Gardening for Schools
Although the school holidays have barely begun, you've no doubt already spotted the 'Back to School' banners emblazoned across windows - and when the kids eventually do go back, what exactly will they be eating? Martin Fiddes tries to find out...
Following celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's recent high profile campaign to oust unhealthy meals from the school canteen, just what is good for schoolchildren to eat has never been far from the headlines.
Schools have faced difficulties in finding a wide range of healthy dishes that also appeal to the discerning clientele, and 'throwing' new menus and meals at children has not been a complete success.
According to experts at the Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine, who should know a thing or two about food preparation, it's essential to educate the young diners on the origins of the ingredients which make up the lunchtime banquets. A report on their website goes onto stress the importance of conducting taste tests, sending recipies home for trialling and - here's the interesting horticultural angle - growing fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs for the meals in a school garden.
That's just one of the reasons why Harrod Horticultural have introduced a new website dedicated to budding gardeners, and aimed specifically at promoting the establishment of organic fruit and veg plots in schools. But that's only the tip if the iceberg (lettuce!) - the site has details of what to grow, how to grow it, activities to keep the children interested and the support of experts from Harrod Horticultural. You'll also find factsheets and advice on what equipment is required along with how to order and available discounts!
And what better time for teachers to think about introducing a school garden, with six weeks of the summer to sit around and contemplate ideas?! Visit budding gardeners for all the info you'll need and take the first step to home produced school meals!