Leith Community Crops in Pots
Leith Community Crops in Pots is a project that involves vulnerable children with emotional difficulties and needs in growing food.
The project hopes to improve the children’s emotional wellbeing and behaviour, as well an increased intake of fruit and vegetables and an increase in outdoor activity. The University’s Community Grant Scheme awarded the project funding to deliver the project in a local school, Hermitage Park Primary.
The children learnt all about growing different types of food, and even worked together to build the planters in the school playground which can be used to grow vegetables every year. Once the vegetables had been harvested, the kitchen staff at the school prepared the vegetables in the form of different meals for the kids to enjoy.
We went to visit the project back in 2018 when the children were harvesting the fruits and vegetables of their growing over the summer, and what fun we had!
Teachers at the school observed some great outcomes of the growing project, including decreased anxiety amongst the children while gardening. Children reported feeling calm, and there seemed to be increased happiness levels on the days that the project took place.
This is better than PE!
The children reflected on their learning through a weekly journal, developing an increased knowledge and awareness of nature and the different vegetables and fruit. Many tried certain food for the first time – with mixed reactions!
The children were asked to say how they felt at the end of each session and although this could be mixed, it was mainly positive responses: “Muddy, super duper happy, amazing!”
Learning about nature
The children were taught about soil/compost, conducting experiments to see which mix of compostable materials best support seed/plant growth. We sowed seeds and took cuttings, selecting vegetables that the children would like to try eating. They also observed the insects and animals that live on the croft, from worms to wrens, ladybirds and a very exciting spotting of a dragonfly!
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