School gardening scheme extended to September to beat Coronavirus closure
PUBLISHED: 16:59 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:53 24 March 2020
Plant to Plate deadline extended as schools close for the summer.
In the grand scheme of things, there are bigger problems caused by schools shutting down to combat coronavirus – but don’t worry, we have a plan to preserve our Plant to Plate initiative, sponsored by PlantGrow. So if you’ve been carefully collecting the coupons, you can relax: your hard work will not go to waste.
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The crucial thing is that the deadline for schools to submit tokens has been moved to September 30, 2020 (though schools can submit them earlier if they wish). There will still be tokens published, on schedule over the coming week. Once the schools get back to business in September, the last coupons should be handed in to the school office.
Getting primary children out into the school allotments and growing their own produce helps with their science work, teaching them more about nature and the sources of food. By growing things like salad and tomatoes that can go into the school kitchen, it can even help get them eating vegetables they might otherwise not try – because everyone loves eating something they’ve grown themselves.
Keeping these final coupons and handing them in is important because every school collecting more than 1,000 tokens will receive a gardening pack worth £130, delivered to them in spring 2021. This will kick-start their school gardens in the new year. The six schools with the highest number of tokens (averaged out per pupil in the school) will receive £1000 worth of gardening kit, plus personal advice from Peter McDermott, head gardener at Enjoy Gardening More.
“It is a shame the schools won’t get to enjoy the benefits of the scheme this year, but they’ll be in an even better position to make the most of next spring,” said Peter. “Remember, getting the kids into the garden at home is a perfect way to keep them entertained while they’re off school.”