The olive tree is a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. So it’s appropriate that students at Garden to Table Schools will soon be using a premium New Zealand olive oil to create nutritious vegetable dishes in their kitchen classrooms.
The Garden to Table programme is a curriculum-integrated initiative that helps children understand what ‘good’ food is and where it comes from.
The Village Press olive oil company has come on board as a sponsor for the Garden to Table Trust and will be supplying each school with 20 litres of olive oil every year.
They will also plant olive trees in the school’s gardens. Eventually it is hoped the schools might even press their own olives to make oil.
“We’re delighted to be involved with the Garden to Table Trust, helping young people understand and appreciate how to grow fruit and vegetables and to appreciate nutritious food,” says The Village Press founder and director Wayne Startup.
There are currently eight Garden to Table schools with more than 1,000 children a week enjoying the benefits of the programme. The children learn lifelong gardening and cooking skills and to appreciate the taste of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Village Press olive oil is produced from quality olives by Hawkes Bay's first, and New Zealand's largest, olive press.
“The dream we are fulfilling is to produce the highest quality NZ olive oil at an affordable price so all New Zealanders can enjoy and benefit from it,” says Mr Startup.
“We have to teach our children good nutrition and the Garden to Table Trust is doing this every day. We jumped on the opportunity to support the programme and encourage others to support it too.”
Garden to Table Trust executive officer Nicole Curin-Birch says the Trust is thrilled to be working with The Village Press.
“The Village Press sponsorship further enables Garden to Table schools to use the best quality ingredients. This ensures the children learn what truly ‘good’ food tastes like.
“We rely on sponsors for the success of the programme and it’s wonderful to have The Village Press as part of the family.”