Lakenham schoolchildren grow their own

While some youngsters may turn their noses up at a plate of vegetables, children at a Norwich school are growing their own greens as they revolutionise the school's way of eating.

Cavell Primary School in Lakenham started running their own kitchen about Easter time this year. They have a polytunnel and raised beds so they can continue to grow crops throughout the winter.

Mandy Butters, PA to the headteacher, said: 'We have had a good crop this year which we have been using in the kitchen for school lunches.

'We wanted the children to know where their food was coming from. Each class goes out every week and we have got two teaching assistants who work on the allotments with the children.

'Each Monday morning the first class goes outside and gathers the vegetables for the day and takes them to the kitchen.'


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The students are currently growing beetroot, turnips, swede, pumpkins, carrots and salad.

Mrs Butters added: 'The children also do some simple cooking outside in the kitchen area.

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'They have recently made new potatoes with herbs and they have made pesto.

'They are really enjoying it, they like to get their hands dirty and get involved. It's good for children to know that food doesn't just come in a carrier bag.'

The allotment has given children the chance to try new foods such as peppers and chillis.

'When we pick the veg, it tastes so different. We have also got a new dining experience. Before, children used to go up and queue for their food and take it back to the table.

'Now we are having tables of 10 with one member of staff. All the food is on the table and when the children come into the hall, the staff serve it up. It's like a small family.

'Children are talking to an adult and trying different food.

'Today we have got root vegetable soup with bacon – we have different meals every day,' Mrs Butters added. To encourage the children to have healthy snacks there is an edible grazing hedge around the outside of the allotment with strawberries and raspberries which they can help themselves to at break and lunchtime.

Pupils are also hoping to serve their homemade vegetable soup to parents at their harvest festival later on this month.

Does your school have a story? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

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