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INCREDIBLE EDIBLES HELPS NATIONAL SCHOOL STUDENTS RING IN SPRING BY GROWING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
The agri-food educational body Agri Aware signalled the start of spring by launching the primary school healthy eating initiative Incredible Edibles with the help of the students of St. Phillips NS, Clonsilla, Dublin 15. They have received a great response with 46% of all national schools signed up to the programme which encourages schools across the country to grow their own strawberries, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, turnips and herbs by supplying packs containing everything they need to become growers. Compost and seeds are sent out, while classroom curriculum-linked activity sheets, log books, growing planners and growing videos can be downloaded from the Incredible Edibles website. By the end of the schoolyear students enjoy the fruits of their labour with early season spuds, tasty strawberries and fresh carrots among the produce to be enjoyed.
Eleanor Meade of Meade Potato Company, a sponsor of the programme, joined other sponsors and supporters from the IFA, Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture, Healthy Ireland, the Department of Education and Agri Aware to watch as the inaugural group of students got digging. This hands-on approach to growing produce and educating students about nutrition will hopefully encourage young people to eat their seven plus a day of fruit and vegetables.
“With the importance of healthy eating being such a vital lesson for children to learn, we are delighted to be long-time sponsors of this programme. It gives children an insight into how fruit and vegetables are grown, and why they are so nutritious; the sense of accomplishment and fun in watching their gardens grow is a real draw for students. They learn to appreciate the hard work that goes into producing food. This should ultimately help students appreciate agriculture and sustainability as they get older. It’s a win/win programme on all fronts: healthy eating, agriculture, science and the environment. If your local school hasn’t registered, it’s time to get online and get growing,” commented Eleanor Meade of Meade Potato Company.
You can find out more information online at www.incredibleedibles.ie. Entries are closed for this year, but make sure to mark your calendar for next year.
Pictured left to right at the Incredible Edibles launch at St. Phillips NS, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 are: Mike Neary, Bord Bia; the St. Phllips NS student rep; Deirdre O’Shea, Agri Aware; Eleanor Meade, Meade Potato Co. and Richard Moeran, AgriAware, all ready to start their planting.
Our Farm Manager Conor O'Malley and our team of growers have been busy this past month planting potatoes and carrots. Now the hard work of monitoring and nurturing the crops begins. The early potatoes will be harvested in June, the carrots in July and the main crop potatoes in late August.
Here are a selection of pictures from left to right, top to bottom:
Philip Meade Jr. and Jonathon Fahy headed down to the sunny southeast recently to meet up with the growers who specialise in producing Ireland's finest New Season Potatoes for us. Having met with James, Eamon, Tom and Simon, they are looking forward to another premium quality crop. The Wexford soil is ideal for these early potatoes and this, combined with the expertise that these growers bring to their crops, means that our New Season potatoes will be as tasty as ever - a real treat for spud connoisseurs waiting to tuck in to the new season.