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April 2017  

April has been a busy month for Food Glorious Food.

We visited Countess Wear Community School, to run an in-school Fairtrade workshop in their lovely outdoor learning site, the Treehouse. The children learnt about the principles of Fairtrade, and a little the processes of cocoa production – with some chocolate tasting and creative writing opportunities along the way. We were very impressed and touched by the heartfelt way the children engaged with the concept of fairness, both in their home contexts and in other parts of the world.

FGF2 - Apr blog

Over April, our Project Coordinator has been working particularly closely with the Newtown food group, supporting a collective of teachers, community workers and local people to organise and run community gardening sessions in Belmont Park. With the help of some willing adults, children from Newtown Primary School and Newtown Community Pre-School planted wildflowers in new planters, helped cut back dead growth in the sensory garden, and planted their own herb, vegetable and sunflower seeds in pots and trays. They also worked super hard to clear out a raised bed at the corner of the hut, and plant some new herb plants (kindly donated by various members of the community). The new bed will become a communal resource, furnishing the local area with enough herbs to season many a delicious dish!

We were also proud to support Wynstream Primary and talk about their work for the Food Glorious Food project when they were visited by judges for the Prince of Wales Award. Their outdoors work has been phenomenal, led by dedicated outdoor learning staff-member, Angela Redmond. This term, they organised a fantastic ‘Garden with your Grandparent’ afternoon, which was well-attended my members of the school community.

In April, we also welcomed a new school onto the project: Whipton Barton. The lead staff at the school are full of enthusiasm, with great ideas for family gardening sessions and bee-keeper and soil scientist visits.

March 2017 

Gardening skills training for group leaders

Next up was our gardening training session, facilitated by Melissa Harvey, a horticultural expert from Devon Community Composting Network. This workshop equipped group leaders with gardening skills, teaching them what to grow, when to grow and how to maintain their green spaces. As the group leaders would relay their skills back to work in their schools, the main focus of the session was how to develop gardens with children. 

 

Two of the innovative ways to grow in schools included:

 

1.    Lasagne gardens

Despite its title, this approach doesn’t entail growing pasta on trees! Instead, it involves layering up materials such as earth, newspaper and card in order to develop a garden. This method lends itself nicely to sustainable, accessible gardening.

 

 

 

FGF2 - Mar blog 1 

2.    Square foot gardening

Square foot gardening involves planting different crops in every square foot of land available. This allows for plant diversity in small spaces, making the method suitable for school children to learn about a big range of plant species across a small patch of land. 

 

 FGF2 - Mar blog 2

Fairtrade Cocoa and Chocolate workshop with Isaac Baidoo

On Tuesday 7th March, we invited our primary schools and Age UK friends to Exeter Community Centre to learn about cocoa beans and chocolate with Ghanaian Fairtrade food producer, Isaac Baidoo. Isaac is a Kuapa Kokoo farmer from Jukwa Mfuom, the central region of Ghana. He is also the Welfare Chairman at the national level of Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Ltd (KKFU).

FGF2 - Mar blog 5

In the workshop, children and community members learnt about the principles of Fairtrade, and Isaac taught them about the processes of cocoa production. After lots of learning about where chocolate comes from and chatting to our guests, Charles and Margaret from Age UK, everyone got the chance to taste some Divine chocolate.

FGF2 - Mar blog 6

FGF2 - Mar double 2

February 2017

What are we doing now? | Food Glorious Food 2

This year, after securing Big Lottery funding, we are delighted to announce that we are working with several new primary schools: Countess Wear, Wynstream and Newtown!

Planning and getting started

What have we been up to so far?

Initial meetings

Prior to the start of Food Glorious Food, our project coordinator, Nicole Redfern, was busy recruiting local primary schools and finding local people and community groups interested in getting involved. These initial meetings were a great opportunity to start building links within communities in Exeter and explore ways of connecting people through food-based learning and activity.

Welcome session

Back in early February, we held a welcome session with teachers and local food producers. This gave our school representatives the chance to learn more about Food Glorious Food and also gave local food producer partners the opportunity to share their work and the activities they have to offer. Here, teachers began exploring ideas for food groups in their schools and we addressed the ways in which each school could help each other out.

Start-up planning sessions

In mid-February, we held a start-up planning session for schools and community representatives at Countess Wear Community School. The main focus of this facilitated session was to get schools and groups to explore and think about their own local communities: How can Food Glorious Food make a positive impact in our community? How can we go about making this happen?

Participants thought and talked about their dreams and aspirations for the project. They considered practical factors such as their school’s other commitments and previous involvement with community. The session enabled group leaders to generate ideas for potential food group activities and events and to address how they wanted Food Glorious Food to impact their schools and local communities. It also got conversations going between community representatives and schools that wanted to help and grow to know each other better.

In addition, the start-up planning session helped groups to work out logistics and equipped schools with the means to resolve problems they might encounter (e.g. reaching out to other schools for support with transport). 

 

FGF2 - Feb double

 

January 2017

Food Glorious Food: at school, at home and in the community

Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund) project, to run January – July 2017 

Here at Devon Development Education, our exciting food-based learning project, Food Glorious Food, is underway for the second time.

Here’s a little about the history of Food Glorious Food so far.

Last year, we piloted a similar Food Glorious Food project in schools, followed by a small intergenerational project called Tasty Conversations.

Food Glorious Food #1 was a 6 month project funded by Awards for All (the Big Lottery Fund). It ran from 2015/16, in partnership with the Real Food Store and Love Local Food. We worked with 8 primary schools in Exeter and the surrounding area, supporting the schools to set up and run ‘Glorious Food Groups’ (GFG’s). Throughout this project, the focus was on hands-on learning about food (particularly local food) through seeing, doing and enjoying.

This is what our participants and supporters said about the project:

‘Food Glorious Food has clearly inspired so many and made a creative impact in lots of ways – indeed beyond the schools you have engaged with’ (Martyn Goss, Exeter Food Action, July 2016)

‘Your workshop was absolutely amazing and we learnt so much [from] it’ (Year 6 pupil, on Ugandan cooking and growing workshop 2016)


‘Fantastic opportunity for children to celebrate their learning and speak
publicly in an amazing venue’ (Teacher, project celebration event with city & county councillors, County Hall, July 2016)

Tasty Conversations involved two Exeter primary schools, a group of older people from Age UK and lots of food fun! The children got the chance to get stuck in with food-based learning workshops, learn about where their food comes from and interview some of the adults about their food memories and experiences with rationing in the war.

The groups got on so well that both schools have invited their guests back for further meetings, including carol services and a tea party this summer!

This is what our participants and supporters said about Tasty Conversations:

‘I enjoyed how interested the children are in our memories’ (Visitor at Wynstream)

‘I have had a really wonderful morning; the young people were such a delight to be with. Your school should be very proud of putting on a good learning event for me and everyone else’ (Visitor at Montgomery)

We asked some great questions and they gave great answers. Joy really enjoyed learning new things. She said "You're never too old to learn" (Pupil at Montgomery)

 

FGF2 - Jan triple

 

 



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