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March 7, 2021

Farmers Market school challenge

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Last year at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market Grow Your Own Lunchbox Challenge, Shearwater Steiner School students brought along a loaf of bread made from the grain up. They’d grown a crop of wheat, threshed it, milled it, and made it into sourdough.

Main Arm School students showed off jars of honey they’d harvested from their school beehive, and reusable lunchbox wraps they’d made from beeswax.

Other schools told how they’d built wicking beds to make their school gardens more water efficient, created worm farms in bath tubs or started seed swaps.

Students from seven local schools will be back at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market on November 2 to share more of their inspiring school kitchen garden stories and delicious homemade, homegrown creations, in the 2018 Grow Your Own Lunchbox Challenge.

Teams from Ocean Shores, Crabbes Creek, Mullumbimby, Durrumbul, Wilsons Creek, Shearwater Steiner and Main Arm schools will each create a display of their garden produce, give a presentation about their gardens and then compete to make the best lunch using produce from their gardens.

Cash prizes will be awarded in categories including best lunch, best snack and best drink. There will also be prizes for gardens and garden programs and fundraising ideas.

Now in its fourth year, the Challenge uses a bit of friendly competition and cash incentives to help develop kids’ interest in learning about food and where it comes from.

’Our aim is to encourage students and schools to keep up the great work in their gardens, and also to get growing food into the curriculum at a grassroots level,’ said Mullumbimby Farmers Market manager Allie Godfrey.

Organic farmer, North Byron Farmers Market president, and lunchbox challenge judge Rod Bruin said the standard of entries got better every year. ’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’, he said, ‘just like farmers get better as they get to know the same piece of land. It’s an ongoing knowledge-building thing.’

The Lunchbox Challenge will be held in the grassed area behind the market shed over 8.30–11am on Friday November 2. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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