Green fingered youngsters from four primary schools from the Stroud area taking part in the School Food Matters Young Marketeers initiative sold school-grown produce to raise a whopping £361 for The Long Table.
Pupils from Rosary Catholic Primary School, St Roses School, Cashes Green and Leonard Stanley Primary Schools had stalls at The Shambles in Stroud on Friday selling produce to shoppers which benefited Brimscombe-based food charity, The Long Table.
“Our mission is to teach children about food and to improve children’s access to healthy, sustainable food during their time at school,” said Ruth Quinlan, local project officer.
“We provide fully funded food education programmes to schools. Our experience delivering these programmes informs and strengthens our campaigns, bringing the voices of children, parents and teachers to government policy.”
In 2012 School Food Matters devised the Young Marketeers programme in partnership with Borough Market in London. The project has now successfully been rolled out to other parts of the country including Gloucestershire to spread the word about fresh tasty fruit and veg grown at school by enterprising young gardeners.
The programme provides a hands-on opportunity for children from primary schools to grow fruit and veg from seed to sell at their local market. Young Marketeers is also a platform for School Food Matters to promote food education to schools and communities as a way to support children to live happy and healthy lives.
“2022 was the second year of Young Marketeers Gloucestershire. Four primary schools in Stroud and Stonehouse took part in the Young Marketeers programme, which culminated in today’s Harvest Sale at Stroud Shambles Market (Cashes Green, Leonard Stanley, Rosary and St. Roses),” added Ruth.
“In the spring term, the programme was launched in schools with an assembly from our Local Project Officer who introduced the children to growing veg using locally saved seeds from Down to Earth. In a school outing to The Long Table community interest company, the schools learnt about the power of food for good in the community.
“The Long Table provides pay-as-you-feel meals for their community food hubs, trains young people to become chefs and provides seed kits to local children to give them the chance to discover the magic of growing their own food.
“Today the children came to the market laden with fresh produce from the school garden to set up shop alongside market traders to show off their enterprise skills and to sell their tasty fruit, veg and flowers to lovers of fine food and gardens,” said Ruth.
Children from the four participating schools were invited to Down to Earth’s Ebley Community Growing space for a gardening and market trader training day. They learnt the art of growing veg from seed from a local horticulturalist, and market traders shared their secrets on how to create a winning market stall.