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Food for Life - Schools Programme

                                                                                    

Little Growers

             

                             Little Growers 

Every parent wants their children to have what’s best for them; to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy nourishing diet. If only it were that simple! But that’s the challenge taken on by Jason Ralph-Smith, founder of Little Growers, a not for profit horticultural education project. He believes that getting youngsters to grow tasty produce is an exciting and educational way of involving them in what they eat. Little Growers harnesses youngsters’ eagerness and natural curiosity, encouraging them to grow and taste a variety of produce.
 
                                    
 
At the heart of the Little Growers project is the unique AutoPot self watering technology invented by Jason Ralph-Smith. The UK manufactured watering systems provide controlled irrigation for food crop production powered only by gravity. They are environmentally friendly, extremely safe for use in the schools and very simple to manage. Teachers consistently find that watering and maintenance of plants is a key difficulty with grow your own schemes in schools, children nurture plants all term long only to find they have perished over the school holidays or weekends. The irrigation systems Little Growers provides overcome this significant issue for teachers as they provide water and feed to the plants for a minimum of two weeks.
 
When they come on board, all schools are provided with complete growing kits free of charge, so they can get started immediately. The kits include a polytunnel, raised bed, irrigation systems, seeds and much more. Their fresh produce is then used throughout the curriculum; during food technology, science and art lessons, in the canteen and after school clubs, giving children a taste of ´home-grown´ fruit and vegetables.
By enabling children to get involved in growing, Little Growers also encourages them to learn about their environment, sustainability and healthy eating. They produce their own healthy, fresh food and learn key life skills. 
                      
 
Feedback from the existing Little Growers projects is extremely positive;
‘The abundant produce was used extensively in science lessons and cooking, Little Growers has really enriched our curriculum.’ Llandudno Primary.
‘I cannot sing the praises of this scheme enough, it has been educational and fun for all involved, in respect of our Eco schemes but also with regard to healthy eating. I sincerely hope this project can continue to grow to enable all school children to reap the benefits we have been fortunate enough to have during this last year’ Hillside Primary.
Little Growers acknowledges there are other schemes promoting healthy eating in schools, but none that combines the complete package from food production to consumption, incorporating irrigation systems alongside environmental issues. Little Growers combines all the key stages that children need to understand healthy eating and environmental sustainability, from planting, growth, maintenance, harvest, and eating.
 
Little Growers now has 25 fully fledged school growing projects and 50 starter projects across the UK. Little Growers has also recently spread worldwide with new school schemes in Japan, Thailand and the Maldives. 
 
                             
Please visit our website www.littlegrowers.co.uk or if you wish to find out more or become involved with Little Growers contact heather@littlegrowers.co.uk