About

Teaching young people how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food. 

24 Carrot Gardens is a food education program of Material Institute Lutruwita / Tasmania. Founded in 2014 by Mona Curator and Artist, Kirsha Kaechele, the program integrates artfulness and sustainable practice to enrich food education for young people. Our sister campus, Material Institute New Orleans, also runs a 24 Carrot Garden program which provides youth and community programming in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.

We currently work with 24 schools across Lutruwita/Tasmania. Our partnerships with schools are guided by socio-economic data, with a focus on creating positive change in communities who face multi-generational unemployment and have limited access to nutritious food and health services.

Our Approach

24 Carrot Gardens promotes an inquiry-based learning model to improve students’ food literacy and health while building positive social and cultural connections. The program also provides a multitude of opportunities to connect with the national STEAM curriculum.

Gardens are collaboratively designed with staff and students to meet the needs of the school community. Materials are chosen for their beauty and sustainability, with artfulness integrated into every project to spark inquiry and inspire learning. While no two gardens are the same, common features include:

-outdoor classrooms for gathering across the seasons

-a range of edible plants from vegetables and herbs through to orchard fruits

-native bushfood plantings and flowers to attract pollinators 

-compost systems and worm farms to cycle food waste back into the soil

-outdoor cooking facilities such as pizza ovens and barbecues

Kitchens are where students transform the produce they have grown and harvested into delicious meals to share. Kitchens also foster connection with the wider school community, creating opportunities for parent and volunteer involvement and linking with school events and catering initiatives.

Regular programming is led by in-school Garden and Kitchen Specialists, with our team of Program Managers providing ongoing support with development, maintenance, productivity and engagement.

Workshops and Events

In addition to regular garden and kitchen lessons, 24 Carrot Gardens offers workshops and events throughout the year as extended learning experiences for students.

Botanical Workshops

We regularly host themed workshop series’ at our Botanical site in Bridgewater. This site is home to a one acre market garden, clay and art studio, Beauty Lab and soon-to-be kitchen/cafe. Visiting student groups take part in interdisciplinary workshops which vary each season — from indigo dyeing and clay, to natural beauty formulations, fermentation and garden-to-plate cooking classes (lunch!)

Events

Our annual 24 Carrot Carnival is an opportunity for students from all participating schools to gather together for a day of art, music and food. A feast for the senses, this event is all about participation and celebration!

Community Engagement

Material Institute’s community sites, Botanical in Bridgewater and Bond Place in Gagebrook, offer further opportunities for young people and their families to connect across the seasons. Learn more.

Our Team

24 Carrot Gardens is made possible by our team of visionaries, horticulturalists, makers, educators and organisers who work closely with school Garden/Kitchen Specialists and Leadership Teams to deliver an engaging program. 

Kirsha Kaechele, Founder and Creative Director 

Reuben Parker-Greer, Operations Manager

Tamas Oszvald, Senior Program Manager

Andy Rushton, High School Program Manager

Kristina McCarthy, North West Program Manager

Joanne Dean, North Program Manager

Simon Dunne, Horticulture Manager

Sarah ‘Sharky’ Betts, Southern Primary Schools Coordinator

Minna Bright, Project Lead


Further supported by Material Institute’s team of green thumbs, foodies, artists and beauty formulators.

© 24 Carrot Gardens