Trees for Cities’ Jenny Hindson wins Learning Outside the Classroom Award

From left to right: Martin Giles (Head Teacher at Meridian High), Jenny Hindson (Trees for Cities), Ros Sandell (Head Teacher at Fairchildes Primary) and Councillor Louisa Woodley

Updated 17 Nov 2017.

Congrats to Jenny Hindson and Trees for Cities for winning the LOtC Innovator Award for their Edible Playgrounds work!

Originally published 10 Nov 2017.

The shortlisted nominees for the Awards for Outstanding Contribution to LOtC (Learning Outside the Classroom) 2017 have been selected and we congratulate all the LOtC Heroes who are going the extra mile to help young people experience the world beyond the classroom walls.

The LOtC Awards recognise individuals and teams of people who have made a significant impact on the lives of children and young people through their commitment to providing and/or championing exciting and inspiring learning outside the classroom opportunities.

We’re proud to say that Jenny Hindson, Communities, Engagement and Volunteer Manager at Food Growing Schools: London partner organisation Trees for Cities has been nominated for an award for her Outstanding Contribution to Learning Outside the Classroom.

Edible Playgrounds

Trees for Cities runs an inspiring project called Edible Playgrounds that transforms areas in school grounds into vibrant outdoor spaces that excite and teach children about growing and eating healthy food. By instilling healthy eating habits at an early age, Edible Playgrounds can help to tackle obesity, food poverty and lack of access to nature head on and provide a platform for fun and engaging lessons that support the school curriculum.

We invite you to support their work and to recognise Jenny Hindson‘s dedication for her excellent work and commitment to improving the lives of children and their families.

Nominations Announced

The winners will be announced at the LOtC Awards dinner at Ingestre Hall Residential Arts Centre next Thursday 16th November 2017, following the CLOtC Conference.

Here are the shortlisted nominees for LOtC Innovator (sponsored by YHA):

  • Jenny Hindson, Trees for Cities
  • Matt Hodgson, British Exploring Society
  • Bethan Painter, Environmental Studies
  • Young Egyptologist Workshop Team, The Egypt Centre Swansea University
  • Matt Hodgson, British Exploring Society
  • Bethan Painter, Environmental Studies
  • Young Egyptologist Workshop Team, The Egypt Centre Swansea University

Read the nominations in more detail for LOtC Heroes here.

Kick start a food-growing enterprise with Roots to Work

What is Roots to Work?

Capital Growth have a packed line-up for Roots to Work – an annual conference for people interested in kick-starting or developing a food-growing enterprise or career, with workshops, speakers and networking opportunities.

The event also includes the launch of the Urban Farming Toolkit with our partners, Growing Communities, plus one-to-one advice, as well as our amazing panel of key speakers and a choice of four unique workshops to get you started, or alternatively, take you to the next level.  Book NOW to guarantee your choice of workshop. Full line-up below.

Clare who joined Roots to Work 2016 and is currently training with OrganicLea said:

“the conference was so inspiring and useful that I ended up applying for a traineeship with the Castle Garden”

Programme

Speakers followed by panel Q&A

  • Lessons Learnt from Peri-Urban Farming. Alice Holden, Growing Communities- Author of ‘Do Grow’ and head farmer at Growing Communities Dagenham Farm
  • New approaches to developing livelihoods for Urban Farmers: Brian Kelly, Organiclea
  • Transitioning from volunteering to making a living: Sara Barnes – Growing Communities Patchwork Farmer and Organiclea trainee
  • Freelancing: Getting your own business growing. Hannah Schlotter of hannahgrows.com

Morning Workshops

  • Advanced growing to sell: An in-depth look at key crops, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages they present. This workshop will also explore the topics of management, planning, productivity and value. Joris Gunawardena (Sutton Community Farm)
  • How to get your urban farm started (based on the Urban Farming Toolkit) – Sophie Verhagen,  Head Grower Growing Communities Patchwork Farms

Afternoon Workshops

  • Growing the sector: how can we work together to address barriers for urban food growing enterprise. Nat Mady/Natalie Szarek – Community Food Growers Network (CFGN)
  • Diversifying income: Securing and diversifying income for community gardens: Julie Riehl – Capital Growth, Sustain

Plus Zooming in on the Future

  • Book a 15 minute 1:2:1 for advice on getting your career started from Amber Alferoff – Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

Book NOW to guarantee your choice of workshop

Colour your garden – London artist offers free mural for your school garden

Could your garden or growing space do with a bright mural? Alessandra Tortone, a London based mural artist is offering to add a splash of colour to your garden!

Garden Organic and Food Growing Schools: London are teaming up with Alessandra to offer you a chance to have a free, bespoke mural (value of £500) painted on a wall or surface in your school or your school’s community garden growing space.

To enter the competition, you’ll need a bright idea and 1-3 concept drawings or artwork, preferably done by pupils involved in gardening at yours school. Here’s how to participate in the competition.

Meet the artist

Maybe you’ve seen Alessandra’s work around London?

