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ISS Education - helping us to grow our own produce!

Several children enjoyed a great day of gardening with ex Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins, this week.

Food education is really important and really fun! School meal provider, ISS Education, has partnered with School Food Matters to deliver a food growing grants programme for schools. The programme began in Richmond in 2012 and has since extended to Southwark, Lambeth, Redbridge and Bracknell. Over 140 schools have benefitted from the support and nearly 500 teachers and children have received expert training from Chris Collins. This winning partnership was recognised in 2015 when School Food Matters were awarded the PFM: Partners in Education award.

Meadow Vale Primary School hosted a free training session with TV horticulturist, Chris Collins earlier this week. Children from several other local Primary Schools (St Margaret Clitherow, Sandy Lane, Fox Hill and others) joined us in our ‘raised bed vegetable garden’ to listen to Chris and join in the fun of planting things to grow and eat.  After watching Chris’s lively demonstration, the children prepared soil and compost in the beds and then used a technique to consolidate the soil, removing all air pockets, before marking out straight lines with twine and planting a variety of seeds including rocket and cress. Chris also gave demonstrations in taking cuttings and preparing hanging baskets with herbs and gave out useful advice about composting.  The children had a great day with Chris – did you know that he was the Blue Peter gardener for 9 years! They learnt lots about the fun you can have gardening and growing your own things to eat and everyone took something home that they had planted. There was time at the end for some photos and even a group floss dance!! Thanks to Chris and to ISS. We can’t wait to watch our seedlings grow!