The Real Bread Campaign, run by our friends at Sustain, have teamed up with Grow Your Own Playground to guide schoolchildren across the capital on a year-long journey from seed to sandwich.
The hands-on project sees school food growing expert Cassie Liversidge visit each school to share with classes of up to 60 pupils the fact that Real Bread starts life in a field, not a factory.
During the exciting educational experience, pupils roll up their sleeves to plant wheat in winter or spring; nurture it until harvest time; then gather, thresh, winnow and mill the grain into flour. The culmination is a baking day, when each child makes a loaf to take home to share with their family.
The full programme has four stages:
- Build: Construction of a solid wood planter that will last for years to come.
- Sow: Children prepare the seed bed and plant the wheat seeds, learning how to care for it.
- Grow and Harvest: Grow Your Own Playground makes two visits to check how the wheat is growing and harvest the crop in the late summer or early autumn.
- Bake: A fun and informative Real Bread making day, when children get to mill their wheat and bake a loaf to take home.
Maria Lewington, headteacher at John Scurr Primary School said: “We so look forward to our Lessons in Loaf. The baking day is full of meaningful and collaborative learning. Every part of the curriculum is alive throughout the day and every child receives an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
The project partners, along with the Worshipful Company of Bakers, work to find an expert baker local to the school to join in with the baking day, allowing children to learn about the profession, and the school to build community business links.
The Real Bread Campaign would be keen to hear from anyone who can help fund their work on the project, or sponsor schools to participate.
London school teachers, governors and gardeners can express their interest in the project at:
Lessons in Loaf: London is a collaboration between the Real Bread Campaign (which launched Lessons in Loaf nationally in 2010 and Bake Your Lawn a year later) and Cassie Liversidge, who has been helping London schools to grow wheat to bake into bread since 2010 as part of Grow Your Own Playground. Cassie’s work on the project is sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Bakers.
The Real Bread Campaign is part of the food and farming charity Sustain, which also runs London Food Link and its Capital Growth network of community food growing spaces.
Lessons in Loaf is a trademark of Sustain.
Lessons In Loaf: London offers the choice of three packages, each for up to 60 pupils, tailored to a school’s specific needs:
Package 1: The full Build, Sow, Grow and harvest, and Bake programme outlined above. Cost: £2,254.99
Package 2: The Sow, Grow and Harvest, and Bake programme outlined above. (Suitable if the wheat can be planted into an existing bed with new compost added no planter building is required) Cost £2,040.00
Taster: If a school registers too late to plant the wheat, they can try the Bake day to whet their appetite and do the whole package the following academic year. Cost £1,020.00
Consultation: If there is any doubt that this project will be possible at a particular school, Grow Your Own Playground can offer a consultation visit. A professional gardener will visit your school, talk through the whole project and discuss the best location within the school grounds for the wheat to grow. Cost: £150.00