At sheringham paper, norfolk uk

@ Sheringham Community Paper - Issue 101 - 5 June

National Trust - Food Glorious Food‘Food Glorious Food’ inspires children to grow their own

A new National Trust campaign, Food Glorious Food, launches today, 14 May 2009 and aims to create a new generation of ‘grow it yourselfers’. The campaign aims to inspire children to plant, nurture, grow, harvest and eat their own food and encourage families to enjoy more local and seasonal produce.

The National Trust estimates that it takes forty-two minutes1 - from preparation, to planting, watering, nurturing and harvest – for children to grow their own meal. In this time a child can learn how easy and enjoyable it is to grow their own, introducing them to a lifetime of simple fun. At the same time they benefit from spending time with their family, getting their hands dirty and taking part in outdoor exercise, starting the journey towards an active and sustainable lifestyle.

National Trust - Food Glorious FoodTo start young growers on their journey, Food Glorious Food will give away over 170 million free seeds - which is equal to up to four million pumpkins, 26 million bags of rocket leaves and 70 million lettuces. The free seeds are easy-grow pumpkins for those with a garden and rocket or lettuce seeds for those with less space, challenging the myth that you need a garden to grow your own. Both baby lettuce and salad rocket can be easily cultivated in a garden of any size - or in a pot, sink, window box – and even a welly.

A new interactive website has been developed to support families each step of way. It features a virtual vegetable patch where children can care for pet plants that need tending and care just as real plants do, so they can learn what to do in the garden. Once registered, young growers will receive weekly step-by-step advice from National Trust gardeners on how to grow their plants, in the form of helpful and fun characters. The website also features factual information and advice for parents including a guide to growing seeds and child-friendly recipes.

National Trust - Food Glorious FoodJennifer Forrest, the National Trust’s Food Champion in the East of England said:

“Growing our own food is, and will increasingly become, an essential skill. Through this campaign we want to reach and inspire a new generation of young people to connect with the land and grow food. We know that once children get started they are hooked. The experience of growing food from seed is enthralling. So the focus of Food Glorious Food is on action and involvement, encouraging children to learn and enjoy by doing.”

We will be sharing growing advice with children through a programme of special events that will start during the May half term, with more to look forward to later in the year.

Some of the highlights in the East of England include Plant the Plot at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk - a hands-on workshop for all the family where you can learn all about growing produce in a traditional garden. Visit Mr McGregor’s Garden at Melford Hall in Suffolk, a property visited regularly by Beatrix Potter, where children can meet Mr McGregor down at the potting shed and plant their own seeds to take home – there’s even the chance to grow your own hedgehog! Not forgetting the Wild Food Trail at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, solve the clues about food you never even thought you could eat!

So what are you waiting for, get your hands dirty this May half-term and grow your own fruit and vegetables…