the soil right up around the stem. Try the smaller varieties children love them. If your tomatoes are still green when the first frosts arrive try picking the best of them and putting them in a light warm spot inside with some ripe bananas. Many will ripen well. 25
  33. 33. Tomatoes ripening in late April against a north facing brick wall Planting tomatoes! 26
  34. 34. Enjoy the harvest! Children love to make a scarecrow 27
  35. 35. Autumn Planting Generally there are only a few vegetables that do well in our cooler months. Apart from beetroot, carrot, peas, potato and silverbeet, which can be grown in the warmer months and then harvested into Autumn and Winter, the brassicas are the main choice. These generally like the same conditions and are all members of the same family. They include; Borecole (kale), broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. These can be grown in the warmer months but most people enjoy eating them in the cooler times (apart from cabbage which is great as coleslaw in Summer salads). Plant brassicas inside in early January, the main reason to do this is to avoid the Summer time attack of the white cabbage butterfly. These pests are very hard to control on little seedlings and they can become a real problem in warmer months. The best control to use in children’s gardens is Bacillus Thuringiensis, trade name Dipel. This is a bacteria that is totally safe for humans but deadly for caterpillars. Use this spray weekly while you see the white butterflies around the garden. The little caterpillars eat the bacteria on the leaves and soon disappear before they do any damage. Prepare the ground with plenty of manure and a little lime if the soil is on the acid side. Plant your seedlings by late February while there is plenty of warmth in the ground to make that early growth before frosts appear in April. Brussels sprouts need to go in a bit earlier as they take a month longer to mature. Watch for snails as the weather cools down. Broccoli nearly ready to pick. Once the central sprout is picked the plants keep producing smaller side shoots right through Winter 28
  36. 36. Sowing Seeds/Seedlings Advantages Disadvantages Seeds Cheaper to produce stock Takes more time to sow seeds if you have saved seeds than seedlings from the previous year Cheaper to buy at the Seeds have to germinate Garden Store and have a longer growing period Able to produce more Seedlings need to be thinned out produce than buying a to prevent over crowding single punnet of seedlings Can be sown directly into May be more susceptible to the soil they will mature in extreme weather conditions Easily removed by insects Separating seedlings from weeds in the garden bed can be quite tricky Seedlings Faster time for harvesting More expensive of produce Less time involved in Less produce in punnet planting seedlings Less susceptible to extreme Seedlings may suffer after being transplanted weather conditions and insects from the punnet to the garden bed than a germinating seed Plant Care Water Soil type, time of year, type of plants, aspect and age of plants will affect the watering rate for plants. Early morning or late evening is recommended as it helps to avoid high evaporation rates. A good soaking encourages deep rooting and soil stays moist for a long time. Mulch The benefits of mulching are invaluable for your vegetable garden. Mulch can protect the soil from the harsh sun, add organic matter to the soil, prevent moisture loss, and aid weed control. Materials that can be used as mulch include the following: straw, hay, bark chip, sugar cane mulch, saw dust, weed mat, pebbles. Staking Stakes will help support plants to mature and grow. Tomatoes, beans, peas and other climbing plants will benefit from the support of a garden stake especially if they are exposed to a high wind area. Maintenance Weeding Weeds have an untidy appearance in the garden bed plus compete with useful plants for nutrients, space, light and moisture. Many gardeners use glyphosate but if you are working in a DEC school these herbicides are prohibited in child accessible areas. However the simplest, safest method for a garden for children is hand weeding and as long as children are taught which plants to remove they love doing the job. Hand weeding or hoeing can control the onset of weeds. Do this preferably before flowering to prevent the formation of seeds. Small children find hoeing difficult so just use hand tools and weed at least once a week. Volunteer rosters can be set up over Christmas holidays when many people are away.   29