One of her most well-known commercial projects has been a collaboration with Paul Sweeney to produce large size wall murals for more than 50 Starbucks coffee shops in the Greater London area.

But about her main passion, Alessandra says, “my favourite projects are children’s murals. They are fun, full of imagination and can transform a space into a magical world. In addition to creating jaw-dropping children’s bedrooms, I worked for a number of nurseries and children’s hospitals in London including Whittington Hospital in Archway and Queensbury Nursery in South Kensington.”

Her journey as an artist started in 2000 in her home of Sardinia, Italy. She says, “though I graduated as an accountant (this career lasted only 20 days!), my passion for painting was stronger. With a support of my family I was able to pursue my true calling. I attended a number of painting and drawing courses in both Rome and Sardinia. As a result, my art works progressed from smaller scale projects into larger wall murals and frescos in private homes and restaurants in Sardinia.”

Ready to participate?

The deadline for submissions is Friday 24 November so don’t hesitate!

Get the full competition details here.

School Food Matters video celebrates 10 years

In the past 10 years School Food Matters have worked with over 30,000 children from London and beyond through their food education programmes.

Their mission is to ensure that every child enjoys fresh sustainable food at school and understands where their food comes from.

Results

One pupil says, “I used to hate pears but now I actually quite like them because I’ve grown them”.

Another adds, “I’ve been cooking for the three years in school and now I love cooking with my mum at home.”

This video celebrates some great moments and reveals some of the positive impacts of connecting children with food through school. Watch below or on Youtube here.

Get involved

Would your school benefit from getting involved with School Food Matters’ initiatives? Find out more here.

 

Autumn teachers’ Food Growing Forum an all-round success!

Food Growing Schools London teams up with other organisations and councils in boroughs across London to get more schools engaged in growing.

October’s food growing forum held after school hours and hosted at St Andrew’s (Barnsbury) Primary School was a great success. 16 teachers from across Camden and Islington participated in the informative and inspiring session by sharing tips and resources from their food growing journey and initiatives.

Nick Ives, Engagement Officer for Food Growing Schools London (FGSL) writes:

“One of the best things about my role is working with fellow food growing enthusiasts – Marjon Willers, a Specialist Dietitian from the School Improvement Service of Islington is certainly one of those!  We connected in the summer term and agreed to hold some food growing forums for teachers after school in the Autumn and Spring terms. Marjon agreed to find a host school and invite participants, my colleague Lisa Grant and I agreed to facilitate the session.

Our hosts Jacqui and King, from St Andrew’s (Barnsbury) Primary School generously welcomed 16 teachers and ourselves for the after school session which lasted an hour and a half.

To make best use of time we structured the session into four phases and encouraged constructive dialogue throughout:

  • a brief introduction from each participant and an expression of what they wanted to get out of the session
  • a demonstration from Lisa of the key features of the redesigned FGSL website
  • a tour from King and Jacqui of the school growing spaces
  • brief plenary to pull ideas together and agree some actions.

Some participants were new to growing, others more experienced. We had plenty of useful discussions, in which we shared relevant experiences and ideas, as well as sign posting to helpful resources and expertise.  Some hoped to find out what to grow through the winter, others wanted to know how to make the best use of limited concrete growing spaces. As facilitators we made sure that every participant had a chance to get their questions addressed.

We encouraged everyone to keep in contact with us at Food Growing Schools: London – firstly to let us know what further support we can offer via our online survey and secondly to sign up for our regular FGSL Newsletter. We look forward to all meeting up again in the spring to share our growing stories some more.

Feedback

This is what participants were kind enough to say about our forum:

  • ‘Well organized, informal and practical. Plenty of ideas to take forward’
  • ‘I have lots of cross curricular ideas now. More ideas for how to involve children in gardening’
  • ‘Found out what to plant in Winter’
  • ‘It’s great to see how another school is using its space and what they are growing’
Get in touch

Would schools in your borough benefit from a session of sharing and discussion like this one? Find out more, get involved and organise a session in your borough, simply email fgslondon@gardenorganic.org.uk or call 02476217747.

 

 

Matchfunds for Trees for Cities Edible Playgrounds

Trees for Cities and Bulb, the UK renewable energy supplier, are looking for London schools interested in transforming their playgrounds into food growing spaces and building their capacity to teach through gardening.

The Edible Playgrounds project includes designing and building a bespoke, vibrant and functional teaching garden alongside teacher training, curriculum mapping and other support to build teacher’s confidence and skills to teach outside.

See more about the programme here www.edibleplaygrounds.org

Matchfunding

Through the Bulb partnership Trees for Cities is excited to offer generous matchfunds towards all projects.

Get in touch with Trees for Cities to find out more.

Please contact carys@treesforcities.org or complete an expression of interest form www.edibleplaygrounds.org/early-expression-of-interest

 

Trees for Cities is hiring for Edible Playgrounds programme

Trees for Cities is an ambitious, far-reaching organisation.

Since its inception they have engaged over 65,000 people to plant 500,000 trees focusing on health, food security, and environmental protection and providing opportunities for education and learning through the Edible Playgrounds and Urban Forest programmes.

