Students from four Southwark schools had the chance to witness the 8,000 tonnes of ‘fit for purpose’ products rescued from waste from the food and drink industry. They also heard about the charities that help to redistribute good food to those who need it most.
Our Young Marketeers were then tasked with putting together an order to be delivered to a charity in Elephant & Castle. This charity transforms the food into nutritious meals for vulnerable families.
Baking a difference
The students will be selling freshly baked bread and soup made from surplus ingredients at the Winter Sale on February 6th at Borough Market with all funds going to FareShare.
“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:
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
School Food Matters are one of six fantastic Food Growing Schools: London partners founded in 2007 by parent Stephanie Wood. Over the past 10 years they have made their name as experts in school food enterprise projects, working with thousands of pupils in schools across London.
Enterprising school food projects
In March and April 2017, Know your Onions, School Food Matters’ new secondary school project progresses with 15 gardening sessions delivered by our partners, Garden Organic. These sessions will inspire students to get involved in food growing, think about where their food comes from and learn useful skills. In April, these schools visit a local market garden where they can see professional food growing at scale, within the boundaries of London. These visits help the students to contextualise their food growing in the wider environment and think about the effects of global food production on the environment. Know your Onions is kindly supported for 3 years by the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust. Read more about the progress of the programme, including students learning to cook their produce, and sell it at their local street market: Know Your Onions.
The Schools to Market programme, led by School Food Matters in partnership with Whole Kids Foundation, is now entering its fifth year and kicks off in March 2017 with an assembly at 20 participating schools. This year five Whole Foods Market stores are taking part: Richmond, Fulham Broadway, High Street Kensington, Cheltenham and Giffnock. The assembly not only launches the programme but also looks at the purpose of it; to take children on a journey from seed to supermarket, to teach them about fresh, healthy food and to improve their nutrition and wellbeing. This way the whole school can benefit from the assembly and not just those children chosen to participate in Schools to Market. Keep up to date with what’s happening when at: Schools to Market.
Led by our fantastic FGSL partner, School Food Matters, the programme will support schools develop food growing spaces and, with the help of a professional chef, give them top tips on how to cook what they harvest.
Students will also get the chance to see food growing at scale with a visit to a Market Garden in London in April to develop ideas on how to make their school gardens more productive and planet friendly.
At the end of the school year, students will harvest and sell their produce at their local street markets to raise money for more food education activities. School Food Matters will be working with three schools in each of the Boroughs of Camden, Croydon, Sutton, Waltham Forest and Enfield, and a total of 15 schools.
Young Marketeers Winter Sale – February 2017
School Food Matters have many years of experience running school food enterprise projects. Among them are their fantastic Young Marketeers (with Borough Market) and Schools to Market (with Wholefoods stores) projects. Next up, their Young Marketeers Winter Sale at Borough Market in February 2017, fr a second year running. Four schools in Southwark will be creating soup from surplus veg and bake bread with the team at Bread Ahead to sell to the public alongside market traders with all money made going to Fareshare.
Inspired to start your own school food enterprise project?….
Grow Your Own Business 2016 – this Autumn Term with FGSL
From strawberry jam to tomato ketchup, and the great British apple to winter salad bags. With our expert guidance, learn the secrets to starting your own school food growing business, raising money for your school, developing employment skills and selling healthy, home-grown food in your local community. Join in with Grow Your Own Business by downloading our free schools activity pack.
Fifteen schools from Southwark and beyond will head to Borough Market laden with Autumn produce on October 6 for the 5th anniversary of the Young Marketeers Harvest Sale.
See the children in action between 11 and 2pm and purchase their delicious school-grown produce.
Beginning with whole school assemblies delivered by FareShare, children in the participating schools have been learning about the challenges of food poverty and the absurdity of food waste.
For the Harvest Sale Chris Collins, former Blue Peter Gardener, has been teaching primary school children the art of growing veg from seed and Borough Market traders share their trade secrets on how to create a winning market stall.
All proceeds from the Young Marketeers sales will go to food surplus charity FareShare, and every £ raised = 4 meals for vulnerable families. Their lovely film will tell you the whole story! Find out more (School Food Matters).
Interested in starting your own school food growing business? Check out our new FREE Grow Your Own Business themed pack for Autumn 2016 – it’s packed full of ideas and tips to help your students to Sow It. Grow It. Sell It!
Download the pack now to find links to enterprise resources, activity sheets, partner events, competitions, and top tips on growing, cooking and selling your school produce, and much much more…
June sees School Food Matters Young Marketeers schools receiving visits from the team at Food Growing Schools London. Skilled horticulturists will be on hand to deal with any veg related problems to ensure a bountiful crop to sell at Borough Market.
In April and May, the students had two training days at Borough market on seed sowing and market trading followed by a visit to the Fareshare depot.
The project culminates in two sales days, with half the schools selling their produce on the summer sale on July 7 and the other half at the harvest sale in October. This project allows children from 16 schools to sell food they have grown at school at Borough Market, the proceeds of any sale going to the charity Fareshare.
Once again, 36 schools from across the UK will embark on a journey from seed to supermarket with all nine Whole Foods Market UK stores taking part. Each store is working with one local secondary school and three primaries, growing and cooking the ingredients for a range of chutneys, relishes and sauces that will be sold Whole Foods Market in July.
We’re all set for another year of exciting activities including a master class from chef Ruth Quinlan, a visit to pick your own farms in Kent and Surrey, and store tours and marketing workshops at Whole Foods stores. And there’s going to be a celebrity chef visit from Tom Aikens.