The paddock to plate philosophy is well and truly in practice at Beaudesert High, where students are treated to a canteen menu featuring fresh produce grown on site.
The collaboration between canteen convenor Berny Trapnell and the school’s agricultural department means students get to buy healthy, fresh, in-season lunches at school.
Ms Trapnell said the seasonal abundance of food grown and raised by the students, particularly in the warmer months, meant there was plenty of variety on offer.
“We use the eggs, cherry tomatoes and greens on the menu, and we actually give the oranges and mandarins away to children who visit the canteen – we put them in a big basket and the kids can take them if they’re hungry,” she said.
“There’s that sense of knowing what’s in season, and we’re able to incorporate the produce students grow into tuckshop favourites like nachos, tacos, Hawaiian burgers, parmy burgers, Caesar wraps, quiches, egg and lettuce sandwiches and more.”
Ms Trapnell said the use of fresh produce from the school had been a hit.
“I just recently took over the canteen, and I said to one of the ag teachers, ‘if you’ve got any products, we’d be happy to use them in the canteen’ and it’s just all grown from there,” she said.
“I just want to help the school out. I love the kids and I love making sure they get healthy nourishing food in their diets because some children don’t have good meals. When they come to the canteen, they know they’re getting something healthy.
“There’s a shared sense of pride, knowing the kids have taken part in helping it all grow, and looking after the animals, it just gives you goosebumps.”
Food and fibre production student Tazmyn Butler (year 8) said it was rewarding to see the canteen using produce grown by students.