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Happy New Year... It's going to be a blooming good one.

Hello and Happy New Year from all of us at Kidston Discovery Gardens. As always we feel we have so much to share with you. This is our year to see Kidston Discovery Gardens break ground and we are jumping up and down at the thought. Our fundraising efforts last term were beyond what we could imagine from the huge success of Kidston Family Pub Night, extremely generous The Giving Tree donations, Grandma's D-licious Cookbook sales and THREE 'What's in a Name' garden bed names purchased!! Another really super exciting piece is we were chosen as successful recipients to a Farm to School BC grant!!! Check out their website to see all the ways they are inspiring schools in our province. We have been bursting with excitement at all this support. We are feeling so very thankful to everyone who has contributed in some way and can not wait to start moving dirt this spring!

Also thrilling was the success of Grandma D's Hot Lunch program. The reviews were five star on every meal from students to teachers! And 2018 has been off to a wonderful start with Grandma D back cooking up a storm in the Kidston Kitchen for our first hot lunch of the year. Her natural homemade locally sourced Turkey soup received raved reviews and as mentioned these happy reports are becoming a trend:) I know we have shared bits and pieces about Grandma D and how incredibly fortunate we are to have her at our school, she's truly a Kidston celebrity. Well recently she shared her story in a personal letter to her hero and inspiration, Jamie Oliver. She agreed to let us post it below to show just how special Grandma D is and how truly blessed our Kidston community is to have her:

An open letter to Jamie Oliver ( my hero)

Dear Jamie Oliver

I’d like to share with you my journey a little bit… I think of you often as I am working in my grandkids school… well it was their school until they moved, however I’ve stayed on to continue what I’ve started (along with a team of committed parents). We have come a long way really and we have so much to be thankful for. Like you, I am passionate about changing up what is being offered to children for lunches etc, in schools in particular. I came into this 6 years ago when my grandson was in kindergarten; something was ignited in me as I knew I wanted to do something to support heathy food options. ‘Grandma D’s’ hot lunches are now on the menu; fresh made, using locally sourced ingredients of course and the best is when I can use the school garden produce, harvested by students. I am grateful, to say the least for where we are today in this journey toward healthier options for students.

One of my endeavours to raise funds for our school garden project was to write a little cookbook. (Again- loads of support from hardworking talented parents). Besides including my favorite ‘easy peasy nutritious and delicious’ recipes, it is a handy compilation of tips and tricks to make cooking inviting and fun. I might add, you are mentioned in the section on ‘Networks I find Noteworthy’ along with our local support groups that work to ensure healthy food is accessible to all. The ‘Jamie Oliver’ acknowledgment starts off with, “my hero...I love his passion for educating and nourishing the masses. Beginning in the school cafeterias in Great Britain, he has worked long and hard at breaking through the standards of old and creating new pathways to healthier eating...”

Our school is relatively small, but with a solid team effort to bring to the table healthier choices for families. Our bigger plan to grow our garden into an outdoor classroom/adventure playground; ‘Kidston Discovering Gardens’, is a result of a community of committed families who want the best opportunities for their children.

It has been on my mind for sometime to thank you for what you do and the inspiration you have given me along the way. I admire your ‘stick-to-itness’ and passion and hope that my stick-to-itness and passion reflects something similar to what you do... in a (non celebrity) ‘Grandma D’ kind of way.

Thank You for what you do to inspire and motivate this generation toward healthier eating and ultimately healthier happier lives.

We have great plans for ‘Kidston Discovery Gardens’ to evolve into a model outdoor classroom/learning environment where students have a place to be inspired for learning and healthy living.

P.S. I would absolutely love for you to have a peek at my cookbook... just say the word and I will send it to you, hard copy or digitally.

Dawn Guenette

Aka Grandma D

PS. We still have a few Grandma D-licious Cookbooks available for purchase! Inquire here, at Kidston Office or purchase directly through the Kidston Hot Lunch site (local orders only at this time, unless you are Jamie Oliver:)).

Keep checking back for more information as we step into building these gardens this year!

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