The ultimate Growing Idea is a school farm. This is a great time for school farms with more school farms opening than closing - a welcome reverse in trend - and numbers now up to 100 across the country. School farms are enjoying high profile endorsement. Look at what HRH Prince Charles had to say about school farms at the Food For Life Partnership Awards in December 2008:
"For those that find academic studies more of a struggle, they learn practical skills and they also tend to respond extremely positively to working with farm animals. The great thing is that every child can be a success at something and this gives an enormous sense of self-confidence and self-worth."
You can find out more about school farms by going to the School Farms Network or by clicking on the case studies below:
Grey Court School Farm
Since 2007, School Food Matters has been supporting Grey Court School in Ham to put together a proposal for the introduction of a school farm into their school grounds. SFM is part of Grey Court's School Farm Steering Group that meets regularly to help move this exciting project forward.
The first step towards establishing this wonderful education resource is the Grey Court Community Allotment. Opened in the spring of 2010, the allotment is run by community volunteers and is open to all. Students have begun working on the allotment each week and the school plans to extend student participation in 2011.
Grey Court has also begun work on its very own orchard. Supported by Fruit-full Schools, a Learning Through Landscape initiative, the school will take part in a four year programme which will teach students, teachers and their community about grafting, planting and producing wonderful fresh fruit for all to enjoy.
Stage Three is the very exciting introduction of chickens to the school. In November 2010, SFM led the school's bid to People's Millions for a grant to fund an egg enterprise at the school. Grey Court Community Chickens won the public vote and £28,000 towards the project, and work will begin in January 2011. You can follow the progress of this wonderful project on Twitter @gccchickens, but in the meantime, have a look at the short film produced by ITN.