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Continued success for school potato project

Educating children about the importance of food, farming and healthy eating is a priority for Potato Council and the ‘Grow Your Own Potatoes’ project does just that. Now entering its tenth year, it is one of the biggest educational projects of its kind, with fantastic success rates, having reached over 2 million children to date.

14,600 schools were involved in the initiative this year, with access to FREE growing kits and supporting classroom activities as well as advice and assistance from growers and suppliers. The hands-on activity brings the project to life, helping schools engage and educate children, with the added excitement of trying to grow the largest crop of potatoes to win prizes for their school.



Seasoned growers at Delabole Community Primary School in Cornwall took the competition title, after turning out an impressive 5740g of Rocket potatoes, supplied by Cygnet PB. Their superb efforts were rewarded with a Marmax Octobrunch Picnic Table with built-in benches for the children to enjoy.

Shelley Francis from Delabole School said: “We’re thrilled to have achieved such a magnificent crop of potatoes – smashing last year’s total. The project is so easy to follow and the children love getting involved; from chitting the seed potatoes to turning out the bags to see the results. Taking part in Grow Your Own Potatoes is the first opportunity many pupils have to grow something themselves and it builds their enthusiasm for food and how it is produced.”

Regional winners were also identified, each using different varieties of seed potatoes supplied by local producers*. With registration now open for 2014, opportunities exist for the industry to support the project by supplying Safe Haven accredited and fast growing seed potatoes, or simply raising awareness of the project through local networks, agricultural societies and with schools directly.

Sue Lawton, education co-ordinator for Potato Council, said: “It is fantastic to see the positive role the project plays in connecting pupils with food and farming. The initiative has received superb feedback from teachers and pupils alike; with children enjoying the hands-on activities and the chance to ask questions, while teachers enthuse about the extensive range of on-line resources available to suit all teaching methods and modules.

“The project really has gone from strength to strength and to celebrate its tenth anniversary, we’re hoping to break participant records in 2014. We already have over 7500 schools signed up to take part and we hope the industry can help increase numbers, as well as provide on-going support to ensure potatoes are brought to life in schools and most importantly enjoyed by future generations.”

For more information:
Sue Lawton
Potato Council
Tel: +44 02476 478 774
Email: sue.lawton@potato.ahdb.org.uk
www.gyop.potato.org.uk
www.potato.org.uk/about-us/marketing/educate



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