  37. 37. Fertilising Organic or Non-Organic fertilisers may be used, once again the choice is up to you. Advantages Disadvantages Organic Fertiliser Improve texture and Manures contain smaller amounts includes animal manures, structure of soils of nutrients animal and plant by- products Cost may be minimal Must be added in larger quantities depending on where you to benefit the soil have sourced the organic fertiliser from Can smell more Non-Organic Fertiliser Can be added in Can be expensive can come in the form smaller quantities of powder, granule and water soluble Can contain more nutrients Pest Control Methods - Organic and Non-Organic Organic Organic pest control methods help to keep the environmental balance of your garden. They protect beneficial organisms and are non-residual. Basic Organic care principles can be used such as crop rotation, mulching, manual weeding, companion planting, and regular maintenance checks of your plants. By implementing these methods you will be able to keep pest and disease problems to a minimum. • Examine plants when watering or weeding for signs of problems. For example if fruit is falling from trees dispose of it straight away so that it does not become a haven for fruit fly. • Create habitats for frogs and lizards, these creatures play a major role in keeping insects away. • Encourage earthworms in the garden soil by adding home-made compost; earthworms keep the soil aerated and healthy. • If you have chooks let them in your vegetable garden to browse on insects; this will assist in keeping insect numbers to a minimum. (Keep in mind that chickens do like to dig and scratch and can cause havoc in your vegetable garden; supervision may be required at times.) • Provide pest barriers such as a lightweight shade cloth and netting. These barriers will let in sufficient sunlight and can easily be removed for the purpose of weeding and harvesting. • A sprinkling of sawdust around seedlings will deter slugs and snails. • Rhubarb leaves can be boiled in water and then diluted with four parts of water and used as a spray to deter aphids and caterpillars. • Pyrethrum based organic sprays are available from your local garden supply stores; these sprays are effective against many leaf chewing insects. • White oil is also available from garden supply stores and is useful for controlling scale insects on shrubs and trees. Do not apply to trees that are about to fruit. Non-Organic Pest Control Non-Organic Pest Control sprays and dusts can often leave residual matter in the soil and reduce the biodiversity in the school vegetable garden. Most chemical based sprays and dusts can be used with perfect safety if directions are followed and simple precautions are taken. However, it may be an idea to pursue organic pest control methods if students are undertaking pest control in the school vegetable garden. 30
  38. 38. Companion Planting Companion Planting is an effective way to create a healthier garden as certain plants react well when grown together and can be useful to control insects. Herbs such as Thyme can exude aromas which can either discourage insects from that part of the garden or will attract other insects away from edible crops. Please refer to the Companion Planting Chart below. Source 31
  39. 39. Crop Rotation As you establish your garden try to keep track of what and where you are planting. An easy way to do this is to simply take a photo of your beds and write the date on the photo. The main reason to do this is to ensure you move your crops so that the same plant type or family is not grown in the same ground in successive years. There are two reasons to do this as standard practice. First of all, particular pests and diseases build up in the garden through the year as plants grow. If plants are grown in the same ground repeatedly, these diseases will begin to affect plant growth and productivity. Secondly, different plant types have different nutritional requirements from the soil. It is therefore sensible to plant your vegetables in succession from the different plant groups. Planting groups Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Legumes Gross feeders Brassicas and Root Crops and leaf crops Fruiting plants Beans Cucumbers Broccoli Beetroot Peas Pumpkins Brussels Sprouts Carrot Squash Cabbage Parsnip Lettuce Kale Onions Silverbeet Capsicum Potatoes Spinach Tomatoes Corn Celery Always avoid planting tomatoes and potatoes in succession, even though they are in different plant groups as they are closely related. The message is to mix up your beds each year and avoid lots of difficulties in the following year. Above all vegetable and fruit growing should simply be fun and enjoyable. Don’t take it too seriously and have fun with children exploring their world. If you have a failure just have another go and don’t get discouraged. Take time to enjoy your garden every day, take a walk and/or simply sit in the peace and quiet. It is remarkable how much stress can be relieved by just pulling a carrot and sitting amongst the plants while you have a munch. Worm Farms Worm farming is a great way of recycling food scraps. Worm farms use special earthworms that thrive on food scraps, and garden material. Benefits of worm farms: • Worm farms are small and easy to maintain. • Worm farms are an excellent way to discard and recycle food scraps and garden material. • Worm castings are the finished material. It is left over waste and is a dark brown colour, and makes great liquid plant food to use on your garden plants. • Worm castings can be watered down to a weak black tea colour and used as liquid plant food. 32
