I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been our home for two years and the only thing we planted was blades of grass in the garden. Literally, grass. I’d promised our children that we would plant something but I didn’t get around to it. Then recently, we recently received an invitation to visit Innocent Fruity Towers to find out about their Sow and Grow campaign. I jumped for it. The added bonus was that television cook, Lorraine Pascale, would also be there. I have yet to master or even try her Mille Feuille recipe but I thought Angelo would be pleased. We sometimes look at her cookery show together. Lorraine ‘is a passionate supporter of the campaign, and has grown her own produce for years having grown up on a farm in Devon.’ Hubby joined the children and me and we all had a fun-filled informative day at Innocent Fruity Towers.
At Fruity Towers
After the meet and greet at Innocent’s Fruity Towers, the Angelo and Valentina joined the other children present planting seeds. They were so thrilled. They planted a couple varieties of seeds in one cup and totally over watered but they were happy. Valentina had a go trying to identify what crop was in the soil-filled bag, while blind-folded. Both children tried blind tasting pieces of fruit and beg. While they were doing their thing, I was busy taking snaps, meeting new fellow bloggers and speaking to Lorraine about food options for Angelo and Valentina.
At home we go through phases when I think I’ve cracked their fussy eating, then they switch on me. Lorraine recommended veggie curries and using quinoa was rice. I plan to try new recipes soon. She also shared simple ways start growing my own at home. She suggested trying to grow herbs or salads leaves.
Grow It Yourself
During our lunch break I spoke to Michael Kelly, Founder of GYI Foundation. Grow It Yourself is an NGO founded in 2009 by Michael. When he noticed that the garlic his local supermarket was shipped all the way from China, he had a light bulb moment. Now, GIY ‘runs events and campaigns to build awareness and knowledge about food growing.’ Michael advised that March is a good time to start planting seeds at home.
I wanted advice on what would grow quickly and easily. I knew my children would be excited to see the results of their planting. Michael said that cress are practically fool proof to grow. I promised to try. I also had a tour of Fruity Towers. Visit The Tiger Tales Facebook page to see more images.
The Sow & Grow Campaign
‘Innocent’s Sow & Grow campaign aims to gets kids out in the fresh air, sticking their hands in some dirt and having fun with growing their own veg. We know that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruit and veg, show higher levels of knowledge around nutrition and are more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives.’ After four years of running a collaborative programme in Ireland, Innocent and GIY have brought Sow and Grow to the UK this Spring. ‘Over 3300 British schools have signed up to get their very own growing kit full of seeds, info packs and lesson plans to help teachers incorporate healthy eating in to their lessons, helping 100,000 kids get everything they need to get involved. And it’s all absolutely free. ‘
For a schools to get involved, teachers can go online to register for their special (and completely free) growing packs which includes seeds, soil, growing guides and lesson plans.