Grown in Kent competition 2012
By: Steve Ott
The Kent County Agricultural Society will launch the 2012 Grown in Kent competition in February this year. The initiative was first rolled out in 2011 to encourage school age children to grow a variety of produce.
Roger Moore, Executive Manager said “Kent is known as ‘The Garden of England’ and has a rich horticultural heritage. If we can encourage a love of growing early in life this will help children to get a real sense of where food comes from and what is grown in the county.” Last year a good number of schools entered the competition, All Saints CEP School in Chatham won with an impressive £99.99 worth of produce. Second place was Mereworth Primary School with £85.95 produce recorded. Third place was taken by Teynham Primary with an impressive £62.59.
All Saints School, Mrs Fielding was delighted to receive the award on behalf of all the pupils at the school. The children had just been harvesting leeks, carrots, kohlrabi and beans which were going to be used at the after school cookery club.
During peak harvesting, produce is sold to raise funds for a school they support in India. Lesley Fielding explained “this project would not be possible without the support of the parents who help tend the crops particularly over the summer break. Some of them have even taken their own allotments to continue growing produce even after their children have left the School.”
Nichola Austin of Teynham Primary School commented, "It was nice to combine gardening and a competition together because not only did it encourage interest in the growing of fruit and veg., but it helped with maths without the children realising. It was great fun and we are looking forward to this year’s competition. We hope to do even better this year!"
Cath Jones of Vegucatekent said, “The Quartet Garlinge After School Gardening Club took the competition very seriously. Great care was taken to weigh produce accurately and fill in the details on the competition form.” Also, “Pupils from the Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate enjoyed weighing their harvest after months of hard work growing a huge variety of crops. After weighing, all the food was taken to the kitchen and served to staff and pupils at lunchtime.”
Participating schools are able to download a comprehensive resources pack with everything needed to start growing produce. The fruit and vegetables listed have a harvest value, which the schools weigh and record. The new 2012 resource pack will be available on line in February this year and each school that registers will receive a free pack of seeds to help them on their way. Some additional crops are being added together with growing guides and some dropped as they proved difficult to harvest before the finish date in June, especially in a difficult growing season.
The winning School will be provided with family tickets to come to the Kent County Show in July 2012 when Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson will present the Winners Cup and Rosette. The Kent Show presentation will be on Saturday July 14th 2012.
The Kent County Agricultural Society believes that every child should be given the chance to garden and to ensure that they grow up with a love of learning, a strong grasp of essential life skills and robust physical and emotional health. Children get a chance to see and eat vegetables that they may not have had before and learn about local produce.
Roger Moore, Executive Manager at the Kent Showground said “we are looking forward to even more schools taking part in 2012. All a school needs is a small amount of space and a passion to grow fresh food.”
For more details contact Hannah Everest, Kent County Agricultural Society 01622 630975 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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