  40. 40. General Maintenance Water thoroughly as seedlings need to be watered more frequently especially in hot weather. As a general rule a long soaking every couple of days is better than shallow watering everyday. Mulch - Mulch thickly approx 10 - 15cm. This helps to keep the weeds to a minimum and retain soil moisture as well as adding nutrients to the soil. Fertilise - growing vegetables and fruiting plants need frequent boosts of fertiliser to maximize crop production. Weeding - Weeds compete for space, water, and nutrients. Protect young seedlings by mulching. Check for insects and disease - if spotted early most problems can be easily overcome. Harvest early - Harvest before vegetables go to seed. Frequent harvesting will lead to increased growth and yields (peas, squash, cucumbers). Holiday Care of your school kitchen garden • Will you start your school kitchen garden at the beginning of each term? Or will you keep the garden going over the holiday break? • Will the school gardener maintain the garden over the holiday period? • Organise a roster system within your garden committee to cover the holiday period. • Weed and then mulch well before the holiday break. This will help retain moisture and weed infestation. • Set up watering systems to be on automatic timers. Harvesting Tips for Harvesting Vegetables: • Harvest your vegetables the day you plan to eat them. • Harvest before the vegetables go to seed. • Harvest in the morning, sprinkle them lightly with water and store them in a cool place. • Harvest when produce is ripe. Continual Harvesting • For continuous satisfactory harvesting plant small successive sowings. • Always have an empty bed or section prepared for the next sowing. • If you plant too much at the one time beds are quickly filled and by harvesting time you have too many to eat. • It is also possible to get a head start on seed germination by germinating vegetable seeds indoors or under glass towards the end of Winter. Warmth, light and adequate shelter are required. Punnets or trays can be kept until the weather becomes warmer. Storage of Produce Vegetables will keep quite well out of the refrigerator provided they are kept in a cool place. Refrigerated storage is ideal for fresh vegetables - it results in little alteration to taste, colour, and vitamin content. Refer to CSIRO website listed under website links in school canteen section. Selling the Produce from your school kitchen garden • You may have decided to sell excess produce from your school kitchen garden. • Set up a school store and sell the produce at the school, ask for students and volunteers to help. • Contact your local farmers markets you may be able to sell your produce through them. • Selling the produce can provide the garden committee with enough money to buy resources for the next planting. It helps to sustain funding and rely less on other funding sources.   33
  41. 41. Information provided in the School Garden Section of this manual came from the following sources: (see School Garden Website Links and Publications section of this manual for more details) Agriculture and consumer protection FAO A Gardening Angels How to Manual Wikipedia, the free encyclodpedia Stan Kowalski Principal Oberon Public School Organic schools website Garden Guides Harvesting Vegetables Publications Yates Garden Guide - Centennial Edition 1895-1995 Readers Digest Back to Basics School Garden Website Links and Publications Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation Details at: Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative Details at: Gardens for Learning: The Australian School Gardens Network Details at: Healthy Active Website Details at: Healthy Fundraising Australia Details at: The Sow Easy Garden Manual Yates Garden Guide Website Details at: Setting up and running a School Garden - A manual for teachers, parents, and communities. Details at: A Garden Angels How to Manual - developed by: Common Ground Garden Program University of California Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County. The Garden Angels can be reached by Australian City Farms & Community Garden Network Details at: This website is an excellent resource which enables you to select your climate zone; it then works out what you can plant and grow at different times of the year. Kitchen Gardens Curriculum Support Details at: School Garden and Tools Equipment Resource List Details at: Organic Schools Website Details at: Garden Guides Harvesting Vegetables Details at: Publications Outdoor Classrooms: A handbook for school gardens, Carolyn Nuttall and Janet Millington, Pt Productions. Details at: Dig in Creating an Edible School Garden. Queensland Health,2003 Readers Digest Back to Basics Book Yates Garden Guide - Centennial Edition 1895-1995 34
  42. 42. Section 2 School Canteen Healthy eating is for everyone in order to live life to the fullest and to reduce the risk of serious health issues in later life. You can promote good nutrition and healthy choices through your school canteen.
