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03 Aug 2011
Children tend to their veggies at Porter Croft
Our food growing project Green Groove has been
up and running in six schools for a year, and kids, teachers and
parents have been delighted with the results so far. The project
focuses on container growing – a great option where gardening space
is in short supply, as windowsills and back yards make perfect
homes for containers.
In schools we’ve set up container growing
areas, and children decided what they wanted to plant and grow
after food tasting experiments.
At Porter Croft school our weekly growing club
was so popular that teacher Sarah Doherty decided to link growing
to the curriculum directly, so that the whole year group could take
part. Growing became the medium for children to explore maths,
science and literacy. They even created a farm shop role play area
in their classroom. Sarah said “This fantastic growing project
is a real treat for the children. It promotes team work and raises
self-esteem, and I am especially pleased with the way it has helped
to promote healthy eating.”
At Byron Wood school the children have helped
to create four themed raised beds, which link to the topics they’re
covering in their lessons. Byron Wood teacher Sean Hudson said
“This project has been great for a school like ours. The
children are so enthused – they love being outdoors growing and
they love the taste of fresh fruit and veg. It’s the stuff like
this that the kids will remember when they leave school, not the
English and maths lessons that I teach them every day!”
We’ve delivered regular educational sessions
to children to teach them all about growing their own fruit and
vegetables. At the end of the school year, children planted up
seeds in their own growing kits, which they were given to take home
and nurture to provide fresh vegetables for their families this
Children’s parents have also been able to get
involved and learn more about growing, and have been invited into
schools to join in with grow and eat picnics. Some parents even
shared their favourite recipes in school cook-off’s, and lots more
bought school-grown plants at our plant sales.
This year we’ve worked with 989 children, 23
teaching staff and 113 parents, and we’re looking forward to
working with lots more next year.
The project is funded by the Big Lottery’s
Local Food scheme.