Croydon pupils turned market traders last week, selling fruit and vegetables grown by their schools at Surrey Street Market, as part of a programme promoting healthy eating, cooking and sustainability.
Thirty pupils from The Link Secondary, Shirley High and Meridian High School took part in the project.
Rhubarb, potatoes, spring onions, lettuce, herbs, and more, were on the school produce stall, with the young stall-holders making a total of £104 on the day, which will be reinvested back into their schools.
The programme, called Know Your Onions, is run by the charity School Food Matters, and gives youngsters an opportunity to experience growing and cooking at school, with the help of expert gardeners and food teachers, to stimulate an interest in food and a love of the natural world. The free programme for schools, now in its fifth year, also sees students visiting a nearby market gardens to observe how the professionals do it.
More than 160 pupils across five London boroughs – Walthamstow, Camden, Enfield and Hackney were the others – took part in the programme this year.
School Food Matters’ Dela Foster said: “Teenagers can be initially confused about why they should learn about food growing and cooking. But for many, visiting the farm is the moment when they see why this is important.
“Then when they taste the amazingly fragrant, spicy dishes they have created with vegetables, they start to understand the fun.
“And then, finally, market day gives them this incredible opportunity to interact with the public and see the value their community places on home-grown veg.”
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Brilliant! Great to hear that young people are growing their own at school.
Let’s hope that they get switched on to growing, picking and enjoying fresh salad and veg, at home too.
Thanks must be due to the schools, head teachers and staff too, and of course to School Food matters, for awakening their students’ awareness and enjoyment of fresh food, home grown.