Pupils eager to see crops in shop
Children have been reaping the fruits of their labour in a project promoting healthy eating and home-grown food.
Pupils at Woodstock Primary, in Stocking Farm, Leicester, are at the forefront of Crop for Shop, a scheme linking schools with stores.
The pilot, the first of its kind in the country, has seen youngsters at the Hattern Avenue school cultivate a garden.
Children yesterday harvested their first carrots, beetroot, broad beans, potatoes, runner beans and spring onions.
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The project is being run by Eco Kids (Leicester City) Ltd, a social enterprise.
Director Bina Sitaram said: "Crop to Shop puts gardeners and allotment-holders with spare produce in touch with shops in their area.
"We agreed to run a pilot study in Leicester to teach children about growing their own food and healthy eating."
Up to 50 children learnt how to make compost, sow seeds, look after their plants and make healthy meals.
Mrs Sitaram said: "Some of the children come from quite deprived backgrounds where the concept of growing your own food is quite alien.
"Their Nisa Local store has agreed to sell the vegetables. All profits will be reinvested."
Head teacher Hazel Willis said. "This has been the first time many of the children have grown anything.
"Some had no idea where carrots come from, so for them to be involved in growing their own food, learning how to cook it and eat healthily has been important and rewarding.
"They are now excited by the prospect of seeing their vegetables on sale in a shop."
Kelsey Porter, seven, said: "I planted my seeds a long time ago and at last I got to pick them.
"They looked delicious and I really enjoyed digging up the soil, planting the seeds and watering them. I learnt a lot and it was great fun."
Deva Odedra, owner of the Nisa Local store, in Marwood Road, said: "We're looking forward to taking delivery of the first batch of vegetables.
"I think it's a brilliant idea."
Eco Kids is looking to extend the project to other schools.
Call Mrs Sitaram on 0793 094 5649.