  43. 43. 36 NOTES
  44. 44. 37 Why have Healthy Food in the School Canteen? Healthy eating is for everyone in order to live life to the fullest and to reduce the risk of serious health problems such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease later in life. Eating healthily does not involve “going on a diet”, it is about making food choices that you enjoy and that provide you with the nutrients you need for a healthy body. A healthy diet should include a variety of nutritious foods from all the 5 food groups. These include: • Fruit • Vegetables • Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes • Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles • Milk, yoghurt, cheese Each food group contains at least one nutrient which makes a particularly valuable contribution to the overall diet. For example: Fruit Contains a rich source of carbohydrate for energy, fibre for healthy bowels (especially the skins), vitamins and minerals and antioxidants which help protect the body from developing cancer. Vegetables Vegetables and legumes contain a rich source of carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. Legumes such as chickpeas, baked beans and kidney beans are also an excellent source of protein and iron. Meat Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes contain a rich source of protein for growth and repair of muscles; iron and zinc . Bread and cereals Bread, cereals rice, pasta and noodles contain a rich source of carbohydrate, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals . Dairy Milk, yoghurt, cheese are a rich source of protein, calcium for strong bones and teeth. Most contain carbohydrate for energy, protein, calcium and vitamins.
  45. 45. Ways to include the five food groups in your everyday eating Here are some suggestions to help you include foods from the major food groups into snacks and meals throughout the day: • Fruit Can be fresh, canned, frozen or dried. Fresh fruit is encouraged over drinking fruit juice or fruit drinks which contain less fibre and more energy and sugar. Fresh and dried fruit is easy to carry as a snack or it can be included as a part of most meals. For example, try fruit on your breakfast cereal, pack an apple for morning tea, or combine fruit in a smoothie or add to yoghurt for afternoon tea. • Vegetables Can be eaten fresh, canned or frozen. Raw vegetables make a great and easily packed snack. Salad vegetables can be used as a sandwich filling or as an addition to any meal. Leftover roast pumpkin or sweet potato makes a tasty addition to sandwich, wrap and roll fillings. Vegetable soup can make a healthy lunch. Stir-fries, vegetable patties and vegetable curries make healthy and nutritious evening meals. • Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes These can all provide protein. Aim to include lean meat, fish or poultry in one meal a day. Legumes can be added to soups, casseroles, curries or eaten on their own as baked beans on toast. • Bread, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles There is a huge variety of these products to add variety to your eating. Wholegrain or wholemeal breakfast cereals and breads are encouraged. Try a range of breads like sourdough, pita breads and wraps to keep things interesting in the lunch box. Rice, pasta, cous cous and noodles can be eaten hot with a stir fry or sauce or cold with vegetables added. • Milk, yoghurt and cheese Low fat dairy foods are encouraged for children over 2 years of age. Fruit smoothies, yoghurt and cheese make great healthy mid meal snacks. Refer to The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and the Recommended Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents link in the School Canteen Website Links and Resource Section in this manual.   38 Sourced from Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council Department of Health and Ageing
  46. 46. 39 Adding Healthy Options to the Canteen Menu • Establish a canteen committee to design the new healthy canteen menu. • The committee can consist of: • School principal • Canteen manager • P&C committee • Canteen volunteers • Student representatives • Members of school staff The canteen committee can often be responsible for overseeing the operation of the canteen and developing and reviewing the canteen’s policies and strategies. Refer to the Fresh Tastes@School Healthy Canteen Strategy, and the Nutrition in Schools Policy links in the School Canteen Website Links and Resource Section of this manual. • Put out flyers for suggestions from students, teachers and the rest of the school community to get involved with the planning of the canteen menu. • Run information sessions for parents, carers and other interested school community members. • Put information in the school newsletter or on the school website with the proposed canteen strategy - you may also like to add nutritional information and recipes. • Planning the menu in advance will also help you to work out what future costs will be involved. • Involve the school garden committee. They may have a structured plan of what they intend to grow, or they may plan the garden around recipes and ideas on the new healthy options menu.
