A program that started in a low-socioeconomic neighbourhood in New Orleans found its way to Tasmania's South in 2014 and is now letting its roots spread to the North of the state too.
The 24 Carrot Gardens Project, founded by Kirsha Kaechele, aims to educate children in health, wellbeing, and the importance of life-long learning through food and art.
"The project was born in New Orleans when I had a gallery there in the form of a block of abandoned houses," Kaechele said.
"I started inviting artists to create installations using the entire house as the gallery space. To see the exhibition you had to go from house to house and each house was one artwork."
Soon, people from all around the neighbourhood started to visit the houses, including the children. Kaechele found that the children she met wanted to get involved.
Classes were started with the children as an educational project. During one of the cooking workshops, the children admitted they did not know what carrots were, which came as a shock to Kaechele.
"I thought OK, the only way to get around this is one do more cooking classes, but we really need to grow the food so they understand what it is and where it comes from, and also they have pride when they plant the seeds and watch it grow," she said.
From there, the children Kaechele worked with not only started to grow their own produce and cook with it, but also sell the produce to chefs in New Orleans.
When Kaechele moved to Tasmania and started working with Mona, she wanted to continue the work she had started in New Orleans because she had "seen how transformative gardens and food education was for kids".
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The plan was to once again start with children in low-socioeconomic areas, but this time a decision was made to bring the program to schools in those areas.
"The support for the program spans all political and social divides, and everybody loves to see children thrive ... we built up over time to 16 schools and two community gardens, all privately funded," Kaechele said.
The time has come for the program to now start expanding to high schools and into the North of the state, with an exhibition at Design Tasmania coinciding with the expansion.
"Part of 24 Carrot is not only growing food, cooking, and preparing artful platters, but the art extends beyond the food service to the platters themselves. The children create their own ceramics as part of the program," Kaechele said.
"You end up with these exquisite vases that are so pure and unselfconscious from a design perspective, they are kind of masterpieces."
The gallery will also be used as a creative space for the program to work with Northern school students once a week.
"It's radical ceramics, but it's really amazing because it's created by these innocent hands working together. It's mysterious to me and amazing how the pieces come out," Kaechele said.
"I think people will be delighted by the work. I think they will be amazed that children created a lot of the pieces and I think they will want to purchase them.
"Aesthetics are a matter of social justice. Here kids with the least access are immersed in the world of design. They create beautiful objects and earn money doing it."
Any of the work developed by a high school student which is displayed in the exhibition will see the student receive 90 per cent of the sale if it is sold. Any work sold from primary school students will go back into the running of the program.
Kaechele said the incentive of being able to earn money and have their work displayed meant students had better attendance and engagement rates than previously seen at the high school.
The 24 Carrot Ceramics exhibition was curated by Natalie Holtsbaum, who said it had been a beautiful process bringing the collection of five years worth of work together.
"I knew from the beginning there was going to be a diversity not only of styles, but of the individual hand," she said.
"The main thing is when it's so busy we want to slow down so we can understand each individual piece.
"The works have this beautiful naivety and they are completely not pretentious."
The 24 Carrot Ceramics exhibit will be on display until November 7.