Edible Playgrounds transform areas in school grounds into vibrant outdoor spaces that excite and teach children about growing and eating healthy food. By instilling healthy eating habits at an early age, they help tackle obesity, food poverty and lack of access to nature head on, and provide a platform for fun and engaging lessons that support the school curriculum.

Now Recruiting

If you have a passion for food growing in schools and are looking for work in London, there are a couple great opportunities to join the Edible Playgrounds team. The roles of Landscape Coordinator and Project Development Officer are currently available- find out more here.

If you’d like to find out more about Edible Playgrounds, click here.

 

 

 

School Marketplace at City Hall

School Marketplace is a FREE, unique and once a year opportunity for pupils to sell your school’s garden produce/harvest in City Hall.

This is Capital Growth’s 4th year of running the event and this year it will take place on Friday, 13 Oct from 12 noon to 2pm.

Be sure to keep up with Capital Growth for future events like this and check in on Twitter for photos and news!

________________

The deadline to apply is Thursday, 5 of October.

To confirm your school’s place simply email: chris.speirs@sustainweb.org or complete the application form and send to Chris by Thursday 5 of October. Any questions call Sustain on: 020 7065 0902

Garden produce could be anything from fresh produce, like tomatoes, herb bunches or potatoes, to goods like jam, chutney, cordial, potted plants, seeds, baked goods, hanging baskets or fresh snacks. Everything you bring to sell should include produce from your school garden.

Important details:

  • It’s completely free
  • There will be prizes for Best Dressed Stall, Most Innovative Product and   People’s Choice.
  • A maximum of 5 attendees per school, including children and adults (pupils must be able to attend).
  • Registration is simple and through our website: www.capitalgrowth.org/school_marketplace

From Seed to Market – Chris Collins and the Young Marketeers Harvest Sale

“There is nothing like the sound of children taking over a market place!” – Chris Collins.

The Young Marketeers Harvest & Apple Sale is coming up on 5 October at Borough Market. Chris Collins who works with School Food Matters to deliver the project and is best known as a former TV Blue Peter gardener, writes to tell us what this school food growing project is all about:

Young Marketeers is an exciting project that has been running for 6 years with support from various organisations including School Food Matters, United St Saviour’s Charity, FareShare and Garden Organic.

The project focus is on advising schools on food growing and providing workshops to teach primary school children to grow veg from seed with an emphasis on seed to plate, encouraging healthy eating by getting children to grow food. It has, in my opinion, been a resounding success.

Young Marketeers takes things a step beyond growing food and with the help of the famous Borough Market, we introduced an entrepreneurial element, where the food the children grow is taken to market and sold to customers.

There is nothing like the sound of children taking over a market place! They are incredible sales people and they do have the advantage of fresh produce to sell – fresh produce they have personally grown.

There are a real mix of children involved with the project because the schools included are primary, secondary and special needs.

The journey starts with workshops in early spring. That’s where I start getting involved. I undertake these workshops at Borough Market itself and can have 25 schools in two sittings – it’s a giant seed sowing party.

We do two lots of crops; one for a summer sale and one for the autumn sale. I teach them seed sowing in trays, pricking out, sowing in drills and how to look after your plants. This advice can be accompanied by school visits I do from time to time but it’s up to the school and the pupils to grow and present produce for sale at the market when the time comes. The children are also given a tour around the market to get tips on sales techniques and how to set up a stall.

What an effort is made when market day comes – the stalls themselves are always presented in fantastic fashion, with children’s artwork and displays really making the produce stand out. The star of the show though has to be the produce the kids have grown. It’s incredibly rewarding for me to see how closely they have listened and, as always their amazing enthusiasm. You can never tire of gardening with children and this project highlights just how much they get it of it.

I will be at the Autumn Sale on 5 October, representing Garden Organic, School Food Matters and Food Growing Schools: London. We always have some esteemed company as the mayor of Southwark attends and usually the local MP, which in itself attracts the media, creating yet another experience for our young growers.

My work doesn’t end there though as I have the impossible task of picking the winning stall…wish me luck, I’m going to need it!”

Christopher M Collins,
Head of Organic Horticulture
Garden Organic

Are you looking to get your school involved in food growing and enterprise activities? Find free resources on our website to get you started, like our Grow Your Own Business activity pack!

What’s powering your pupils?

As a charity, Soil Association’s Food for Life understands how tight the purse strings are, and they know that schools are finding it especially tough to make ends meet. But with more than one in five children overweight or obese when they start primary school, rising to one in three by the time they leave, not to mention obesity prevalence in children in the most deprived areas of the country twice that of children in the least deprived areas, we can’t let tight budgets impact on the health of the next generation.

That’s why Food for Life has revamped their School Awards Programme to make it more affordable for schools to benefit from their unique, whole school approach that is proven to make a positive contribution to pupil health and wellbeing. What’s more, as a Food Growing London School, you are almost certainly well on your way to achieving an award!

Find out more here and start powering your pupils with Food for Life.