  47. 47. 40 Diet soft drinks for Healthy Kids Switching to diet soft drinks solves the problem of consuming large quantities of excess sugar, however it brings up several other serious issues that you may be unaware of. • Most soft drinks, including diet soft drink, contain phosphoric acid which is added to stop the bubbles from going flat and to add that ‘tangy’ flavour. Phosphoric acid leaches calcium from your bones. This causes the bones to weaken and become brittle and more prone to breaks. • Diet soft drinks may not cause dental decay like the full varieties, but may increase your risk of dental erosion. Soft drinks have a pH between 2.4 and 3.1 which makes them highly acidic. Not only does the acid in diet drinks leach calcium from your bones, it can irreversibly damage dental structures by dissolving your teeth. • Diet soft drink contains no nutritional value and drinking it in place of other options means you may be missing out on important vitamins and minerals, like those found in milk. Take Home Message Think of diet soft drink as a lower kilojoule alternative to regular soft drink. It may contain less sugar but has all the other drawbacks of the full sugar variety. Only drink them as often as you would drink regular soft drink, not every day. Source: Examples of Newsletter Snippets
  48. 48. 41 What makes a healthy snack? Here are some ideas for healthy snacks that you can make at home or add to lunchboxes: • Fruit muffins or slices, baked using monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils and margarines instead of butter • Fresh, frozen, canned (in natural or unsweetened juice) or dried fruit • Raisin or fruit toast • Toasted English muffins, preferably wholemeal or wholegrain • Reduced fat custard with fruit • Rice crackers or corn cakes • Plain popcorn (unbuttered and without sugar coating) • Muesli and fruit bars – look for the healthier choices or those with the Heart Foundation Tick • Scones or pikelets (plain, fruit or savoury) • Plain breakfast cereals, such as wheat breakfast biscuits, topped with sliced banana with a drizzle of honey • Snack-sized tub of reduced fat yoghurt (plain or fruit flavoured) • Cubes, slices, shapes or wedges of reduced fat cheese with wholegrain crackers or crispbread • Potatoes, topped with reduced fat cheese and baked in the microwave or oven • Corn on the cob • A boiled egg Source:
  49. 49. Managing Canteen Stock • Have one person responsible for ordering stock. • If possible try to order frequently so more perishable stock does not have to be stored for long periods of time. • Develop a supplier product list - this is a list developed by the school canteen manager containing information on each supplier and the products that the canteen orders from the supplier. A manager can then take a quick look at the stock on hand and decide what needs to be ordered. • Aim to have as little stock left over at the end of a day and term as possible (depending on the shelf life). • Always use old stock before new stock. • Reduce the price of slow moving stock; it is better to sell it cheaper than have to throw it out. • When the stock arrives in the canteen check the invoices match the order form and adjust any price changes accordingly to the prices on the canteen menu. Implementing the New Menu Decide whether the canteen menu will start afresh at the beginning of a new school term, or will the transition period of the healthy items on the menu be gradually added, and override the old school canteen menu? Either way, ensure that the whole school community is informed so that they are given the opportunity to contribute and provide feedback. • Plan ahead for specialty days, these may be cultural food days, food tasting days, sport days or colour specific food days. The options are endless. • Identify theme days that promote healthy food e.g. Nutrition Week - Nude Food Day, Heart Foundation, Diabetes Day. • If qualified, teachers and canteen employees may be able to hold cooking demonstrations. • Enlist a spokesperson or local hero to come and talk to the school about healthy food and how they eat healthy food in their lives e.g. sports hero, local chef etc. • Advertise specialty food days and the new menu, put notices around the school and in the newsletter, get students involved with the design for posters or catchy names for specialty days. 42
