This term pupils at Warren Street Primary, winners of our summer Grow Your Own Picnic competition, gratefully accepted a £500 voucher prize donated byGarden Site, to put towards their school food growing efforts.
Warren Street Primary – a food growing school in Bromley
“We grow vegetables in the school garden and when we have a good harvest, we sell the food to the school kitchen as well as to parents after school,” said Tom Bateson, Sustainability Leader at Warren Street Primary.
“This means that we can return the money back into the Eco budget to grow more plants the following year.”
But Mr. Bateson explained,”the door on our current greenhouse has broken and is too dangerous for children to go into now, so we’ll be unable to grow plants over the winter.”
“Now thanks to this prize, we’re looking to get a brand new greenhouse and some other items from Garden Site to allow the pupils to keep growing food and to support outdoor learning all year round.”
See the benefits of food growing and outdoor learning for schools, pupils and the wider community here.
About the prize donated by Garden Site
GardenSite, one of the UK’s leading online garden retailers teamed up with FGSL during the summer term to offer a generous prize of a £500 voucher, which can be used to purchase gardening items from their range of around 10,000 products.
Whether it be a new greenhouse or shedfor the school grounds or even a selection of garden planters perfect for growing a wide variety of fruit and veg, the £500 can be spent on a huge variety of products to help maximise the school’s growing potential.
Growing your own, all year round
If you’re in need of inspiration on what to grow, GardenSite have a handy guide on What to Grow In Your Greenhouse which covers the entire year.
See Garden Organic’s month by month guide for what to do in your garden here.
Thanks to all the schools that participated in our competition – we wish you a fantastic year.
Competition: Trees for Cities are calling all schools to make a short film about food growing in your playground/open space. Win amazing prizes for your school:
£200 gardening voucher for the 1st prize;
£100 gardening voucher for 2nd;
£50 gardening voucher for 3rd.
They’ll also send out spring seed packs to all entrants, so there’s plenty of incentive for schools to get on board!
Along with energy company Bulb, Trees for Cities are launching a Grow On, Film It competition for schools to show us the effects food growing has on the pupils and staff.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re growing a few herbs in a small window box or a feast’s worth of different fruits and vegetables in multiple raised beds, we want to see how you do it.
Be as imaginative and creative as you can! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Say a poem about the garden
Tell the story from seed to plate
Show us how school life has changed since growing at school
Show us how the growing can be incorporated into the curriculum
Let us know about your gardening skills and why your plants grow so well
Share how the gardening encourages a deeper connection to nature
You might decide to add songs, graphics, comedy – it’s totally up to you, though ensure you keep the films under 3 minutes long. Points will be awarded for imagination, so get those thinking caps on. We can’t wait to see what you produce!
The deadline for submissions is Monday 1 October 2018, so please ensure you have your submissions in before then.
RHS Campaign for School Gardening launches I Can Grow!
This project is a chance for young people to discover and explore the benefits of gardening, not only to them, but also to their local community and the wider world.
I Can Grow is designed to empower young people, allowing them to create a campaign, using plants, to shout about the environmental and social issues they believe in.
How it works…
First, sign up for a free inspiration pack (register on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website) which will contain a project guide and great resources to get your class or group thinking about and eventually sharing their campaign.
This project is designed to be led by your young people as much as possible so, using the resources, encourage them to think how they could use plants to solve a problem or support a cause that means something to them.
They will be asked to try and link their cause to one or more of these themes…
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 1 December so don’t hesitate!
During February Food Growing Schools: London (FGSL) teamed up with Author Ben Raskin and Leaping Hare Press to launch an exciting prize draw. For London schools to win ‘Grow’, a fantastic new illustrated book helping children to get inspired to grow food. We received a huge number of entries from primary schools all across London, with many sharing their exciting plans to grow food with students this year.
Announcing the ‘Grow’ book winners
Congratulations to the following schools who won ‘Grow’ the book:
St Leonards Church of England School, Lambeth
Linton Mead primary School, Greenwich
Cranford Primary School, Hounslow
Stoneydown Park Primary School, Waltham Forest
Streatham Wells Primary School, Lambeth
Akiva School, Barnet
Reay Primary School, Lambeth
Gilbert Colvin, Redbridge
Marner Primary School, Tower Hamlets
Three lucky schools were also picked to receive ‘Grow’, and a visit from the Author Ben Raskin to bring the activities in the book alive. Congratulations to you too. We will be in touch soon to arrange a time to visit your school:
St Joseph’s Primary School, Wandsworth
King Athelstan Primary, Kingston Upon Thames
Abbotsfield School, Hillingdon
We were particularly excited to hear lots of exciting plans to grow food in your schools this year, including:
” We are starting the Edible playgrounds project in February, so we are expecting the whole school to be involved in growing. We will be including parents and making sure that all classes are using the garden for lessons across the curriculum.”
” In Year 3 [we will be growing] pumpkins to look at how feeding the soil helps hungry plants, in Year 4 herbs to support learning about the Romans, peppers in Year 5 to learn about the Americas and in Year 6 [growing] tomatoes and cucumber to make Israeli salads! “
First one hundred schools – win a ‘Grow’ activity pack
If you were quick off the mark you may be one of the first 100 schools to enter who have won an exclusive, limited-edition ‘Grow’ activity pack. Keep an eye out for one winging its way to your school. It includes games such as Worms and Ladders, Compost Bingo, seeds and stickers! Fingers crossed!
