A school has opened its edible teaching garden as part of its drive to educate pupils and get them eating their five-a-day.
It will allow kids at St Mary’s Primary School in East Row, North Kensington to learn about growing their own food, caring for the environment and healthy eating.
The garden was developed by the Kensington and Chelsea Council’s environment project as part of the School Growing Food Pilot funded by the Public Health Department.
Teacher Suziana Saad said: “It is wonderful to see the excitement of our students as they start planting for the first time. This new garden is such a welcome addition to our school.
“By integrating the garden into our curriculum we hope to develop an awareness about food & how it is grown in these inner city students from a young age.”
Hammersmith Community Gardeners Association are providing gardening support and training for teachers.
The Food Explorers have also just completed a successful week of hands-on food education for the students with field trips to Jamie Oliver’s Recipease, Whole Foods Market, Phoenix Farm, Portobello Market, Holland Park Ecology Centre and Wagamama restaurant.
A recent survey of St Mary’s Primary students conducted by The Food Explorers showed that only 29% are consuming five-a-day of fruit and vegetables and almost half (45%) were not aware of the recommended amount of servings per day of fruit and vegetables they need to stay healthy.
Despite the lack of knowledge, 82% of the students said they were keen to learn how to plant and grow fruit and vegetables at their school.
Cathy Maund, Hammersmith Community Gardeners, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the new school garden at St Mary’s Primary.
It is our experience that school children love the opportunity to be hands on and grow vegetables that they can then eat. The lessons they learn in the garden will help them make healthy choices throughout their lives.”
The garden was opened on Thursday (November 19) by Kensington and Chelsea Mayor Cllr Robert Freeman.