  50. 50. Volunteers • The School’s Canteen Manager co-ordinates and manages school canteen volunteers. • Majority of school canteen volunteers are either parents or relatives of students at the school. This is an advantage to implementing healthier options on the canteen menu as it can help with the flow- on effect at home. Volunteers are able to increase their knowledge and skills in the areas of cooking, food preparation, food hygiene and nutrition. • Allow volunteers time to adjust to the new menu. • Provide a suggestion box to gain feedback and/or suggestions from volunteers. • Display schedules on the wall which outline time- based tasks such as when to place chicken in chicken caesar wraps. • Create instructions for food preparation and the way in which a particular item is constructed e.g. layering of items on salad sandwich, storing and packaging. • Place food hygiene posters around the canteen. • Provide recipe information on the wall for easy reference - encourage volunteers to take copies to use at home. • Provide access to professional development and training opportunities, such as attending expos or training in food hygiene and preparation. Refer to the Looking After our Kids DVD and Handbook. This is a very useful resource for school canteens explaining how to understand and comply with the Food Safety Standards. See Link in the School Canteen Website Links and Resources section of this manual. Food Presentation An essential way to appeal to children is through visual appearance and presentation of food. Consider the following: • A variety of foods. • The presentation and positioning of the food. • What type of packaging the food is displayed in. • Colour, flavour and texture contrasts of food. • Meal deals, for example, chicken, cheese and lettuce wrap with an apple slinky and flavoured milk.   43
  51. 51. Aims of having Fresh School Produce in the Canteen • To promote good nutrition and health through healthy food options and choices, (making healthy food choices a habit at both school and home) to help reduce levels of obesity and chronic disease later on in life. • Increase fruit and vegetable options on the school canteen menu. • Raise children’s interest in a more varied diet. • Give opportunities for children to cook and consume the vegetables and fruit they have grown in the school garden.  Using the School Garden Produce in the Canteen • Ask the school garden committee if they have an annual plan for the vegetable garden. You can find out what they intend to grow and the approximate quantities. • The school garden committee may also take into account the healthy menu and try and co-ordinate the garden produce accordingly. • Once you know what you can expect to sell you can co-ordinate the seasonal canteen menu. • Have healthy produce available on each day the canteen operates. • Freeze and/or blanch excess produce for future use. • Get students and garden committee members involved with the delivery of the produce from the school garden. Provide clean water, soap and bench space for the cleaning of hands and then the vegetables. • For food handling, storage and safety tips refer to CSIRO factsheet on food storage at www.csiro. au/en/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/Storage-Life-Of-Foods.aspx For an extensive range of recipes refer to links in the School Canteen Website Links and Resources section in this manual. 44
  52. 52. 45 Example of Seasonal Produce Chart and Seasonal Recipes Source: Rachael McCarthy Catering and Food Consulting Autumn - Winter Produce Fruit Vegetables Pears Beans Apples Broccoli Oranges Cabbage Lemons Carrots Limes Cauliflower Kiwi Fruit Capsicum Persimmons Mushrooms Quinces Okra Sweet Potato Radish Rhubarb Pumpkin Turnips Leeks How to keep the Healthy Canteen Viable Operating a financially successful canteen involves managing the canteen’s resources efficiently to meet both the goals of a healthy canteen and the finance policy of the school canteen. Issues to consider: • Budget, income and expenditure • Accountability of money and stock in the canteen • Cost price and profit of canteen items • Advertising • Employees • Running costs eg electricity, gas, and