School Garden Grants from School Food Matters & Whole Kids Foundation

School Food Matters have partnered with Whole Kids Foundation to provide School Garden Grants for schools in the four London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Whole Kids Foundation is offering a total of £40,000 in grants of up to £2,000 per school to create new edible gardens or to enhance existing ones within the schools grounds.

The School Garden Grants are open to:

  • all schools in the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newham and Waltham Forest
  • applications for grants up to £2000

Schools can apply for funding for a whole range of food growing projects from building raised beds or adding greenhouses, to completely revitalising neglected allotment spaces or creating sensory gardens for special needs students. Schools can also apply for a grant to provide food growing training for staff and students.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 6th April 2018. The grant programme will close on that date or when we have received 80 applications – whichever is sooner.

To apply, download and complete the application form from

Heads share what schools do with their fruit & veg

Survey of Trees for Cities Edible Playground schools

Winter is the perfect time to ensure your beds are ready for the sunnier days ahead. And it’s a fun opportunity to plan the lessons you’ll teach outside and the produce you want to grow this season.

For some inspiration on what to do with all the produce once it’s grown, a recent Trees for Cities survey of Edible Playground schools offers some inspiration.

The survey found that produce is being used in a huge variety of ways; sold to parents and others at school events, garden markets or direct to restaurants, put straight into school meals as ingredients for cooking club, or eaten straight out of the beds during lessons, gardening club or playtime – a fantastic way for the children to reap the rewards of their hard work.

What could be better than that?

To discover more about Edible Playgrounds, click here.


The Big Dig is back!

Saturday 21 April 2018

” The spirit of the Big Dig is what community gardening is all about “

Join Capital Growth and gardens across the capital to kick off the growing season on this annual volunteer open day. Every spring, hundreds of volunteers pull on their wellies and head outside to help community gardens get ready to grow.

Find out more and register your school here.

The Big Dig across the UK

In 2016, in London over 40 gardens took part, welcoming over 750 volunteers to help shovel compost, build trellises, plant seedlings and enjoy a hard day’s work in the company of friends and neighbours.

The Big Dig started as an event run by Capital Growth in 2012 to engage volunteers in their local food-growing space. It was initially funded as a nationwide project, managed by Sustain, recruiting 7,500 new volunteers to take part in community gardening.

Find out more and register your school here.

The Farm Project CIC

The Farm Project CIC (Community Interest Company) offers an unusual experience for children and young people through a short-stay residential on a working organic farm in Gloucestershire.

Special Offer

The Farm Project is now offering to fund a visit for a school group of 10 pupils from London who have never had the opportunity to visit the farm before (open to pupils from year 5 up to 6th form).

To take advantage of this generous offer, or to find out more, please contact Maya at or visit their website Contact Us page.

Why visit a farm?

Many farms are open to the community and specifically cater for educational experiences for children and young adults. When farms host visits in this way, children from urban centres especially benefit from taking a hands on approach to learning about food. It’s an opportunity to dispel myths and misconceptions while gaining a new perspective and connection to food and how food is produced. This translates to making healthier food choices, such as trying and eating more fruit and veg. It can also inspire them to grow their own at home or in the school garden, which in turn gives them a deeper appreciation of the value of food while getting them involved in a more active lifestyle outdoors.

What do they do on a farm?

Whilst at The Farm Project children and young people gain a deep understanding of where food comes from through hands-on growing, harvesting, cooking and eating. They care for the animals, collect eggs, feed the pigs, milk the cows and feed the calves. They spend time in the woods chopping wood and building fires and an awareness and appreciation for the natural world.

Learning outside a traditional classroom offers exciting and invaluable opportunities for personal development. Confidence and self-esteem grow and communication and teamwork strengthen as children and young people face new experiences and challenges far from their everyday lives.

The nurturing environment encourages positive relationships to be built between individuals and gives a general sense of wellbeing. The experience provides an opportunity for developing new skills and qualities which can be taken back into homes, schools and communities.

A Visible Difference

“We saw visible differences in the students as their time on the farm progressed. We saw growth in confidence, and an improvement in social skills. The children bonded together with both their room partners and their working groups and the farm activities allowed for invaluable opportunities for team work. They showed amazing perseverance, which was rewarded with success, and a lot of fun and laughter.” Teacher, London

About the farm

Run by managing partners Will and Hilary Chester-Master, Abbey Home Farm is a 650 hectare organic mixed farm.

Abbey Home Farm is committed to organic practices and passionate about connecting the local community – especially children and young people – with the food they eat.

With their team Will and Hilary have been hosting educational day visits for over 20 years.

In July 2015 The Farm Project CIC was established at Abbey Home Farm. Having hosted a handful of visits through the Soil Association’s ‘Farm Academy’ programme in 2012/13, they realised what an impact a residential stay could have.

The Farm Project hosts up to one week long residential visits for children and young people from all walks of life, between the months of March and November.

Find out more about how you could bring your school group by visiting their website

Before I came to The Farm, I never used to try or eat any food that maybe didn’t look nice or I thought I was going to hate. However, I couldn’t starve all week, so whenever I gave the dishes a try, I always seemed to like it. This trip has definitely developed my taste buds a lot. Not only had we been enjoying ourselves, but we were using our ordinary classroom subjects to help us with our jobs. I have learnt that we might think our school subjects are boring, but we need them in real life, so that’s why teachers should organise trips like this

Deniz, 11

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.

