As a new report from the Food Growing in Schools Task Force links growing food in schools with increased attainment, self-esteem, confidence and community links, what better time to get growing in your school using the Greenfingers Young Co-operatives model?
Greenfingers is a free resource from the Co-operative College which includes lots of activities and growing tips for setting up a horticultural and growing enterprise. Find out more and download the resource at www.youngco-operatives.coop/Resources/Greenfingers-pack.
The Growing Food in Schools Task Force report, which was published in March, looks at the advantages of growing food in schools, and makes a series of recommendations to help ensure food growing is practical and affordable.
Introducing the report, Caroline Spelman, MP, Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, says growing food in schools can “lead to children eating more fruit and vegetables, and having a better recognition of taste and type”. She says “it also teaches them practical skills that will be useful throughout their lives”.
After surveying the impact of food growing in 1,500 schools, the report concludes that growing food in schools can help students understand where their food comes from and develop their knowledge of the natural environment, especially benefiting their attainment in science. It can also lead to greater student voice. At a time of rising obesity, the report says food growing can help improve dietary health.
Furthermore, suggests the report: “Schools are able to use it as a tool for development, enabling them to provide an exciting curriculum for children and young people, create a whole school vision and ethos, and engage families and the wider community. Communities are strengthened by the opportunities for interaction and collaboration brought about through food growing, on and off school grounds.”
Food growing is often combined with enterprise activities in schools, developing financial literacy and enterprise skills.
The report discusses what makes an effective food growing school and makes recommendations for the future, including a national celebration campaign, education policy favouring growing food in schools and business commitment to growing food in schools.
To download the report visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicgardening/food-growing-in-schools.php.
You could also set up a visit to one of the Co-operative Farms with From Farm to Fork. Find out more at www.co-operative.coop/farms/from-farm-to-fork.