We love growing our own food in this house. The 4 year old in particular is a huge fan of getting stuck in at the allotments so yes, we do already sow and grow!
Last year I spoke to his Naoínra (Irish language montessori) about growing their own food and flowers. It was a double challenge for me as I had to remember parts of the language that were a little rusty, and I also had to keep it short to keep their attention. I was pleasantly surprised that nearly 30% of their families grow some food at home.
Even though 3 out of every 10 children in the class come in contact with growing food at home, it would be fantastic if more of them did. I passionately believe that producing your own food is an essential life skill. This is where the Sow and Grow campaign from GIY Ireland and Innocent Ireland have joined forces to provide kits for up to 25,000 children to learn how to grow their own food for free this year.
There are 850 group packs available to schools, playschools and youth groups. You can register for the scheme by clicking this link and signing up. Once you’ve registered you can keep an online log of how you’re progressing as a group and there are prizes available for your group.
If you’d like to learn more you can view the video below and then make your mind up!
What do I think of the initiative?
Well Sow And Grow were kind enough to send me an individual sample of the pack that they would normally send out to youth groups. The package was very easy to put together. It comes with a waterproof paper cup and compost along with seeds. Each child can write their name on the cup before filling it and sowing the seeds. The cup then sits on the windowsill and you make sure you keep it well watered (not too much) until the seedlings appear.
From a community group point of view, funding is limited for projects like this and any opportunity to start a growing initiative with a group for free is certainly welcome.
If you decide to sign up as a group or a class do keep up with the online log system as the rewards for the winning project make it well worth the effort!
Now before you assume that this sowing and growing is all for kids only, GIY Ireland also have the Get Ireland Growing fund. There are just over 2 weeks left before the deadline for this funding opportunity. If you have an idea to promote growing in your community then get your pen and paper together and make the case. The awards will range from €500 to €5,000 for the successful applicants.
If you’d like to start growing at home in baby steps then you also join Operation GIY Nation 2013 which is a good way to begin.