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Schools embrace "the Good Life"

Published Friday, 27 June 2014

A group of Enfield primary schools is making ‘The Good Life’ a reality by growing their own produce and using it in their cooking clubs as part of an emerging plan to develop Enfield’s Market Gardening industry.

This initiative aims to establish food growing projects in 20 primary and five secondary schools over the next two years benefiting around 600 children and eventually expanding to include all Enfield schools.

Some 40 children representing ten primary schools are gathering at the Prince of Wales Primary School in Enfield Lock, to take part in a celebration of their ‘Grow your Own’ achievements and are helping to build a greenhouse at the school from recycled bottles.

The greenhouse frame has been provided with a grant from the Old Enfield Charitable Trust which is supporting schools in the EN areas of Enfield. More Enfield schools are now building their own greenhouses through this initiative.

At every stage, children are learning about growing food and how to care for vegetables. Children at Prince of Wales also look after chickens and regularly collect eggs for the cooking club.

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services & Protection, said, “Enfield Council is committed to helping children learn about food and nutrition; healthy eating; and growing food locally.

“The skills and knowledge that the children learn now, will give them the enthusiasm for growing good fresh food and healthy living and in the long term, experiences that contribute to our market gardening plans.”

This initiative is part of the Enfield 2020 project which aims to improve Enfield Council’s services by saving money, creating local jobs, reducing waste and raising standards in public health and the environment.

It also forms part of ‘Garden Enfield’, the Council’s Market Gardening Scheme. In February last year, the Mayor for London awarded the borough £600,000 to help develop an ambitious project to resurrect the borough's food growing heritage with the potential to support an estimated 1,200 jobs.

It means that the Council will approach employers in the horticulture industry to offer work experience placements to secondary school students and work with allotment holders to redistribute excess produce.

‘Garden Enfield’ aims to build on Enfield’s and the Lee Valley's food growing heritage, processing and marketing food from the local area.

It will also develop a cooperative growing model where residents, community groups and other organisations work with the council to grow their own produce. It will increase the amount of land area used for growing food and look at opportunities to sell crops locally and commercially.

Jan Bless, Headteacher at Prince of Wales, said, “It is exciting for this school to be at the rebirth of an industry in the borough and to be an active part in its success. Our environmental teaching team has built up a body of knowledge that they are passing on to the children and the whole school is getting a huge benefit in health information and good eating habits.

“This is truly a superb approach to teaching and all schools can develop it no matter how small the space. Gardening produces remarkably happy children and young people.”

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Notes to Editors
Schools involved in the project: Prince of Wales; Lavender, Honilands, George Spicer, Hazelbury Infants, Chase Side, Galliard, Capel manor, Brettenham and Aylands.

‘Grow your Own’ at
Prince of Wales School

10.15 – 12 noon Friday 4 July
10.15am
Meet in Sunflower Garden

10.30am Carousel of activities
Sunflower Garden
Preparing bottles, building raised flower beds with Craig

Chicken Garden
Handling chickens, collecting eggs, caring for chickens with
Mrs Dunlea

Kitchen Garden
Herb planting with Chris

Food Technology Room
Cooking omelette popovers, vegetable pitta breads and fruit kebabs with Mrs Chang and Mrs Fromet

11.50am meet at The Orchard
Placing bottles in greenhouse
Digging in the Community Garden
Photographs may be taken at each session in this programme

12 noon: Lunch and networking


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