Pick of the Crop
About the Project
Pick of the Crop program is an initiative of Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) and delivered by BFVG in the Bundaberg region. Pick of the Crop is a whole-school healthy eating program with the aim of increasing opportunities and consumption of fruit and vegetables by Queensland primary school children. There now more than 100 schools in Bundaberg, Gympie, Fraser Coast, Bowen, Darling Downs, Roma, Far North Queensland and Logan implementing Pick of the Crop.
Two Regional Coordinators are employed by BFVG.
Through school agreed action plans, Pick of the Crop is currently supporting nearly 50 state primary schools with unique activities to boost the amount of fruit and veggies their students are eating. Schools design their own action plan based on five components.
Farmer and food connections
Enabling schools to connect with growers (on farm or at school) and link practical learning back to the curriculum makes an ideal situation for students to get excited about consuming more fruit and vegetables. It also helps broaden learning experiences for students to better understand the food supply chain and where their fruit and vegetables come from.
Teaching and learning programs
This component supports opportunities for staff to research and plan curriculum-aligned health and nutrition lessons. It also offers professional development opportunities, increasing knowledge and competencies to implement evidence-based programs and resources around healthy eating.
Vegetables and fruit at school
This component increases students’ access to fruit and vegetables while at school. This could be through breakfast clubs, fruit breaks, stalls at Under 8s Days, classroom fruit bowls – or any school-based activity that enables students to access fresh fruit and vegetables.
Healthy School Environments
This component increases the availability of vegetables and fruits in tuckshop menus, often with the assistance of Qld Association of School Tuckshops (QAST). It also provides opportunities to install and maintain productive gardens at school, eg for outdoor learning, tuckshop supply or behaviour management.
Creating consistent messaging around nutritious food between school, home and beyond is linked to improved health outcomes for kids and families. Linkages with community and organisation programs (eg QCWA Kitchens) and lunchbox initiatives are explored, and healthy messaging and recipes are featured in school communications.
If you would like to know more or get directly involved with Pick of the Crop, please contact
Further information can be found at https://hw.qld.gov.au/initiatives/pick-of-the-crop/
Parents and Student Workshops with Matt Golinski
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers is hosting cooking workshops with support from Health and Wellbeing Queensland, for Pick of the Crop school parents to cook with Matt Golinski. A great opportunity to learn some new recipes for veggie loaded family dinners and tips and tricks for packing school lunchboxes full of fresh ideas.
Annette McFarlane is a teacher, garden writer, author and broadcaster. She has a fantastic website with a whole host of resources and information.
Take a tour HERE
In the Media
MVSC Students benefit from food growing program
Mary Valley State College is one of the many local primary schools to benefit from funding and support through HWQld’s Pick of the Crop (POTC) program. Through hands-on learning and access to fresh, local produce the program aims to address the fact that less than 5 per cent of Queensland kids eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables.
Evidence-based validation for Pick of the Crop
What do you get when you put a diverse and deeply knowledgeable team together with expertise in nutrition, education, early years development, nursing and public policy? It’s not a riddle, it’s the Pick of the Crop Program team.
Pick of the Crop's bumper boost for Bundaberg Primary Schools
Up to another 5,000 primary school students in the Wide Bay region will have the opportunity to learn about and eat more vegetables and fruit and meet the farmers who grow them, with Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s Pick of the Crop program set to expand in the region.
Introducing Miss Joy, Garden Granny
As part of their Pick of the Crop activities, students at Avondale State School are learning how to grow fruit and vegetables and get more productivity out of their garden beds from their very own Garden Granny who volunteers at the school weekly.
Pick of the Crop growing farmer connections in Bundaberg
Our Pick of the Crop program is bringing the farm to the classroom this school term, with hands-on activities and farm excursions to get kids excited about the tasty and colourful veggies and fruit growing in the paddocks around them in Bundaberg.
Encouraging schools to get gardening
We invited Pick of the Crop educators on a guided tour of Marsden State School’s bush tucker garden to learn about traditional plants and their uses, as well as how to set up a sustainable garden, as part of our recent School Garden Masterclass event and livestream.
Logan kids, putting veggies and fruit on the menu
Logan primary school children will be supported to eat more healthy vegetables and fruit as part of a Health and Wellbeing Queensland pilot set to reach all the way from the classroom to the tuckshop to the farm.
From farm to Classroom
Bundaberg growers will join forces with schools to get kids eating more fresh vegetables and fruit, with the region announced as a pilot location for Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s Pick of the Crop program.
Pick of the Crop swings into action
Less than one per cent of Queensland children eat enough vegetables and many don’t meet fruit recommendations either. Reaching all the way from the classroom to the tuckshop to the farm,