Edible Essex is delighted to announce that a pupil from Ivy Chimney’s Primary School in Epping has won first prize in this year’s Packed Lunch Plot Competition. 

The competition launched in 2012 by Edible Essex, in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, invites primary school children to plan what they could grow in a small plot and invent a recipe for a healthy lunch using the produce.

The school wins £1000 worth of equipment for their school garden, RHS CPD courses for their teachers and the opportunity to plant the winning plot design at RHS Hyde Hall!

This year the competition was generously supported by Chadacre Agricultural Trust, Felix Cobbold Trust, PJK Charitable Trust, FSJ Trust and Kings Seeds. Representatives from each organisation took part in the judging last week.  The judges had to assess how practical the plot was in terms of vegetable/fruit selection and the attractiveness of the design, as well as how suitable the recipe would be as a packed lunch or picnic item.  The winning entry needed to score highly in both these areas.

Out of 556 submissions, the judges unanimously selected the entry by Scarlett O’Neill, a year 2 pupil at the school. Scarlett’s plot included a range of salad items, vegetables and herbs which were all used as ingredients for her ‘Happy Day Lunch’. Scarlett also highlighted the health benefits of the various produce grown in her plot and used in her recipe.

Edible Essex Project Manager, Sophie Blythe, was delighted with both the number and standard of the entries.  “Yet again we have seen some brilliant entries and I am really surprised that, even after three years, we are still seeing new ideas and recipes coming forward.  The response to this competition has been fantastic and shows that young children really can get excited about food – even packed lunches!  The competition is a fun way of promoting both healthy eating and the growing of fruit and veg in the school grounds or at home”.

Runners up include the Lucie Moller from Edward Francis Primary School with her “Gluten free lentil and vegetable soup and magnificent fruit salad” and Lucia Wells from Edwards Hall Primary School, who designed a tasty “Stop Go Pasta”.  Both runners up win £200 of gardening vouchers for their school and an RHS CPD course for their teacher.

We would like to thank all the Essex primary schools who took part in the competition.