Grow Well, Feel Well – summer summit

Photo credit: Capital Growth

Grow Well, Feel Well

Join Food Growing Schools: London partner Capital Growth on Wednesday 5 July for their summer summit all about health, well-being and growing food in the city.

From mindfulness and garden design, to growing nutrient rich plants and therapeutic horticulture, the afternoon will include workshops and speakers on a variety of topics, plus time to enjoy the onsite permaculture garden and meet other attendees.

Tickets available via Eventbrite or visit the Capital Growth website for more info.

Schools Marketplace at City Hall – tomorrow!

Dormers Wells High School, Ealing. Winners of the Best Stall at the FGSL Schools Marketplace at City Hall in October 2015.
Dormers Wells High School, Ealing. Winners of the Best Stall at the FGSL Schools Marketplace at City Hall in October 2015.

Schools Marketplace, City Hall – Thursday 13 October 2016

The day has nearly come for the sixth FGSL Schools Marketplace at City Hall. Students from 10 schools in Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Richmond and Southwark will be taking part, including:

Athelney Primary School – Lewisham
Charlton Park Academy – Greenwich
Dormers Wells High School – Ealing
Elmwood Primary School – Croydon
Holy Trinity C of E Primary School – Lewisham
Kelvin Grove Primary School – Lewisham
Reay Primary School – Lambeth
Rokesly Junior School – Haringey
Rotherhithe Primary School – Southwark
Trafalgar Infant School – Richmond

To celebrate all this fantastic growing, we will be awarding prizes during the day for Best Dressed Stall, Most Enterprising Product and for the People’s Choice of their favourite stall.

Join us from 11am – 2pm on the Lower Ground Floor (Map area) to try out some tasty school-grown produce and Autumn treats. The event is organised with project partner, Capital Growth.

Our main FGSL Celebration Event will also be taking place upstairs in London’s Living Room at City Hall, from 10.45am – 1.30pm, with a chance to visit the Schools Marketplace during the day.

City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA

See you there!





Get your FREE Food Growing Assembly booked this term!

Looking at seed packets. Photo: Jane Baker/Garden Organic
Looking at seed packets. Photo: Jane Baker/Garden Organic

If you’re not currently growing food, or just getting started on your food growing journey, our new school assembly programme could be just for you.

Over the summer, the Food Growing Schools: London team have been beavering away to get a fun, engaging and informative assembly ready to be delivered in schools this autumn term. The idea is that the assembly is taken into schools that are yet to enjoy all the benefits of food growing, so that we can inspire teachers and pupils and make it even easier to get started.

The short assembly is linked to the curriculum, suitable for all ages and can be tailored for the needs of your school. It will get your pupils thinking about where our food comes from, why food growing is important and what can be grown within the school gates. Team the assembly with our free tips and resources and we’ll have you growing your own in no time at all!

Interested? Book your free school assembly – and receive:

  • A free visit from the FGSL team
  • An invitation to our Celebration Event at City Hall to learn more about food growing– 13 October 2016
  • An invitation to join the FGSL Growathon – and 54,000 pupils in London already growing food!
  • School staff and volunteer training
  • Free food growing resources – growing cards, activity sheets and more!

*To book, simply complete this very short survey

and we’ll do our best to get an assembly arranged for you or will add you to our waiting list for later in the team when the team may have more availability,

Here’s to food growing this term!












Celebrating our success – a City Hall event

FGSL growing activities at the Edible Garden Show. Photo: Jane Baker/Garden Organic
FGSL growing activities at the Edible Garden Show. Photo: Jane Baker/Garden Organic

We are delighted to announce that we will be celebrating the success of Food Growing Schools: London (FGSL) with a special event in the London’s Living Room at City Hall on Thursday 13 October, from 10.45am to 1.30pm, including lunch.

The event will be hosted by the GLA and opened by the Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney. It will be a fantastic opportunity to bring together people from across the capital that have been part of our journey and that join us in our ambition to get every London school growing their own food!

Coinciding with our final Schools Marketplace in partnership with Capital Growth at City Hall, everyone coming to the event will also have the opportunity to visit the 15 stalls held by children on the Lower Ground floor. As always, schools will showcase their food growing by selling school grown produce and products such as chutneys, jams, herbs and winter salads. What better way to start our FGSL celebration than to see enterprising schools at work! The Schools Marketplace takes place as part of Grow Your Own Business activities this Autumn term.

Speakers at the celebration event include Chris Collins (Broadcaster and Head of Horticulture at Garden Organic), James Campbell (CEO Garden Organic), Professor Judy Orme MFPH (MSc Health Promotion), and Mat Jones MPhil, BA, PG Cert (University of West England) who will share the great successes of Food Growing Schools: London to date.

It will be a chance to look at why food growing is important and the transformational impact it can have on children and schools that get involved. We will hear first-hand from teachers and children about the benefits and why they think EVERY school in London should grow their own food.

To find out more and to book a place visit Eventbrite.