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Spinning the learning plate in school

By Sarah Ward

Spinning the learning plate can take many different approaches.  Incredible Edible Ulverston, in Cumbria, built on their experiences of working with Brownies (supporting 70 Brownies to get their gardening badge in 2017!) and this year started working in partnership with a local school and local Chef Nick Hall.

Nick’s Foundation, Aroma Catering, supports young people to access catering college, and for Incredible Edible Ulverston, working with Nick and the local Ulverston Victoria High School provided a great opportunity to show the chefs of tomorrow the importance of using local food in their cooking.

Working with the food technology teacher, Incredible Edible Ulverston and the students planted up a series of tubs outside the food technology suite growing herbs to allow the students to experiment with both growing and using a range of common and more unusual herbs in their recipes.  The students then decided how to group the herbs and planted up a range of mints (apple, garden, peppermint, pineapple, basil, chocolate and ginger) and marjoram, tarragon, parsley, chives, lemon balm, sage, rosemary and oregano. This is for using in their cookery classes until the end of June 2019, when the tubs will be handed on to the next group of students.

All the young people had a chance to smell and taste the herbs and to complete the session they were shown how to use a watering can and how to fill the reservoirs up.  For the students this provides an opportunity for ownership and responsibility for a growing project for a full year, helps them to understand where herbs come from and supports their experimentation with innovative recipes. Looking after and using the herbs will help them to build confidence in their cooking skills.

Over the next few months we’re writing our Toolshed section on Working with schools.  Have you worked with your local school or youth group?  If you’ve got any learning from your experience or ideas for how to work in partnership with schools then get in touch and we could be showcasing your story here soon.