Teaching children about food
As mentioned on the How the Story Began page, concern for her children’s physical and emotional wellbeing was a major factor influencing our founder to set up our first urban growing space in Dr Bells’ Yard (sadly this project had to close at the request of the housing association which owned the area). Evie was also concerned about climate change and mass extinction (not least the decline of pollinating insects), and the role of industrial agriculture and the modern food industry in these related issues.
By getting her children outdoors, growing their own food, Evie was able to tackle all of these issues at once. The children’s diet became healthier as they were happy to eat the greens they had grown themselves, and the appeal of the sweets by the supermarket checkout declined. A foster child’s behaviour and performance in school dramatically improved. Furthermore, Evie was able to explain environmental concepts in a simple and direct way, with reference to plants, pollinating insects, compost, etc., while she was reducing her carbon footprint (‘food-print’!) and doing her bit for biodiversity.
It was clear to those who saw what Evie had achieved that all children should enjoy the same benefits, and Leith Community Crops in Pots was founded and received Climate Challenge Fund support to roll the work out to local schools. With backing for both a two-year project and an overlapping one-year project (see our Reports page, we were able to create ‘Edible Schoolyards’ and/or mini-orchards in local primary schools, Stanwell Nursery and Leith Academy.
Several years down the line, and with further backing from other funders, we have developed educational syllabuses and carried out a ‘Nurture Children’ project, aimed particularly at helping vulnerable/disadvantaged children, which we were writing up at the time this website was being created. The primary schools we have worked with include Leith, St Mary’s and Hermitage Park.
Our next ambition is to develop after-school and summer clubs for children under the aegis of our Croft Carbon College.
Enjoy the photographs, and get in touch if you want further information on our schools work!