There’s a definite trend back to basics, both in the way we source and cook our food. More of us are looking for the roots of our food and what kind of footprint it leaves behind. No one is more committed to that cause than the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (SAKGF).

After some hard work, Bondi Public School – the first school in the state to receive a grant from SAKGF – is celebrating its fruitful, successful and flourishing kitchen garden with the launch of a cookbook.

“The school’s parents and teachers loved the whole concept of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and we were very lucky to receive the grant,” says Emma Balfour, who established Bondi Public’s Environment Committee to get the project off the ground and developed the cookbook along with Grace Heifetz. They received the grant in 2008 with the charter to have a functioning school kitchen garden as part of the curriculum by 2010. “It has proven to be the perfect way to teach the kids the importance of healthy food and taking care of their environment,” says Balfour.

Comprised and inspired by the detailed notes, memos and newsletters that were part of the year-long garden establishment process, the diary-style book is illustrated by the children of the school, introduced by mentor Stephanie Alexander and dotted with recipes from some of Australia’s top chefs (Matt Moran, Tetsuya, Kylie Kwong and Neil Perry to name a few). Just like the kitchen garden itself, the book is a beautiful outcome, and we think that’s as good a reason as ever to fly the flag for kitchen gardens everywhere.

A Year in the Kitchen Garden is available now from ayearinthekitchengarden.com.au and your local bookshop.