Thrilling times down on Binley Woods allotment

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IT’S not every day that children are excited by the prospect of vegetables.

But that’s exactly what’s happening in Binley Woods, where the origins of food had previously been a mystery to many children.

Karen Davidson, the headteacher of the village’s primary school, set up an ambitious project after realising that some of her pupils did not know how their greens were grown.

And last week the youngsters started reaping what they’ve sown - to their evident delight.

Julia Hurt, one of the teachers involved in the project, said: “The children were so excited - they couldn’t wait.

“We wanted to involve the children from planting through to harvesting and cooking - so many wanted to be involved that we had to draw a lottery.”

Hughie Sweeny of Binley Woods’s allotment association was involved with the scheme, for which he helped secure a £7,000 grant from a county-wide fund for villages.

His first task was to create raised beds in which pupils planted seeds. Mr Sweeny said: “The children loved it, once they got used to dirty hands. They were so enthused and learned quickly”

The allotment, which covers 300 sq ft was turned and planted, and a green house was built for tomatoes and cucumbers. In September 2011 the first crop of vegetables, including potatoes, onions, kidney beans and marrows, was harvested. The children cooked their produce in the school kitchen.

Now, school has restarted after summer and the harvest is ready again. The children met on Monday, gathered their crop and went to the kitchen to cook it.

Mr Sweeny said: “It was a pleasure watching the children they even remembered what they planted.”

The programme has been so successful that extra produce will be sold at a school farmers’ market.