Garden to Table Trust

Garden to Table Trust
Our Kaupapa

At Garden to Table we empower tamariki to grow, harvest, prepare and share great food.

Our dream is for every child in Aotearoa New Zealand to have the opportunity and resources to grow and share their own fresh kai as part of everyday life. Read more about our dream for tamariki and how we create an impact in our strategy document here.

Over recent years, knowledge and skills in the garden and kitchen have been lost – and this has had negative implications across collective health, environmental, and social outcomes.  

We believe that tamariki are changemakers – and by inspiring children to think about food differently, we disrupt these patterns, and help tamariki build essential life skills.  

Empowering children with a love of fresh food and the skills they need to grow and prepare it, has a transformative and lifelong impact on the health and hauora – wellbeing, of students, their whānau, and the world around them. We want all tamariki to be able to see themselves reflected in the programme, and our mission is for students to take these life skills home, where the positive effects radiate out, and last for generations to come.

By connecting the kaupapa of grow, harvest, prepare, and share, the programme is highly practical and child-centric -, supporting students to learn to work together. The theme of “kids doing everything” is a key component of the sessions; skills are not watered down for tamariki and they learn to operate in the kitchen and garden as they would at home, with careful observation and guidance.

The integration of practical and critical thinking skills which are linked to curriculum learning across a range of subjects means that teachers are equipped to take teaching out of the classroom and into the garden and kitchen.

We live in the solutions world – and our programme is designed in a way that will generate long-lasting positive impacts across health, wellbeing, education, and the enviornment.

Our programme teaches children to nurture, share, and manaaki guests – and as food is prepared, shared and celebrated, community connectedness is fostered. In turn, this boosts mental wellbeing.  

The time spent being physically active in the garden also gives children access to the therapeutic and sensory benefits of green spaces, and as tamariki spend time caring for, and protecting, Papatūānuku, they build awareness of individual and collective responsibility to manaaki te taiao – care for our environment.  

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

We recognise Māori as tangata whēnua of Aotearoa. We have begun our work to learn more about te ao Māori and how matauranga Māori can enrich the Garden to Table offering for all New Zealand children. To do this, we want to work with Māori in the spirit of partnership embodied in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

How We Deliver the Programme

We have Regional Coordinators all around Aotearoa, who support schools and kura to run the programme in ways that enhance their culture, learning and environmental goals.

Garden to Table supports schools and kura in a number of ways, from setting up the programme foundation and training to ongoing support workshops and a wealth of resources which are continually developed and easily accessible on our member website. Resources are designed to integrate with the NZ curriculum and have strong environmental and sustainability focus.