For more than a decade, an Eyre Peninsula primary school has led the way for students to becoming intertwined with the land and learning how to grow their own food.
This long-term dedication helped Ungarra Primary School win the Credit Union SA Excellence and Equity in Education honour at the Public Education Awards.
Principal Rory Hunt inherited the kitchen garden which involves farm plots and a cooking program, after years of hard work from school leaders, including Gardening school support officer Sue Liddicoat and Kitchen Program SSO Lisa Fitzgerald.
"To have this hard work recognised with the award is really amazing. They have put so much into life- skills learning for the students and I am so thrilled to have it recognised," Mr Hunt said.
"Even the finalist nomination was a huge honour for us."
As part of the award win, the school took home $10,000 to put toward professional development and will send the SSO's to the Food Ladder symposium in Sydney next year, as well as purchase a commercial dishwasher for the kitchen.
"We want to focus on the program with the professional development funding. This program is our strength so we want to keep improving it - it is a hallmark of the school," Mr Hunt said.
Earlier this year, the school acquired a hydroponic greenhouse to add further value to the program.
The students grow vegetables year-round and help to supply the school kitchen with its leafy green needs.
"The students get involved with testing water levels and they are starting to grow food beyond leafy greens, such as tomatoes and zucchinis. It is starting to flourish and everything we grow is used in the kitchen program," Mr Hunt said.
As a part of the program, students also keep a journal about how the farm plots progress throughout the year.
They also undertake soil preparation and testing, and this year, had experience with seeding devices to sow small batches of crops.
"They have grown wheat, canola, flowers, strawberries and vegetables. It is their own little patch where they can grow something special," Mr Hunt said.
"Being in a farming community, the students love this program and it is easily transferrable for students who are living and breathing this at home but for the students which are not from farms, they are taking so much out of the program too."
Students have even played around with natural pesticides to keep their crops growing healthy.
"They are always learning and this is what is so amazing about this program," Mr Hunt said.
"Families are starting to grow their own gardens at home as a result of the program and sometimes I have to pinch myself when we have a shared lunch at school with the produce the students have grown themselves."