water • Equipment • Maintenance • Keeping canteen costs to a minimum • Provide instructions for all canteen workers to ensure that all foods and drinks are prepared and sold in standard serving sizes • Have standard sized utensils for serving food • Avoid unnecessary packaging and wrapping • Sell less popular or almost expired items at discounted rates - it’s better to get some money than none at all • Start small and expand later • Keep records and journals • Set time lines for the implementation of successful new food items - (for example, if after 2 months an item hasn’t taken off, substitute it for another food item) Examples of Recipes to make inAutumn-Winter Season Include:• Apple and Cinnamon Muffins• Roasted Vegetable Filo RollsRefer to Healthy Kids Association Website Recipe Section• Easy Vegetable, Chicken, and Pasta Soup• Apple Carrot and Pork BurgersRefer to Fresh for Kids Website Recipe Section• Carrot and Parsnip Muffins• Warm Roasted Vegetable SaladRefer to Go for 2&5 Website Recipe Section
  53. 53. 46 Evaluate • Evaluation provides information for future planning. • Failures and successes are both useful learning tools. • The evaluation is a shared responsibility. Everyone involved should contribute - canteen committee, garden committee, and the wider school community. • Evaluation can be done by surveys, feedback, discussions and monitoring progress and profits. Items that you may like to evaluate include: • How well certain products are being received by the canteen’s customers. • Is the price of the product value for money? • Does the school community know about all the products? • Amount of Green, Amber and Red items on school canteen menu. Promotion • Marketing is getting the right product in the right place at the right time and the right price using the right promotion to attract customers who will buy. • What is the canteen’s image? What does the canteen look like? How is the food presented? How is the food promoted? • Promote the canteen menu, specialty days, and nutritional snippets as a positive part of the school newsletter. • Put the canteen menu and other promotional material on the school’s website. • Involve students in the design of promotional posters. • Have competitions for the name of menu items on specialty days. • Put recipes in the school newsletter to encourage cooking of the products in a home environment. You could also make a menu folder/recipe book and get contributions from the school community - this could be a fundraising activity. Information provided in the Canteen Section of this manual came from the following sources: (see School Canteen Website Links and Resources section of this manual for more details) Fresh Tastes Tool Kit Fresh Tastes@School Canteen Menu Planning Guide Agriculture and Consumer Protection PDF FAO Website http;// Julie Middleton - Dietitian for the LEAN Project Healthy Kids Association Website Fresh for Tastes Website Go for 2 & 5 Website Rachael McCarthy Catering and Food Consulting Go for your Life Healthy Canteen Kit - Canteen Manual
  54. 54. 47 School Canteen Website Links and Resources Recommended Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Information on the Fresh Tastes Strategy including resources can be found at: publichealth/healthpromotion/obesity/canteens.asp Fresh Tastes Tool Kit - NSW Public Schools Fresh Tastes Canteen Menu Planning Guide - NSW Public Schools Nutrition in Schools Policy The Looking after our Kids Resource (handbook and film) is now available from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website at: foodsafetyproducts/. NSW Ministry of Health NSW Department of Education and Training Food Standards Australia and New Zealand For information about food labels Department of Health and Ageing Go for your Life Healthy Canteen Kit - Canteen Manual Healthy Kids Association Healthy Fundraising Australia Tooty Fruity Vegie Project North Coast Area Health Service Agriculture and Consumer Protection PDF FAO Website Setting up and running a School Garden manual Canteen Cuisine - a cookbook containing easy, nutritious and delicious food ideas and recipes for school canteens. Fresh For Kids Go for 2&5 Nutrition Australia Munch & Move Program Healthy Kids Website Heart Foundation Website for recipe ideas