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Children taught to eat their greens

PUBLISHED: 17:57 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 July 2010

GREEN: Charlie Graham and Kyle Hallam take part in garden club

GREEN: Charlie Graham and Kyle Hallam take part in garden club

Miles Jermy

Being told to eat their greens has been a meal time ritual for generations of children pingling over their dinner plate.

But growing their own has helped a group of Great Yarmouth youngsters discover a love of fruit and vegetables.

Being told to eat their greens has been a meal time ritual for generations of children pingling over their dinner plate.

But growing their own has helped a group of Great Yarmouth youngsters discover a love of fruit and vegetables.

What was an overgrown and neglected yard at Edward Worlledge Middle School has been turned into a lovingly tended garden.

With care and attention, and a little help from Mother Nature, the garden has started to bloom in the bright spring sunshine.

Every lunchtime since Christmas, green fingered members of the gardening club have been busy bees clearing, planting and watering. Now they are looking forward to enjoying the fruits of their labours as the green shoots peep through the soil.

Teaching assistants Carol Williamson and Jo Harvey who help run the club have been impressed by the enthusiasm the children have shown for the task.

Carol said: “The children are going to take the vegetables home with them; some haven't got gardens at home so this is a really great way for them to get close to nature.

“Many youngsters have little idea where food comes from, but now they can watch it grow and eat it. Hopefully having grown the vegetables they will be keener on eating them and everything planted so far has been successful.

“It gives them a sense of responsibility; they work really well together and still turn up even when it is chucking it down.”

Among this year's crop are lettuces, leeks, peas, radishes, strawberries, carrots and tomatoes and plants including sunflowers and sweet peas.

In a bid to attract some wildlife to their little haven the children also turned their hands to making bird feeders and butterfly attractors.

Jo said: “All the classrooms surround the garden so the children see things growing, which gets even more of them more interested in joining. It is fun for them but also covers the curriculum with subjects like maths, science and art and design.

“They have learned how butterflies collect nectar and pollinate flowers, about the acidity of the soil and measure the temperature and rainfall.”

The children have entered competitions to grown the tallest sunflower and heaviest weight of potatoes and are hoping to start keep chickens.

Ten year old Tristan has found plenty to keep him busy in the garden during his lunch break.

He said: “I help my dad with the garden at home this is a good way of eating more healthily.”

“Being here helps me calm down and I really like vegetables especially carrots.”

Dalton, also 10, said: “I helped cut down a big thorn bush and water the plants; it is good fun and really enjoyable seeing the garden grow up each week. As this is freshly grown it might taste better and it is nice eating something you have grown yourself.”

Eleven year old Stefanie added: “I have been planting strawberries and egg plants and am looking forward to bringing some fruit and vegetables home,”

“It is great watching the plants grow, we leave food out for birds and there is never any left when we come back.”

Lizzie, 11, said: “There is something to do every day, I used to be bored at lunchtime just sitting around, but this is much more fun.


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