Pupils at Heybridge Primary School have been learning how to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs thanks to support awarded by Edible Essex. 

Heybridge Primary School worked in partnership with housing association, Moat, to plan the project and apply for funding. The Edible Essex Project Manager visited the school in November, and, impressed with their enthusiasm and potential to grow, agreed to award the school raised-bed kits, soil and children’s gardening equipment for their allotment area. Tesco Maldon is also supporting the project by donating seeds and extra compost.

A gardening club has been set up and is run every Wednesday lunchtime by a parent volunteer. Pupils have been growing runner beans, strawberries, mint and carrots, amongst other produce, some of which will be used in the production of their school dinners. The project will also support the creation of an orchard in the school grounds later in the year.

Year 5 teacher, Liz Marshall, said: “The club has really taken off and the children are thoroughly enjoying finding out how to grow their own food.”

One young gardener said: “Gardening is great and I want to come back to gardening club next year, it’s great to plant the seeds and see how they grow, so we can eat them here.”

 Edible Essex is funded by the Big Lottery’s Local Food Programme and managed by the Rural Community Council of Essex.  The project aims to increase the number of people growing, sourcing and using local food.  For more information please contact Project Manager Sophie.Blythe@essexrcc.org.uk, tel: 01376 574330 or visit www.essexrcc.org.uk