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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 28 October 2021

45,000 children are set to sow, grow (and eat) their own fruit and veg this spring

Children were shown how to grow their own cress, runner beans and baby carrots at the launch of Sow & Grow.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

AROUND 45,000 CHILDREN across the country are set to learn how to grow their vegetables this spring, as the Sow & Grow 2017 initiative gets underway.

Organised by the group GIY – grow it yourself – and innocent drinks the idea behind the initiative is to encourage an awareness of where food comes from and show children just how easy it is to grow their own greens.

The programme was officially launched at Scoil Thomais in Castleknock, Dublin, on Wednesday.

At the launch, cress, runner beans and baby carrots were sown, and blind taste tests took place to test children’s knowledge of various fruits and vegetables.

Any class can sign up to take part in Sow & Grow, now in its sixth year, by signing up for a pack online here.

Each pack contains soil, growing pots, seeds and expert growing guides along with details on how to prepare and cook the produce that will be grown.

Bláithnid McKenna, from innocent drinks, told RTÉ: “This year, there’ll be enough soil and cup seeds to help 32 kids in each class to help them grow their own fruit and veg.”

The most engaged Sow & Grow school will win a trip to Bloom in the Park for their class, as well as €500 worth of gardening equipment for their school.

Ahead of this year’s campaign, GIY conducted a survey to gauge reactions to the initiative.

Michael Kelly, the founder of GIY, said: “Surprisingly, nearly half of parents we surveyed had grown something in the previous 12 months with their kids. This is fantastic, much, much higher than we expected.

It shows that food growing is something that is becoming more and more mainstream, which is absolutely why we’re here.

However, the survey also showed that almost a third of children don’t get enough fruit and veg, while around one in six don’t know where their food comes from.

To help launch Sow & Grow, GIY and innocent drinks visited St Saviour’s National School in Waterford last week to chat to 1st class pupils on their thoughts on growing your own food, as well as their favourite, and least favourite, fruits and vegetables.

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Read: Interview: For children to eat healthily we must teach them about food

About the author:

Sean Murray

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