Grow 2 Educate – an introduction

Grow 2 Educate is a video diary of our allotment.

Pock PostGrowing your own food is a win win situation – save money, provide food like you won’t have tasted before and giving you a much needed ingredient in today’s daily life – exercise. What have you got to lose?

Sadly, since the Dig for Victory several generations ago, much of this grow your own knowledge has been forgotten. Just how much this knowledge about how to grow basic vegetables and how they end up in the local super market has been lost was highlighted when I stopped cultivating land, as a farmer, and turned to cultivating young minds as a science teacher. This led me to start videoing piglets being born to use in my science lessons and developed into providing videos about food production, farming and the countryside on the Discovering-Our-Countryside website. In promoting this and visiting schools as a STEM Net ambassador (STEM Net is aimed at promoting Science Technology Engineering and Maths careers ins schools), I quickly learnt that schools are very keen to teach pupils how to grow but often lack the knowledge or confidence to do so.

So out came the spade, up came my front garden in a ‘Dig 4 Education’ response to the country’s need. This is being blogged on the new website The aim of the project is to help anyone wanting to enjoy the many benefits of growing their own food – on an allotment, in garden, in patio pots or even windowsills.

Our aim is to put the seasonality back in your diet by guiding you through how to grow vegetables all year round with just as little as a few hours input each week. You can follow our progress in the coming weeks and watch our video diary on our website. See how you can dine like in a trendy restaurant with ‘Micro-Greens’, little samples of your 5-a-day, ready in a few days to satisfy today’s instant gratification society, but also to enjoy the full size greens later in the season.

With the advent of the new curriculum which introduces new food, cooking and nutrition aspects to the National Curriculum (NC) in England from September 2014, we hope that schools will join our grow2educate initiative so we are busy developing a range of support materials linked to our grow2educate video diary. This will help them to embed growing in their curriculum, but more importantly, we hope instil in children the knowledge and love of growing their own again – Digging 4 Health….. making 5-a-day natural not a buzz word!

Mark Thompson