Kids in kitchen cook up storm

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Building a kitchen garden at Bertram Primary School has sprouted into an innovative business venture, which is putting dollars back into the school’s cooking program.

With tasty jams, sauces and chutneys already reaching the shelves of Farm Gate Produce in Mandurah, the school is now looking to get its wares stocked at other stores in the metropolitan area.

Since successfully obtaining a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden grant about four years ago, the school’s cooking program has blossomed, teaching students how to garden and cook nutritious meals.

School kitchen specialist Francine More said they started making chutneys as extra produce was available about three years ago.

“We had quite a bit of produce, and our school fair was coming up, so I said, ‘well I’ll show the kids how to make chutney and we will sell it at the fair’,” she said.

“It did really well at the fair so we thought we could keep going with it. It ended up becoming a little business, so it is now registered as a small business — The Bertram Kitchen Garden.”

Mrs More said over the past three years the school’s chutneys had been tested, labelled and sold at various markets.

“It is taking off. It is doing really well, but it just needs to get it into the shops,” she said.

“The Mandurah shop, which sells the jams and chutneys, we started by giving him an order once a month and now it is down to once a week and that is what we want to get happening in other places.”

Students make the chutneys as part of cooking classes, when it fits into their lesson.

All products sold by the school are preservative-free.

As part of the school’s program students also cater events in the community.

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