The thriving gardens of our local schools, the beautiful produce being grown in them, and the passionate students, teachers and volunteers involved in caring for them were all celebrated at the third annual Grow Your Own Lunchbox Challenge at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market.
Seven schools took part in the 2017 Challenge, which saw them come together at the market to share the stories of their gardens, display their produce and make lunch from some of the things they have grown.
Prizes were awarded to schools for the best dishes they created for their lunchboxes, and for the best initiatives and educational programs centred around their gardens.
Judges said they were blown away by the level of effort and enthusiasm they saw going into gardens and cooking programs in each and every school.
Special thanks to judges Rod Bruin, David Forrrest, Rebecca Barnes, Di Wilson, and compere Lissie Turner.
Prizes went to:
• Best lunchbox main: Shearwater (Madagascar bean salad and bread)
• Best lunchbox snack: Main Arm School (Mulberry muesli bars)
• Best drink: Wilsons Creek (Davidsons plum cordial)
• Best value added product: Mullumbimby Public School (herb-infused salts and oils)
• Best Fundraising Idea: Main Arm (beeswax wraps)
• Best Garden Program: Ocean Shores (lunchtime garden club)
• Best Experimentation: Wilsons Creek (potato beds)
• Best New Addition: Shearwater (chook tractor)
• Best Education: Mullumbimby (seed swapping)
• Best New Orchard and sunflower bed: The Pocket
President of the North Byron Farmers Market Association and judge for the Lunchbox Challenge, Rod Bruin, said local schools were doing such a brilliant job at educating kids about growing food.
“It’s getting more and more difficult to judge each year because now you’ve got a culture of growing at the schools and they’re getting better and better.
“Just like farmers get better as they get to know the same piece of land. It’s an ongoing knowledge building thing.”
• Click on our gallery below to see all the action: