School Report

22 Jul 2008

Produce grown by pupils at Topsham School in Devon (UK) proved so popular at the local Slow Food market last weekend that it sold out completely. The young students, who have been growing beans, courgettes, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, radishes and peas, were selling their school-grown vegetables for the first time at the monthly market.

The children have been growing produce in their school sensory garden and allotment patch since it they were initiated earlier this year. Following their success on Sunday, they have now decided to hold their own stall on an ongoing basis, with the money earned to be re-invested in the gardens.

‘This is inspirational stuff, and a great way to learn not only where food comes from but also about the economics of growing food, selling it and reinvesting the profits,’ said Fred Dudbridge, leader of the local Slow Food Devon convivium.

In the US, Slow Food Boulder is working with Growing Gardens in the Cultiva! project, an educational program for 11-19 year-olds that teaches organic gardening practices and the skills needed to sell their produce to the public at the Boulder Farmers’ Market. Around 100 students nurture a two-acre garden, harvesting the produce weekly to sell at market and using it in monthly cooking classes with local chefs. Part of the proceeds are donated to local charities.

Nearby, the Denver convivium has developed the Seed-to-Table program with a local elementary school. In addition to building a school garden and introducing a taste education program, the project was able to be extended over the summer months, when the school is closed, and to establish an on-site farmers’ market operated by the students to sell the produce.

Bess Mucke
[email protected]

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