Involved from garden to table

Remarkables Primary School pupils at their new garden on Friday. Key helpers and sponsors of the job have been teachers from the school (from left, rear) Brendon Martyn and principal Debbie Dickson, Remarkables Park Ltd director Alastair Porter, Remarkables Park project manager Olivia Porter, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden and the Hilton Queenstown general manager Andrew Nisbet. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Remarkables Primary School pupils at their new garden on Friday. Key helpers and sponsors of the job have been teachers from the school (from left, rear) Brendon Martyn and principal Debbie Dickson, Remarkables Park Ltd director Alastair Porter, Remarkables Park project manager Olivia Porter, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden and the Hilton Queenstown general manager Andrew Nisbet. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
A huge community effort has allowed Remarkables Primary School to be one of the first South Island schools to participate in a nationwide kitchen garden initiative.

Remarkables Primary School year 7 and 8 technology pupils spent last term researching and designing their garden kitchen as part of the Garden to Table programme at the school.

On Friday, the pupils turned the soil, while Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden officially opened the garden for use.

The representative helping groups for the project are the Hilton Queenstown, the council and Remarkables Park Ltd, which provided the land.

Remarkables Park communications and projects manager Olivia Porter was thrilled with the support of the community and wanted to thank the helpers.

School principal Debbie Dickson said it was a great way for pupils to learn skills and work with professionals.

"Working alongside professionals - the gardeners, designers, horticulturists and foodies - all helps gain a clear understandings of work expectations.

"This gives a knowledge of this field, as well as how to maintain and sustain innovative practice within the horticultural domain."

Once the gardens were harvested, the Hilton would purchase the pupils' produce to use in their kitchens and serve to guests, Hilton Queenstown general manager Andrew Nisbet said.

"Seeing the vegetables that they grow being served at top restaurants will give these students a wealth of nutritional and industry understanding.

"These are invaluable life skills."

The Garden to Table Trust is the formal partner of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation that started at Collingwood College in Melbourne, Australia, in 2001 and now has more than 180 Australian primary schools involved.

Remarkables Primary School is the first South Island school to participate.