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Norwich school getting new market garden

Handout photo of vegetables in a garden. See PA feature GARDENING Column. PA Photo: handout/The Heligan Vegetable Bible.

Handout photo of vegetables in a garden. See PA feature GARDENING Column. PA Photo: handout/The Heligan Vegetable Bible.

Archant

School meals at the Hewett School in Norwich could soon be produced on site, with work on the creation of a two-acre market garden due to start imminently.

Two acres of the school playing field adjacent to Harford Manor School will soon be ploughed up and by next summer the garden could be producing vegetables, salads and fruits for sale and for school meals.

It’s hoped that the new organic market garden will provide a year-round supply of vegetables to the school kitchen and a range of outlets in the community, and neighbouring schools will be able to sell produce to parents.

The project is a collaboration between Transition Norwich, the Hewett School and East Anglia Food Link (EAFL) and involves creating a new not-for-profit co-operative.

A key aim of the Hewett School is to provide opportunities for students and in the wider community, and Dale Coleman, the school’s director of resources, said: “From our point of view it’s obviously of benefit from the educational and curriculum side of things. It will enable the students to get involved with growing the vegetables and also the marketing of the produce.

“Work on breaking up the soil where the market garden will be is imminent, and just dependent on the weather to start. The vegetables will be planted in the spring.”

Tully Wakeman, EAFL co-ordinator, said the market garden was also being created as a contingency plan for a shortage of food in the future.

He said: “The reason we are doing this at the school is that we want students and the local community to become more familiar with market gardening, which we feel is important for the future.”

He said more than £130,000 Lottery-funded Local Food Fun cash had been received for start-up costs, including buying a small tractor and other equipment.

The funding is also for three other projects: a community supported agriculture scheme based at Postwick, near Norwich; a flour mill in the city to supply local artisan bakers and wholefood shops; and a project to source local beans, oats and barley.

EAFL is looking for support in terms of helping to grow or sell the produce and in providing expertise in biodiversity, organic pest management, etc. If you are interested in getting involved contact Tully at tully@eafl.org or 07717 471396.

How is your school teaching students to plan for the future? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@ archant.co.uk.

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