There are lots of competitions, offers and funds available to help schools grow food this Spring. Find out more here – good luck: Competitions
FGSL support and inspiration to grow
We hope that our ‘Grow’ book competition has inspired your primary school to grow food. If you are looking for help or ideas to get started FGSL can help. We provide the following support and more:
It’s not too late to get involved in Food for Life’s Grandparent Gardening Week. Taking place from 27-31 March 2017, Grandparent Gardening Week is a great way to involve your community in school life and kick start your garden into action after the winter.
This year there is a great competition to get involved in too*. Prizes include a Polytunnel, roll out sensory garden and a veg trug! Just share your Grandparent Gardening Week photos on Twitter using the hashtag #FFLGGWeek. Competition deadline – 28 April 2017
Hosting a gardening activity
Ask a team of students to lead the Grandparent Gardening Week activities, involving your school cook and DT lead. Ask what crops they would like to see grown, think about where they might plant them or how your school cook could use them in their recipes, linking the crops with the kitchen and classroom learning. Share ideas and plans across the school to involve everyone in the fun! The Food for Life Awards Package provides plenty of expert growing resources, including Garden Organic growing cards. For a template poster, media invite and press release visit: Grandparent Gardening Week.
Spring into Growing – Plan it. Build it. Grow it!
You can also dip into FGSL Spring into Growing 2017 resources to help you get growing together on Grandparent Gardening Day. For more ideas on how to work with your local community visit FGSL Support.
Get your grandparents involved – happy growing together!
*Please note – you need to be a Food for Life school to enter the competition. Membership starts at just £25. Find out more here
Be one of only 10 London primary schools to win a copy of ‘Grow’, a fantastic new illustrated book helping children to get inspired to grow food, and a visit from the author!
Plus, the first 100 schools to enter will also win an exclusive, limited-edition activity pack. It includes games such as Worms and Ladders, Compost Bingo, seeds and stickers! FGSL have teamed up with Ben Raskin and Leaping Hare Press for this exciting prize draw. This prize draw launches on Tuesday 17 January 2017.
About Grow – the book
In Grow, a beautifully illustrated guide to growing by Ben Raskin, Head of Horticulture at the Soil Association, you’ll get all the inspiration and knowledge you need to get out there and start planting.
Have you ever wondered how plants work? Or why we eat the fruit of one plant, but the leaves of another? What’s the big deal about growing things – and how do we decide what we need to grow in the space we have? Discover the whole life cycle of food, from sowing and saving to planning and planting, and – most exciting of all – harvesting the food you’ve grown. Ben Raskin’s books Growand Compost come complete with some fantastic activity ideas to get children excited about growing food.
To enter: answer a few simple questions on Survey Monkey and make sure you have completed the FGSL survey. Deadline to enter: 5pm, Thursday 9 February 2017. More details here: Competitions.
*This prize draw is open to all London primary schools who have completed our FGSL survey only.
There are now less than two weeks to get your pupils’ or students’ entries in for this year’s RHS young Herb Photographer of the Year!
RHS have teamed up with Vitacress again for this year’s competition – a great chance for your young photographers to win some fantastic prizes for them and your school or group.
They are looking for young people to send us their photographs of living herbs growing in the wild, a garden, a container or a setting of their choice. The photo can be of any herb(s) and could be growing in the UK or abroad. Photographs can also be from any season taken in the past or present.
Categories and prizes:
There are two categories for the competition: 5-10 year olds and 11-17 year olds. Two winners, one from each category, will be crowned RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year and receive an iPad Air worth around £300 and £500 worth of horticultural materials for their school. One runner up from each category will receive an iPad Mini and £250 of horticultural materials for their school or group.
Edible Playgrounds (EP), a project by Trees for Cities, is inviting London food growing schools, to participate in its new ‘Grow On, Film It!’ short film competition.
EP will ask school pupils to create short films about planting, sowing, growing, gardening, and harvesting healthy food at school. Horticulturalist and Trees for Cities patron Chris Collins will be judging the competition with £600 worth of gardening and growing equipment up for grabs and the winning entry featured on the EP and Food Growing Schools: London websites. Entries close: Friday, 17 June 2016
‘Grow on, Film It!’ will run in conjunction with Food Growing Schools: London’s #Growathon – which aims to inspire 10,000 London students to get growing and join the biggest school food growing challenge of the year.
Kate Sheldon, Acting Chief Executive said “We’re delighted to be launching ‘Grow On, Film It!’ as part of Food Growing Schools: London’s #Growathon. More and more schools are valuing the importance of teaching children about growing and eating healthy foods. ‘Grow On, Film It!’ will give schools and students the ability to showcase that.”
Edible Playgrounds transform outdoor areas in school grounds into fully functional food growing spaces, giving children the opportunity to grow, harvest and eat good food. EP get children living in urban areas excited about growing food and understanding where food comes from.
The charity has already created over 25 Edible Playgrounds in London and in cities across the UK.