Sutton Community Farm offers visits for local schools

Sutton Community Farm (SCF) is a 7 acre farm located in Wallington, south London. The farm is community-owned and not-for-profit and produces a wide variety of vegetables which are largely sold through an organic veg box scheme run by the farm.

Offer to local schools

SCF has received funding to subsidise the cost of local schools visits to attend workshop sessions.

Workshops focus on teaching young people how food is grown and where it comes from, in a setting that allows them to connect with nature in an outdoor learning environment.

The farm is set up to welcome pupils in either Key Stage 2 or 3, and can be flexible in fitting workshops around themes that link to the curriculum.

The funding needs to be spent by the end of the school year in 2018, and so SCF are looking to develop partner relationships with local schools.

Farming happens all year round, with different activities depending on the season.

School visits are possible on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Please contact the farm to check availability.

More information can be found on their website or call the farm phone Monday – Friday 8am – 4.30pm at 07722 156097.


Soil is the answer

Good soil, best compost

Article by Dan Welburn, Ridan Composting

Growing food to eat yourself gets us as close to nature as it is possible to be. Consuming something we have planted and nurtured, the rewards are amazing and the taste unbeatable, all you need for this is good soil, that’s where it all starts.

Good soil is full of nutrients and life, it feeds not only plants but insects, microbes, worms and small animals too. The way to make good soil is by adding compost, this enriches the soil making it nutritious and nourishing.

The best compost is home-made and free, school food waste, all of it, not just vegetables and fruit, but also cooked food, meat, bread, pasta, eggs and cheese can all be converted into great compost at school by using a simple machine, the ‘Ridan’.

In as little as 12 weeks all of that food waste can be turned into compost, then spread on the garden where it will feed your next crop of delicious vegetables and fruit. Turning all of the food waste into compost to grow more food closes the loop, it’s perfectly sustainable and it’s all down to soil.

Ridan food waste composting systems are designed to stand outside, they don’t use any power and they are a simple interactive way to recycle all school food waste on site. Already used by hundreds of schools they are a highly visible, educational demonstration of sustainability and recycling.

For full details please visit the Ridan website or call 01598 751043.

Ridan are currently offering a 10% discount to all schools involved with Food Growing Schools: London.

Spring is the perfect time to start a school garden

Join Food Growing Schools: London for Spring into Growing, and learn the secrets to planning and constructing your school garden, and developing a productive growing space – including  how composting can have huge benefits to helping you grow food. Free resources, tips and ideas here: Spring into Growing – Plan it. Build it. Grow it!

Discover more: FGSL competitions and offers

Nominations open for RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2018

Entries are now open!

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening are on the lookout for the most inspirational young gardeners, educators and gardening teams in the UK.

You can read about last year’s finalists and winners here.

Prizes for finalists and winners in 2018 include a stunning Gabriel Ash greenhouse worth £3,425, Gabriel Ash Coldframes, £500 in vouchers, garden tools and unique opportunities to work with RHS and TV gardeners.

See their website for full details.

Train a trainer with Food for Life in Greenwich

Transforming food culture

One of our Food Growing Schools: London partners, Soil Association Food for Life is working with the London Royal Borough of Greenwich to transform food culture in the borough.

Alexander McLeod Primary School in Abbey Wood hosted a few keen people on 5 Dec 2017  who had food growing and healthy cooking on their minds as part of the Food for Life Train the Trainer partnership in Greenwich.

The project is about community-based people training others in areas of food education linked to promoting a healthy lifestyle through food, both in growing healthy food and then also using that healthy food to prepare meals.

Train a trainer

The food growing element of the training was led by Garden Organic’s Associate Liz Davies.  She took participants through the elements of the Food for Life awards criteria, whole school approach to food education linked to the primary curriculum, organic growing in schools and also composting in schools.

Integrating organic growing with the primary curriculum focusing on Food for Life activities including school community engagement brought everything to life by using the school’s glorious growing space as a foundation for learning.

The afternoon finished with participants’ trialing practical activities highlighting health and safety considerations in schools along with curriculum planning and seed saving ideas.

Events like these help to gather bright minds and great ideas, to help build stronger, healthier communities.


If you’d like to find out more about the Soil Association Food For Life programme and related initiatives, please visit their website.

Grow Wild with free seed kits for schools

Are you ready to be part of the UK’s largest wildflower initiative, by bringing people together to transform a space in your community with native wildflowers?

UK native wildflowers in your school growing space will look beautiful and are a great way to encourage essential pollinators and wildlife to help your garden grow!

Grow Wild with Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, are offering  one quarter of their seed kits to schools this year.

In the UK we’re lucky to have some amazing wildflowers. Bringing people together, getting active, growing as a group and giving back through volunteering can all improve health and wellbeing. Plus by creating these pockets of wild beauty for your neighbors and friends, you will be contributing to their wellbeing too.

Applications close at the end of February 2018. Apply here.

