Growing student skills in organic farming
FROM the garden to the lunchbox, you can't get much fresher.
That's what students from five primary schools around the Mullumbimby region have learned, taking part in the Mullumbimby Farmers Market Grow Your Own Lunchbox Challenge.
Prizes were given in four categories including best box of produce, best preserved produce from garden, best fundraising ideas to make their garden sustainable and best lunchbox created in 10 minutes.
North Byron Farmers Market Manager Allie Godfrey said $25,000 was invested in kitchen gardens for schools over the last three years, and the lunchbox challenge was a way students could show what they have created and be recognised for it.
"You find that when they grow food from their garden and then see them actually put it into a preserve and then put it into a lunchbox, they connect it and eat things they wouldn't normally eat," she said.
"Everyone knows we've got an aging population of farmers so just to see it getting young people interested in farming, or at least just knowing how to grow their own food has been awesome.
"I think it's the beginning of something quite big and hopefully we'll get more schools on bored."
The five schools were Main Arm, Ocean Shores, Wilsons Creek, Shearwater, The Pocket and Crabbes Creek.
Wilsons Creek Public School teacher Nathan Durkin said he was extremely proud of the work his students had put into their school kitchen gardens.
"They all work very hard, and they don't use chemicals and they love to garden," he said.
"We're constantly just evolving our garden and growing it. We can't wait to see what we can bring for next year."
Lunchbox challenge judges included North Byron Farmers Market Association President Rod Bruin, organic farming pioneer and educator David Forrest and well-known local foodie and author Victoria Cosford.