Seeds are sown for the ninth year of children’s ‘Big Grow’ initiative

by Gary Ibbotson

Innocent and Grow It Yourself (GIY) and teamed up once again to launch this year’s ‘Big Grow’ initiative – encouraging young people to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables.

Now in its ninth year, the campaign has been developed closely with teachers and educational specialists to give aspiring junior gardeners the information and tools to create their own little vegetable patch in their garden, classroom or even windowsill.

Michael Kelly, GIY founder, said: “Studies show that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition.

“The children not only learn the science of growing, they also experience the joy of growing and eating their own food.

“GIY calls this ‘Food Empathy’, which is a deeper connection with food, and is proven to lead to a healthier life long-term.

“We are delighted to work with innocent on this once again and we hope these life lessons stay with our growers into adulthood,” he says.

Food writer Lilly Higgins, who has joined this year’s campaign said she “is so excited to be involved in the innocent Big Grow”.

Higgins says: “This campaign is doing something very important – building a lifelong love of healthy food with children.

“If we can instil a love of homegrown produce with kids at an early age, we are giving them a valuable skill for life.”

The Big Grow is open for primary schools across the country with 60,000 children getting the opportunity to avail of a free grow kit.

This year, for the first time, the school judged to have cultivated the most impressive grows will receive €1,000 towards their school garden – adding an extra incentive for the nation’s little growers to get involved and grow crazy.

The kits include three packs of seeds and children will get the chance to grow peas, cress and baby carrots.

Thirty-two growing cups will also be included – one for each student to sow their own little ‘crop’.

Compost disc that expands in their cup when water is added, a teacher’s resource booklet which includes lots of fun and educational activities, a classroom wallchart so that teachers can celebrate the weekly growing highs and successes and some Star Grower Badges, will also be in the growing kits.

To apply for a grow kit, please visit www.innocentbiggrow.com.

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