Project Learning Garden seeks schools in Bexley, Merton & Southwark

Project Learning Garden is recruiting schools in Bexley, Merton and Southwark

Project Learning Garden  provides free starter kits to schools with everything they need to start or refresh a food growing garden and use it as an outdoor classroom.

Schools are provided with free hands-on training, curriculum linked resources, raised beds and gardening tools, a cooking kit and ongoing support and guidance.

Project Learning Garden is looking to take 10 new schools on board in Bexley and Southwark. Schools in Merton can also apply.

For more information and to apply please visit the Garden Organic website

What is Project Learning Garden™?
Project Learning Garden is a programme that provides starter kits to schools with everything they need to start or refresh a food growing garden and use it as an outdoor classroom. Project Learning Garden provides schools with hands-on training, curriculum linked resources, raised beds and gardening tools, a fully equipped mobile cooking cart and ongoing support and guidance.
Who started Project Learning Garden™?
The Project Learning Garden programme was first set up by the Captain Planet Foundation in the USA.
Captain Planet Foundation is a grant-making foundation that has funded over 2,600 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 25 countries internationally. More than 1.4 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects.
Since 2011, over 340 learning gardens have been set up in the USA, across 10 States.  Due to its success, Project Learning Garden™ is now being piloted by Garden Organic in the UK.
Who can get involved?
We are looking to work with primary schools who do not have a school garden or whose garden needs re-invigorating so that it can be used effectively as an outdoor classroom during the school day.
To apply or find out more, please visit the website.

Young Marketeers Winter Sale 6 February at Borough Market

On 6 February 2018 students from four schools in Southwark will be setting up shop amongst the iconic arches of Borough Market for the Young Marketeers Winter Sale.

The young entrepreneurs will be selling deliciously warming bowls of home-made soup made using surplus veg and freshly bread baked. All money raised will go to food waste charity, FareShare.

To prepare for sale day, students visited the FareShare depot in London where they witnessed the absurdity of food waste and heard about the charities that help to redistribute good food to those who need it most.

In January they will head to Borough Market for a soup masterclass with food teacher Michaela Bowles and bake bread with Bread Ahead.

Make sure to stop in on 6 Feb to support these Young Marketeers!

Find out more about School Food Matters and the Young Marketeers.

Get ready for Ofsted with Food for Life & receive 10% off your Awards Package

Get ready for Ofsted with Food for Life

Working towards a Soil Association Food for Life award provides evidence that you are supporting Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework requirement for children to keep themselves healthy and the good news is that schools who are part of the Food Growing Schools: London programme may already be well on their way to an award.

To recognise this achievement we’re offering 10% off an Awards Pack to Food Growing Schools: London for a limited time only.

If you’d like to learn more, you can visit the Food for Life website here, or have a chat with one of the friendly Food for Life team by calling 0117 314 5180.

10% off discount code

Once you decide that Food for Life is right for your school, visit and enter the discount code FGSL10 at checkout.

The offer is valid until 28 February 2018.

Free trees are back for London primary schools!

Order your free pack of saplings from 15 January for planting with pupils on your school grounds next winter:

State primary schools which haven’t ordered tree packs previously, or for a long time, are eligible to apply.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get your children outside to learn about nature, improve the local environment at your school and create a much needed home for our urban wildlife. Packs as small as 30 saplings are available, so you don’t need much space to get involved!

Trees for Cities will provide all the necessary support to make you feel confident in planting and caring for your new saplings. They are the London delivery partner for the ‘Trees for Schools’ programme, funded by Defra and delivered in partnership with the Woodland Trust.

Please contact Trees for Cities for more information on 02075871320 or

Mind and Food Growing in Bexley

Promoting healthy lifestyles and mental wellbeing in schools

As part of the ongoing work to support healthy lifestyles and positive mental wellbeing in schools, a workshop has been organised to raise awareness of the Food Growing Schools: London Project.

Food growing has been on the curriculum since the update in 2015 and it can be used to teach children so many other topics in relation to science, numeracy, literacy, geography, history, etc.

The workshop will be held on Monday 29 January 2018 at Bexley Civic Offices, Room G08 from 4-5.30pm. It will be facilitated by Lisa Grant from Food Growing Schools and Pascale Berthellet.

The focus will be about food growing and how this links to health and wellbeing. There is a growing body of evidence that examines the link between food growing and mental wellbeing. For example, a food growing project can help build new skills that improve self-confidence and self-esteem, while building social networks and enhancing social inclusion. It would also be a good way to implement the 5 Ways to wellbeing.

If you feel that you or a colleague would benefit from this workshop, please email or fax the application form to Louise Tse by Monday 22 January 2018.

For more information and to get a copy of the application form feel free to contact Louise.

Louise Tse

Public Health Obesity Lead- Tel: 0203 045 3331

Pascale Berthellet

Public Health Advisor for Children & Young People- Tel: 0203 045 3831