Potato planting fun for over 600 children with Kids Country
In March the Kids Country team, supported by sponsors Albert Bartlett, Westland Horticulture and Evergreen Garden Care, as well as local farmers, are delighted that they have been able to deliver a Covid-safe version of their popular Grow Your Own Potatoes event to over 600 children from nine primary schools across Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, providing all of the potatoes and equipment needed, curriculum-based resources and engaging videos from farmers and growers.
Kids Country is the educational arm of the East of England Agricultural Society and education manager Sandra Lauridsen says: “We are so pleased that the schools have been so motivated to keep their children engaged in the hands-on learning experience that the Grow Your Own Potatoes event delivers, getting their hands muddy and providing an opportunity to monitor the growth of their potatoes over the next few weeks, before the all-important harvest in June!”
Cheryl Davitt, Early Years Lead at Newark Hill Academy, says: “We love to be involved with the Grow Your Own Potatoes event as it is a fun, hands-on, engaging event. The children can learn about how potatoes are farmed, the history of the potato and then they get to plant their own – a fantastic way to learn about where our food comes from and how to look after plants. The children also enjoy getting messy! The harvesting day is great fun too, emptying our own pots to find our potatoes and then weighing our crop which we can take home and eat for our dinner.”
Children at Newark Hill Academy get their hands dirty planting potatoes
Schools that have taken part this year include Newark Hill Academy, Dogsthorpe Academy, Folksworth C of E Primary School, Guyhirn C of E Primary School, St Botolph’s Primary School, William Law C of E Primary School and Leighton Primary School in and around Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Bluecoat Primary School in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and also Marston Thorold’s Charity Church of England Primary School in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
With a programme of events that usually sees East of England Showground-based Kids Country welcoming thousands of primary school children on to site, the last 12 months has presented a real challenge to deliver as many of these events as possible either remotely in schools or as part of home-schooling, ensuring that children do not miss out on the ‘field to fork’ message that lies at the heart of everything Kids Country delivers.
Sandra continues: “It is testament to the hard work of our volunteers, corporate sponsors and supporting farmers, that we have been able to still deliver the Grow Your Own Potatoes event this Spring, and we are planning ways to deliver the rest of our 2021 programme within the guidelines of the roadmap out of lockdown.”